2021 BMW iX review: is this the best electric SUV? | Auto Express
The ix is a brand new, bmw, x5 sized electric suv and, as you can see, it packs quite a punch with bmws fifth generation. Electric motors producing 516 brake horsepower its more powerful than the latest bmw m3 for more brand. New car reviews, like this be sure to subscribe, to auto, express but lets back it off for a second, because this is a very important car. This is bmws first car on their bespoke scalable ev architecture and its going to feature in a range of models coming up so really, however, good this car is gives us a very good indication of what to expect from bmw coming up in the future and first Things first, this is a very unusual car, its unconventional a lot of cars. These days, try to hide the fact that theyre an ev or try to sort of blend in with their surroundings, but this looking at the outside it certainly doesnt. You can make your own mind up on the styling. Let us know in the comments what you think, but its certainly distinctive theres. No denying that, but you get inside and straight away. Yeah its very unusual in here as well. Youve got no transmission tunnel. It feels nice and light and airy the scuttles, nice and low the dashboard slopes down to meet. You youve got good visibility, and this is a very big car. Its a large suv weighs well over two tons, so yeah its nice to be able to see where youre going and to position the car well on the road at 2.
5 tons. The ix is a monstrously heavy machine, even though the chassis is made from carbon, fiber and aluminium, but the generous dimensions do at least provide decent levels of space with more than enough room in the back for six foot passengers, the rear mounted electric motor does intrude On boot capacity, though, which at 500 liters is more than 20 smaller than the x5, but well talk a bit more about the cabin later, but the first thing you notice, when you set off in the ix, is quite incredible levels of refinement. I mean look, we just went over a railway bridge and didnt even feel it. The ride is serene. This is a bmw. Obviously, bmw has a heritage of making really sporty focused cars, but the chassis and the architecture and the structure of this car and the setup as well. They feel very well judged the cars nice and supple, its not wallowing around all over the place. This is a big suv, but its still tightly controlled, but it just manages to smother bumps that you really wouldnt expect, and it just feels incredibly high quality in terms of the chassis and, of course, this is an electric car, so theres, no exhaust noise, theres, no Rattly diesel engine under the bonnet, it is whisper quiet, but if you do want a little bit of noise well, you can dive into the menu on the infotainment system and enable what bmw calls iconic sounds now.
In my opinion, it just sounds like youre on a tube in london, but it does give the car a little bit of extra character if you want it, but to me anyway, because of the serene lovely refined ride and the lack of engine noise. I think this car suits being relaxed and you should sort of bask in that silence and really enjoy it, and it just feels like a really pleasurable high quality way to travel a long distance. So the ix feels nicely polished on the move, even though that big slab nose front end does introduce some wind noise at motorway speeds, but of course, bmw. The tagline is the ultimate driving machine and looking at this car, i mean its well over two tons, its a high riding suv, youre, not going to expect it to live up to the tagline and, to be honest, it doesnt its not a super engaging car. You wouldnt expect that, but i will say that the dynamic quality is very impressive. So, for example, the steering its totally lifeless its an electrically assisted rack, so youd expect that. But one thing it is: is accurate and thats very important when youre driving a large car like this, it means that you can place it between the white lines without worrying about the thing, and it just feels smaller than it is, which is very useful. You can stick the steering in sport, which adds a bit of artificial weight, but it always feels synthetic and it never gives you true information of the front axle.
So right now were just driving down the road in silence. Weve got a lovely huge infotainment screen. Weve got a bose and wilkins hi fi. If you want to play some music as well, but all of a sudden all hell breaks loose when you hit the throttle wow, this thing is incredibly fast. 516 horsepower i mean were used to very high power evs these days, but a car like this and a car of this size to move like that, its just outrageous to me its totally nuts, the way it picks up and it carries on pulling when youre up To 50 or 60 miles an hour, its really strong youve got 765 newton meters of torque. The overtaking power yeah is very strong. With this car claim, performance figures for the x drive 50 version. We drove are naught to 62 miles an hour in 4.6 seconds, with a limited top speed of 124 miles an hour thanks to the instant torque. It feels a chunk quicker than those figures and on the autobahn, the ix bows into its limited top speed with power to spare, so youve built up all that speed and now youre arriving at a corner and well. This car has lots of different regeneration settings. So you can go into the menu and choose between low, moderate and high regen settings, and that really affects the way the car responds. When you let off the throttle in the high settings, its almost like youre brushing the brakes its quite a severe deceleration.
So it can make making progress on a nice country road quite entertaining actually because you never touch the brake youre just hovering on and off the gas and the car is sort of slowing down for you, so thats pretty nice. So if we go to sport mode, we get firmer dampers, we get increased response from the powertrain and yeah its, not exactly a hot hatch, but you get more roll support and the car is willing to be hustled. You dont really want to push it properly hard, because then you feel the weight start to move around. Of course, that mass is still there, and even though this car has a very low center of gravity because of those floor mounted batteries yeah, it does wallow a bit and you do sort of unsettle the car, and it feels a bit wayward when youre pushing really Hard but again, that is not what this car is about. Its a bmw but its a refined, bmw and youre meant to do long, distance, cruising comfort and with lots of tech and lots of refinement as well. And it really fits that brief. And when you do back off, you have a much better chance of getting close to the xdrive 50s claimed range of 380 miles after a 154 mile drive with a mix of motorway cruising city driving and b road blasting, the ix gave an indicated range of 170 Miles with 49 battery remaining with 195 kilowatt rapid charging capability, an extra 90 miles can be added in just 10 minutes.
The key to that long, distance prowess is this new cabin and, like i said before, this is a really interesting looking nice place to sit and even though there arent buttons everywhere, theres a lot of tech and its all embedded in this new idrive infotainment system. So youve got two big crystal clear displays, one for the gauge cluster and one for the main infotainment screen, and i have to say there is a lot of information going on here and its a touch screen. You can quickly swipe, through the menus, its all nice and responsive, but yeah theres, just a lot of info and a lot of sub menus to navigate and when youre driving a big, fast car like this, it can be a little bit distracting and the gauges themselves. I mean bmw recently moved to this sort of hexagonal arrangement with the dials and its just much less clear. At 92 000 pounds the ix x, drive 50 does not come cheap, but if you can get past the looks, then this is a very compelling package with strong range, a quality interior and blistering pace.