The BMW iX is the continuation of the i3 by other means: an SUV with sometimes a little too much avant-garde claim, but a full range – and proof that a speed limit in Germany would not be fun for electric drivers either.

If you really want to give a really harmonious party a boost, you only have to address a currently sensitive topic. For example: sing “Layla” or not? Meat or vegan? Gender, yes or no? Camps will quickly form and perhaps in the summer heat the first beer bottles will soon be flying. If you then want to go one better, just show them a new BMW model and ask: “Ugly or awesome?”

Because more polarization than the current BMW design is not really possible. Whole Twitter battles erupt over extra-wide kidneys, buck tooth-shaped grills or horizontally split headlights. When I once told a press man at a BMW driving event that I thought the car was the ugliest BMW of all time, the lack of understanding was of course great. But if you look at it from a distance, you can say that a completely new BMW model should probably look like this. The iX is almost the continuation of the i3 by other means.

Just like the first modern electric vehicle from Bavaria, the i3, the iX is also avant-garde. In the electric SUV, peppered with all sorts of sharp-edged shapes, surfaces and triangles, you feel like you’re in an expressionist painting, the doors have strange corners – which is sometimes really uncomfortable when getting in and out – and the cubist-inspired electric Of course not a hum of weight either.

E-cars, e-bikes, solar systems, charging stations, e-calculator

But the cockpit is almost like in a show car. Large fabric-covered surfaces, a wooden control panel, an enormous, continuous footwell. A large monitor is squarely emblazoned behind the strangely flattened steering wheel, and there are only a few classic switches. The center console, which protrudes twice into the interior, offers space for the smartphone with inductive charging cradle in the lower part; you can also “park” the phone upright in a recess in the upper part.

The wooden surface with the touch-sensitive buttons with tiny letters is not really clear, and the functions are impossible to read while driving. We also noticed that the glass rotary pushbutton control looks chic and works well, as is typical for BMW, but gets extremely hot while driving – so that it sometimes feels uncomfortable. The rotary control for the volume placed underneath is also annoying, because due to its shape, you often simply press the “mute” mode while driving and can only be difficult to turn louder or quieter. Fortunately, there is redundant operation on the steering wheel.

The infotainment system with the large monitor is really good – albeit very different from Tesla. The tiles can be arranged as desired, parts like the map can be minimized or maximized. The instruments, also completely digital, are perfectly complemented by the head-up display, which makes navigation easier in a much larger area than the previous system.

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This is how the new flagship from Munich works:

However, it’s not as if you’d somehow miss performance in the iX 50. Although the car always has the shortcoming of its steep weight in curves (empty already 2.5 tons), the lightning-fast reacting electric all-wheel drive, the all-wheel steering that is standard in this model and the air suspension still ensure an overall sovereign road holding.

The iX is too heavy and too big for an agile curve hunter, but it’s at its best on the autobahn. With a wide track and a low center of gravity thanks to the battery pack in the underbody, the car glides stably over the track, at full throttle it rushes forward without any delay – and with a very subtle simulated “upshift noise”, if the sound mode is activated. It’s over at 200 km/h, but you can get over it, because above that it would be very inefficient for an electric SUV.

But the iX proves that fast driving and electric drive are excellent partners, because while we relaxedly commuted between 150 and 200 km/h on an empty motorway, consumption did not skyrocket as much as feared. Since there are always speed limits and trucks chasing after phases anyway, our overall average for city/countryside/freeway at the end of the test period was a little over 21 kWh / 100 km. That’s not much more than the factory specification (19.8 kWh) and a good value for such an electric drum.

Of course, the total range varies depending on the driving profile and the official 630 km can only be achieved with a lot of city traffic (in contrast to the combustion engine, the e-car has advantages here). But even if you drive a little faster in between, a total range of at least 500 kilometers for a roughly third mix city/countryside/highway is always achievable in practice.

Our partner portal determined the iX’s autobahn range separately: “The 116.3 kilowatt hours that flow through the connection when charging from zero to 100 percent are sufficient for autobahn driving (130 km/h) for 360 kilometers – after all, exactly the value that we determined for the Tesla Model X at spring temperatures. The BMW consumed a smooth 32 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers. In the EFAHRER test database, we subtract a calculated heating output of two kWh per 100 kilometers – the range is then calculated as 385 kilometers. The iX thus surpasses the values ​​of the Tesla Model X (motorway range: 360 km), but has to line up clearly behind Mercedes EQS (up to 480 km) and its smaller group brother BMW i4 (405 km),” according to

The iX also impresses with its charging capacity. BMW promises a charging capacity of up to 200 kW at DC charging stations. In our charging tests, there was a large scatter in the achievable maximum values: Most of the time, the power rose to around 175 kW below a 40 percent charge level, and when charging with an Ionity fast charger, we reached a peak value of 192 kW. More important than the short-term peak value, however, is how long a high charging power is maintained. And that’s where the iX does very well: The charging power remains well over 100 kW up to a charge level of over 70 percent. Overall, this means that the giant battery is charged to 80 percent in 34 minutes.

Also worth mentioning is the recuperation (brake energy recovery), which can be fully automated in the BMW if desired. By using the navigation data and “learning” the driver profile, recuperation works so well that manual intervention is almost never necessary. The system always adjusts them to the right intensity.

And what else can the iX do? With its space it goes through as a family car, whereby the trunk volume (500 liters) is rather tight for an almost five meter long SUV. The equipment is decent, although there is still room for improvement despite the proud basic price of 100,000 euros. In any case, you should not do without the head-up display. The list of options for the iX is not very long – at least by BMW standards. Our test car came to a list price of 119,090 euros.

The doors with their electric push button are really annoying. There is a – hidden – manual emergency release, but why BMW thought they had to copy Tesla here is incomprehensible. Because actually the iX is more characterized by the fact that it represents BMW’s own interpretation of e-mobility and is not a “Me Too” car that necessarily wants to be a Tesla.

With the iX, BMW has actually managed to stand up to Tesla. The practical range is very good, the power impressive and the driving comfort as well. You have to like the avant-garde styling inside and out, the service has weaknesses. The BMW, which costs 100,000 euros, is in a much higher league than Tesla in terms of workmanship and material quality. BMW also competes with itself with the car, especially the in-house plug-in hybrids seem somehow superfluous with a car like the iX. Incidentally, the basic model iX 40 xDrive with a range of 426 km costs “only” 77,300 euros, but it shouldn’t really be an alternative to an X3 or X5 with a diesel engine for frequent drivers.

The BMW iX remains the new flagship of the Munich company that the group now has to “downscale” to other vehicle classes. But it shows that BMW has largely regained the lead it has lost in electronics in recent years.