2022 BMW iX xDrive50

2022 BMW iX xDrive50

The BMW iX is brand new for 2022. This all-electric luxury SUV (or Sports Activity Vehicle, as BMW calls it) checks all the boxes in delivering what you’d expect in a high-end EV. It’s got peppy handling, a beautiful cabin, lots of tech and a range of 324 miles. However, it’s expensive with one of the highest starting prices in the class.

Base Price: $83,200
As Tested: $101,020
Horsepower: 516
Mileage: 86 MPGe city/84 MPGe highway/86 MPGe combined

It comes in one trim: iX xDrive50 starting at $83,200. Prices can climb in a hurry with the addition of packages and options. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is standard. There’s room for five passengers.

The iX xDrive50 is powered by two electric motors that crank out 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. A single-speed automatic transmission is standard.

While the iX isn’t quite the “ultimate driving machine” that some other BMW models are, it’s darn close. It’s quick – BMW says it can hustle from zero to 60 mpg in just 4.4 seconds. Accelerating at higher speeds is a breeze as well – the moment you touch the accelerator, the iX eagerly picks up the pace. The ride is smooth – the iX glides down the highway so you’ll barely notice bumps and rough roads. With a relatively low center of gravity, the iX corners well with little body roll. Choose from three modes – Personal, Sport and Efficient – to tailor the driving style to your liking. The regenerative brakes have a pretty normal feel. They too have different settings, including one-pedal driving.

BMW says the iX can go up to 324 miles on a charge. I was able to get as much as 365 miles by turning off climate and having a relaxed driving style. It takes about 10.5 hours to charge using a Level 2 (240-volt) outlet. With a Level 3 DC Fast Charging station, it can go from a 10% charge to 80% in about 40 minutes, or about 90 miles of range in only 10 minutes. If you plug into a regular 120-volt household plug, it can take a whopping 100 hours to complete.

BMW provides EV customers with two years of 30-minute complimentary charging sessions at all Electrify America public charging stations, from the date of vehicle purchase.

The sumptuous cabin is beautiful with an open, airy feeling and includes several recycled and/or sustainable materials. The iX is loaded with up-to-the-minute tech and controls are logically laid out. Seats are supportive and comfortable, even on long drives. There’s plenty of leg- and headroom for taller adults in both rows of seating. The second row does not have a hump on the floor which provides more room for backseat passengers, especially in the middle seat.

Standard features include push button start, rearview camera, quad-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, infotainment system with 14.9-inch touchscreen, navigation, 12-speaker hi-fi audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, and panoramic sunroof.

Available features include a head-up display, surround-view camera system, cloth upholstery, real leather upholstery, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated steering wheel, heated front armrests, in-cabin camera (so you can take selfies on your journey!), 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and 30-speaker Bowers and Wilkins surround-sound audio system.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, parallel and perpendicular park assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, active protection (tightens seat belts and rolls up windows if an imminent crash is detected), and vehicle exit warning (this activates when a vehicle or cyclist is approaching the iX at speed and there’s a risk of collision with the side of the vehicle).

Available driver assistance technologies include evasive steering assist and traffic jam assist.

The infotainment system is the latest version of BMW’s iDrive 8 system with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and huge 14.9-inch touchscreen that’s angled toward the driver. Graphics are sharp and look great. You can control the system with the touchscreen, a touchpad controller between the two front seats, your voice, steering wheel controls, and also with your hand gestures. For example, making clockwise or counterclockwise circles with your index finger will turn the volume up or down. Yes, it’s gimmicky but fun! There is a learning curve with this infotainment system, but it becomes easy to use with practice.

There’s ample cargo space with 35.5 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 77.9 cubes with the rear seats folded. A power liftgate is standard. Unlike some EVs, the iX does not have a frunk (front trunk).

The good:

Dynamic handling

Quick acceleration

Smooth ride

Range of more than 300 miles

Beautiful and spacious cabin

Up-to-the-minute tech

Lots of standard and available features

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Expensive pricing even for a luxury EV SUV

No frunk (front trunk)

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $83,200. Amido perforated leather is $2,450. Dynamic Handling package is $1,600 and adds two-axle air suspension. The Premium Package is $4,000 and includes multi-functional seats, interior camera, Iconic Sounds Electric, Parking Assistant Plus, Bowers & Wilkins sound system, personal eSIM 5G, Live Cockpit Pro (with head-up display), natural interaction and surround view camera with 3D view. 22-inch Air Performance bi-color wheels are $1,900. BMW Individual Titanium Bronze is $500. Radiant Heating Package is $950. Front ventilated seats are $500. Active Driving Assistant Pro is $1,700. Destination charge is $995. My tester does not have passenger lumbar settings so there’s a discount of $175. The grand total is $101,020.

Bottom line:

The first electric SUV from BMW is impressive. The 2022 iX has sporty handling, a cushy ride, sumptuous cabin, plenty of room for passengers and cargo, is loaded with tech, and can go upwards of 300 miles on a charge. Yes, it’s expensive but still offers good value in the class.