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In-depth reviews

BMW iX review: a very impressive electric SUV

Remarkably capable in almost every area, the BMW iX is expensive to buy, but is a deeply impressive all-electric family SUV

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£70,985 to £124,605
  • Interior quality
  • Efficient
  • Great to drive
  • Smaller boot than rivals
  • Expensive to buy
  • Polarising looks
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The BMW iX is a seriously impressive achievement from the German manufacturer. Famed for its engineering prowess, BMW has developed a large, all-electric SUV that is supremely comfortable, great to drive and leads the way with first-rate on-board technology.

Luxury levels of ride and refinement add to the sense of occasion, as does the interior quality, although the obvious catch is that you will have to pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one. Other minor grumbles are that the iX’s boot is a touch too small compared to some rivals, while overall range is good, but not class-leading. Other than that, the BMW iX is a superb EV and one we definitely recommend – if your pockets are deep enough.

About the BMW iX 

The BMW iX is the Bavarian automaker’s first all-electric car since the i3 supermini was launched back in 2013, and is regarded in some circles as a surefire future classic. The i brand has also included the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and, more recently, the battery-powered iX3 SUVi4 Gran Coupei7 luxury limousine and iX1 compact SUV, although the iX is the first of the company’s EVs to use an all-new, scalable platform for electric cars.

Based on the iNext concept that was showcased at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the iX is roughly the same size as its X5 sibling, and is being similarly marketed as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) to highlight both its dynamic and lifestyle qualities. This may sound like PR guff, but the luxury iX really does deliver across the board; equipped with a surprising ability to take on A and B-roads with confidence and delivering a level of poise and assurance that belies its 2.4-tonne kerbweight, particularly in high-performance M60 guise.

But it’s not just the driver who’ll enjoy travelling in the iX, as passengers will also benefit from the supreme levels of comfort and on-board tech, not to mention the whisper-quiet electric powertrain and luxury cabin feel: the interior is swathed in soft-touch fabrics, while the futuristic dash design is a standout feature.

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Unsurprisingly, it’s rivals from other premium manufacturers that offer up some SUV/SAV competition to the iX, such as the Jaguar I-PaceAudi Q8 e-tron, Mercedes EQC or EQE SUV, and the Tesla Model X. There's plenty more flagship electric SUVs on the way though, including the Polestar 3, Volvo EX90 and Lotus Eletre, all of which will be looking to give the iX a run for its money.

The xDrive40 model is the entry point into regular iX ownership and can manage up to 257 miles from a single charge of its 71kWh battery, while BMW claims the xDrive50 version is good for up to 380 miles between top-ups thanks to its bigger 105.2kWh battery. The xDrive40 is offered in both Sport or M Sport specifications, but the xDrive50 comes exclusively in M Sport trim at the moment.

Sitting at the top of the iX range is the standalone iX M60 performance model that pumps out 610bhp from its pair of electric motors for a 0-62mph time of just 3.8 seconds. It also boasts an official range of up to 349 miles, although it’s eye-wateringly expensive at more than £119,000.

With prices starting from around £70,000, you'd expect the iX to feature decent levels of standard kit and it doesn’t disappoint; the entry-level xDrive40 in Sport trim gets 21-inch alloy wheels, four-zone climate control, heated front seats, 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 14.9-inch central touchscreen running the eighth-generation of BMW's iDrive infotainment system, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Every model also comes with safety systems like BMW's Parking Assistant and Driving Assistant Professional.

BMW iX xDrive50 long term test

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler lived with a BMW iX for six months as part of our long-term fleet. Throughout this time he was highly impressed with the electric SUV’s sheer amount of comfort and technology. As you might expect, though, the only major downside was the divisive exterior design.

In Steve’s mind, the iX looks like something Star Wars supervillain Darth Vader would drive around in, and that’s not a good thing. But…that’s literally where his criticism ends. The large electric SUV is quite simply a great car. You can read the full long term test here...

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