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2022 BMW iX50 Evaluation: Ideal EV With Cutting-Edge Features

Image Source: letspicsit / Shutterstock

The iX is BMW’s premiere electric SUV for the U.S. market, representing a complete luxurious vehicle, diverging from the design, dimensions, and interface that BMW has utilized in earlier SUV models. Competitors to the iX consist of the Tesla Model X, Audi E-Tron SUV, Cadillac Lyriq, and Mercedes EQS SUV, while those seeking a more robust appearance might explore the Rivian R1S.

The BMW iX is at the forefront of the upcoming era of BMW’s electric vehicle range, progressing beyond the unique i3 city car and the innovative i8 near-supercar. BMW has stated that battery-electric cars like the iX will account for over half of its goal to market 25 electrified vehicles (covering plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids) worldwide by 2023. The iX will be joined in showrooms by the i4 electric sport sedan, which also made its debut last week and shares a similar size with the Tesla Model 3.

The design is expected to be the most controversial aspect for many intrigued by the iX. It takes inspiration from the now-discontinued BMW i3 hatchback for some of its design elements and incorporates carbon-fiber accents. A relatively traditional crossover utility profile is fused with some very non-traditional details—like frameless doors, an exceptionally large patterned faux-grille, and taillights that differ from those featured in previous BMW models. Inside, the appearance is strikingly different, featuring modern switchgear and a hexagonal steering wheel layout.

The iX is constructed on a specially designed electric vehicle platform, and its dual-motor system generates a combined 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque, enabling acceleration to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The iX M60 produces 610 hp and 811 lb-ft and can achieve the same speed in 3.6 seconds, also incorporating an adaptive air suspension, a firmer suspension, and M Sport enhancements. Rear-wheel steering is also an option, and even with the large 22-inch wheels, the iX offers a tranquil, almost cushioned ride experience.

The driving range is remarkable for a large, tall EV. The iX has earned EPA range certifications of up to 324 miles from its 106.3-kwh battery, which should also offer a low center of gravity for improved handling. Regenerative braking can be set to at least three modes, with an optional one-pedal driving feature that optimizes energy recovery from the wheels and facilitates stopping the vehicle.

Utilizing a Level 2 240-volt home charger and an 11-kw onboard charger, the BMW iX can recharge from empty to full in under 11 hours. When connected to a Level 3 DC fast charger rated at 200 kw, the iX can obtain 75 miles of range in 10 minutes or charge from 10% to 80% in 40 minutes, BMW has conveyed.

The interior comfort and features may persuade some skeptics of the design. The iX comes in Shadowline and Sport appearance variants, while add-on features—some grouped into bundles—encompass a head-up display, four-zone climate control, radiant heat, a 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system, a panoramic sunroof, and laser headlights.

Seating area and comfort are notable highlights of the iX’s expansive interior. A long tray adjacent to the seats offers abundant storage space for smaller belongings, and with the rear seatbacks folded down, cargo capacity expands from 35.5 cubic feet to 77.9 cubic feet. The BMW iX measures 195 inches in length, 77 inches wide, and 67 inches tall overall, presenting proportions that could suggest a three-row SUV to some, although the iX seats five across two rows. Nevertheless, the iX’s exclusive EV platform means it ranks as one of the most spacious five-seater options on the market; almost as substantial as BMW’s larger X7 SUV.

All editions of the iX include the Live Cockpit Plus infotainment system, featuring a curved display extending from the instrument cluster screen across to a wide 12.3-inch touchscreen system that offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. BMW’s iDrive controller relies less on its distinguished rotary controller, to the extent that one might opt for directly interacting with icons on a screen. Although there are shortcuts and duplication, the myriad of icons can be overwhelming when trying to locate something on the go; this challenge could be lessened after more time spent with the system.

Two distinct appearances are offered for the iX: Shadowline and Sport. The former serves as the base model for the lineup, priced at $86,545, including features such as a panoramic roof with electrochromic shading, a Connected Package Pro with data and telematics services, and the Active Driving Assistant (active cruise control with lane keep assist), catering to the rounded/hexagonal steering wheel design. For an additional $2,800, the Sport model offers 21-inch Aero bi-color wheels along with dark trim and taillights.

A $2,300 Convenience package supplements a head-up display, surround-view camera system, Harman Kardon surround sound, gesture and voice controls, and supplemental engine sounds. The $4,000 Premium package includes these elements in addition to multi-functional massage front seats, an interior camera, and a 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system. A standalone option is the $950 radiant heating package, while four-zone climate control is standard across the lineup.

The 2022 BMW iX50 is astounding, given what BMW has managed to achieve. Although BMW isn’t new to electric vehicles with the distinct i3, the company astutely applied the lessons learned during those formative years to all-electric vehicles as a whole. Those years of learning have paid off handsomely with the new 2022 BMW iX standing as a pinnacle of EV engineering in the automotive industry. The new iX is a remarkable vehicle that excels in every aspect—from cutting-edge technology and efficient, powerful powertrains to driving dynamics that herald the dawn of the next era in electric vehicles.

Image Source: letspicsit / Shutterstock

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