2022 BMW iX

Compare insurance prices:
Save an average of $440
Free Quote

2022 BMW iX First Drive Review: Electrified Serenity

BMW's first attempt at an electric car, the i3, didn't go over too well in the United States. Shoppers here don't see tiny hatchbacks as luxurious, so when the more conventional Tesla Model 3 arrived at a similar price point, it was basically game over for the diminutive city car. BMW has gone back to the drawing board for its next electric vehicle phase, and this time, it appears to have succeeded. The 2022 BMW iX is a new electric crossover that's roughly the same size as an X5, a vehicle that's sold well for several decades.

The iX arrives in Q1 2022, but CarBuzz had an early opportunity to drive the new EV in Germany. We were thrown the keys to an iX xDrive50i, the first model coming to the US, to tackle the Munich traffic and meander the scenic mountain roads leading to the Austrian border. We were a bit torn on the iX based on its controversial styling, but our trepidation quickly dissipated after our first test drive. The iX is a genuine luxury car.

Is the 2022 BMW iX a good SUV?

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
What is BuzzScore?

Best Deals on iX

2022 BMW iX Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

See all Trims and Specs

2022 BMW iX BMW
2022 BMW iX 1 BMW
2022 BMW iX 2 BMW
2022 BMW iX 3 BMW

Exterior Design: Does The Grille Matter?

Much like the M4, the iX could be a tough sell for certain buyers who don't like BMW's recent design direction. Though it doesn't need a grille to suck in air, BMW wanted to make the iX look cohesive with its model lineup, resulting in massive kidneys upfront. Rather than breathe in air, the kidney grille serves as an "intelligence panel," housing the cameras, radars, and other sensors. Though it's not our favorite design element, we don't think the grille should distract you from what is otherwise an avant garde design that brings BMW styling forward.

Measuring in at 195 inches with a 118.1-inch wheelbase, the iX is roughly the same size as an X5 and almost the same height as the coupe-like X6. Futuristic exterior elements include flush electric door handles, high-gloss black trim, and unique wheels measuring 20, 21, or 22 inches with available blue brake calipers.

2022 BMW iX 4 BMW
2022 BMW iX 5 BMW
2022 BMW iX 6 BMW
2022 BMW iX 7 BMW

Performance And Range: Matching A V8

Upon launch in the US, BMW only mentions one available drivetrain, the xDrive50i. Following the convention of its gas-powered models, the xDrive50i produces roughly the same output as the company's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. The iX features two electric motors, which combine to send 516 horsepower and 564 lb-ft out to all four wheels. With instant thrust from the electric motors, the iX rockets up to 60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds. A quicker M60 variant is expected later next year with over 600 hp, and BMW will offer an xDrive40i model producing 326 hp and a 6.1-second 0-60 mph time in Europe. Unfortunately, BMW says it has no plans to sell this lesser iX in the US.

While traveling on Germany's legendary autobahn, we had the chance to test BMW's claimed 124 mph top speed. On the derestricted sections, we saw the speedometer reach 203 kph (approximately 126 mph). The iX rockets off the line and doesn't start to slow down until you reach around 80 mph. Beyond that, the acceleration tapers dramatically, something we don't expect to happen with the upcoming M60 model.

2022 BMW iX 8 BMW
2022 BMW iX 9 BMW
2022 BMW iX 10 BMW
2022 BMW iX 11 BMW

The xDrive50i includes a massive 111.5 kWh battery (106.3 kWh usable), enabling a 300-mile EPA-estimate range. That's not far off the Tesla Model X and its 360-mile quoted range. The slower xDrive40i gets a smaller battery, which should land it at around 250 miles on the EPA test cycle. BMW says the iX supports charging up to 195 kW, slower than some rivals from Audi and Tesla. Though it's not the quickest charger on the market, the iX should recoup around 90 miles in just ten minutes of DC fast-charging, going from 10-80% battery in under 40 minutes. All iX owners will receive a $100 credit to use on EVgo chargers. On a Level 2 AC charger at home, the iX should go from 0 to 100% battery in under eleven hours.

BMW uses advanced cooling and heating circuits to keep the battery at optimum temperatures. It can extract heat from the drive units to warm up the high-voltage battery in cold temperatures, or use a two-level cooling module to keep it from getting too hot. This high-tech thermal management ensures quicker charge times and more consistent battery range than some competing EVs.

2022 BMW iX 12 BMW
2022 BMW iX 13 BMW
2022 BMW iX 14 BMW
2022 BMW iX 15 BMW

Interior Design: The Future Is Bright (And Blingy)

The exterior may have some controversial elements, but the interior is the best we've seen from BMW in a long time. Putting this cabin in the same league as the Model X would be an insult to BMW's designers, who have created a luxury masterpiece. Various elements such as the glass roof, open center console design, and flat floor give the iX an airy, spacious feeling inside. Our test model packed the optional blue leather with intricate diamond quilting, but the iX is also available with a funky partial cloth/suede seat that looks ultra-modern. Our one complaint - these seats don't have enough side bolstering to deal with how well the iX handles through tight corners.

Making up for the lack of side-hugging seats, the iX cabin features stellar attention to detail and the most unique material choices we've seen in a luxury cabin. An optional package replaces the seat and iDrive controls with flashy crystal, and the iDrive control panel with wood. This cabin is an interior designer's dream.

2022 BMW iX 16 BMW
2022 BMW iX 17 BMW
2022 BMW iX 18 BMW
2022 BMW iX 19 BMW

Backing up excellent interior design, BMW's engineers went overboard filling the iX with new technology. The highlight is a new iDrive 8 system, which lives on a beautiful curved display. As with previous iDrive systems, this new version features the traditional rotating controller, a touchscreen, or voice commands. BMW took our advice and introduced programable activation phrases, so you can now say funny expressions like "Hey Jarvis" to initiate a voice command. More importantly, BMW fixed our biggest gripe with the control display in front of the steering wheel. It's now far more customizable and can even project maps from CarPlay and Android Auto.

As standard, the iX includes a Harman Kardon Surround Sound audio system with 18 speakers and 655 watts. We tested the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System packing 30 speakers and 1,615 watts, with a 4D function that vibrates speakers in the seats with the music. The sheer level of technology can be overwhelming here, and we wish BMW would have kept a few more physical controls for the climate and radio presets intact.

2022 BMW iX 20 BMW
2022 BMW iX 21 BMW
2022 BMW iX 22 BMW

Cargo Space: Aiming For X5

BMW hasn't provided any EPA measurements for the iX, but says cargo space is comparable to an X5. The seats fold with a 40-20-40 split and include electronic switches to drop them from the second row or the trunk. Underneath the trunk floor, there's a bit of hidden space to house a charging cable. However, there is no "frunk" as you get in some EVs. That area is taken up by electronics, though there is a clever washer fluid cap hidden under the BMW badge. As for the rear seats, they feel very spacious thanks to the flat floor with generous leg and headroom. Riders in the back get their own climate controls, USB-C ports, and special slots to mount a coat hanger or iPad holder.

2022 BMW iX 23 BMW
2022 BMW iX 24 BMW
2022 BMW iX 25 BMW
2022 BMW iX 26 BMW

Driving Impressions: Silent Cocoon

Despite its rapid acceleration times, the iX is tuned more for silent luxury. The steering is relaxed in the standard Efficient mode, and the optional air suspension on our tester kept the ride supple. It's worth noting that Germany's roads are notoriously smooth, so we'll have to get the iX on familiar roads to tell how comfortable it truly is. Place the iX into Sport mode, and it sharpens up significantly. The steering becomes more direct, changing direction on-center with more immediacy. With the low center of gravity from the floor-mounted batteries, the iX can take corners at outrageous speeds that would flummox a gas-powered crossover.

BMW iX models with the Air Performance wheels feature special noise-reduction tires that keep the cabin quiet, creating a serene luxury experience. Buyers who miss the hum from an internal combustion engine may enjoy the BMW IconicSounds feature, which pumps in a low hum from the speakers when you mash the accelerator in Sport mode. This sound was created in a partnership with Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, and is sure to impress your friends.

2022 BMW iX 27 BMW
2022 BMW iX 28 BMW
2022 BMW iX 29 BMW
2022 BMW iX 30 BMW

Price & Trims: Premium Feel

BMW has only announced pricing for the xDrive50i trim level, which starts at $83,200 (not including a $995 destination fee). This puts it well below the Model X's $99,990 starting price, and that's before factoring in the BMW's $7,500 federal tax credit availability that's already run out for Tesla. The Audi e-tron is less expensive starting at $65,900, but features less standard power and range than the iX.

As with any BMW, tacking on expensive options will likely drive the price well above the $90,000. That's a lot of money to spend on any vehicle, but we think the iX justifies it with plenty of range, gobs of power, a luscious cabin, and more technology than a Japanese arcade. Yes, the Tesla is quicker and offers longer range, but comparing these two cars on quality and luxury is a seriously one-sided affair with BMW in a different league.

2022 BMW iX 31 BMW
2022 BMW iX 32 BMW
2022 BMW iX 33 BMW
2022 BMW iX 34 BMW

Verdict: A New Era Begins

It may be hard to sell people on the BMW iX because of the controversial grille, but we think this shouldn't be a deterring factor. Moving past what is admittedly a polarizing styling element, BMW has crafted an excellent vehicle that should convince more people to purchase their first EV. The iX experience is similar to an X5, but in many ways, it's even better. BMW produces its best cabin possibly of all time, and the technology inside the cabin is now class-leading.

300 miles on a charge seems sufficient for the average driver, who likely has another gas-powered BMW in the garage for the 10 days per year where the EV would be inconvenient. If you've been waiting for a premium EV and aren't sold on Tesla's build quality or Audi's range, the BMW iX is coming, and it deserves your attention - but maybe don't look at it from the front.

2022 BMW iX 35 BMW
2022 BMW iX 36 BMW
2022 BMW iX 37 BMW
2022 BMW iX 38 BMW

BMW iX Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2022 BMW iX:

To Top