It had a carbon tub and divisive styling. It was like nothing wed ever seen before. We then had to wait. Eight whole years for their next effort, which was the x3, where they ripped out the diesel engine and plonked a big battery in its place. I might be under selling it a bit there because we actually really like that car, but now theres this, the bmw ix and its as if bmw have gone full circle because its a proper dedicated electric car, with its own platform and really impressive tech. Now, thats, all well and good, but since it was released, all people seem to be talking about is the way that it looks a little piggy, perhaps big, piggy, more like anyway thats enough of my styling descriptions. What we really want to know is whether this is the ultimate electric suv hit that thumbs up button and ill tell you. The ix is bmws electric flagship, its designed to wrap up all of the companys zero emissions know how into one all encompassing do it all package at launch. There are two trims sport and m sport, as well as two batteries to choose, from corresponding to an official range of between 249 and 373 miles. Prices are high, starting from just under 70 000 pounds. This one, even with the smaller battery, is closer to 82 000. As tested – and it has some pretty fancy – features such as the glass panoramic sunroof 22 inch wheels, electric sport seats and laser headlights, we did say that this was bmws tech flagship and its stuff, like that.

Thats proof, as is everything in here, weve, both complimented and criticized, bmw for being a bit familiar, but in here it feels fresh funky and minimalist its like everything we know and love, but with a 2022 stamp on it. This squared off shaped steering wheel, wont be for everyones taste, but you dont really notice it in normal use, and it does give you a good view of the fully digital instrument cluster behind probably the biggest departure from what we know and love is the removal of The climate controls and buttons from up here, theyre now all hidden away in this 14.9 inch touchscreen but all is not lost because you can adjust the heating via voice control and all the other bits and bobs can be accessed through the familiar idrive controller. Its all very responsive and the graphics are super crisp, but theres. No, avoiding the fact that the sheer amount of icons functions, sub menus can feel a bit overwhelming at first, especially if youre trying to use them on the move. Speaking of which, shall we see if the ix feels as futuristic to drive as it is to look at the two batteries correspond to the two different models on offer: the 322 brake horsepower x, drive 40 and the 516 brake horsepower x. Drive 50., as well as offering a bit more power. The 50 also gets a bigger battery and faster charging prices. Take a hike too youre. Looking at an extra 24 000 pounds over the basic car sport, cars come with 21 inch, alloy wheels, the two screens and an 18 speaker, harman kardon sound system as well as bmw safety systems like parking assistant and driving assistant professional.

The m sport spec is an extra three grand, but most of that goes on, trim, add ons and some beefier brakes. Really, though, if youre weighing up the two models and wondering whether youll appreciate all that extra shove, you really dont need it. This entry level x, drive 40 weve got here, will do zero to 62 miles per hour in 6.1 seconds, so its certainly not short on pulling power. The real reason youll want to step up for most people will be the prospect of being able to do 300 miles between charges, but if we remove that from the equation for a second to drive, this thing defies physics: it weighs more than 2.5 tonnes. But less said about that, the better thing is, the batteries are mounted so low that the center of gravity isnt as high as you might expect, and the result is a car, thats surprisingly fun to drive with the dampers set to sport. The ix controls its weight. Well and successfully limits the amount of roll you get in corners. The ix 50 comes with rear wheel, steering which does wonders for agility, but even without it, the way the ix handles is seriously impressive. The steering isnt full of feedback, but it is at least pinpoint perfect, so you can position the car exactly where you want it, which is important when its as wide as this thing is youll, probably be able to see from our tracking shots that im hovering near The white line, a bit which you seem to do a lot of in one of these things elsewhere refinement, is excellent.

If you dial back the dampers into comfort, then it manages to smooth out bumps and even disguise pretty big potholes, its impressive, as we mentioned earlier. How quickly you can charge your ix depends on which model you go for, but even the basic ix x, drive 40 manages to match the best cars in this segment. Thanks to the standard fit 150 kilowatt charging the ix x, drive 50 boosts that to 200 kilowatts, which, aside from models fitted with the latest 800 volt charging tech like the kia ev6 and the audi e tron gt its pretty much as quick as they come. Both models will manage a 10 to 80 charge in a little over half an hour, but those faster charging speeds mean more miles per minute in the x drive. 50.! Beware, though, that bigger battery means charging from a seven kilowatt home wall box takes almost 17 hours or more than two days on a three pin plug when it comes to real world range. Youre, looking at around 200 miles in the x drive 40 and comfortably closer to 300 in the x drive 50.. What doesnt change, depending on the model you go for is practicality. The boot is a good size, its not gargantuan like the tesla model xs or the audi e trons, but its perfectly usable. You can fold the seats down with the push of a button and when everything is flat, you get 1 750 litres plus theres space.

For the charge, cables underneath and whats this a tow bar on an electric car yeah, you can pull two and a half tons with this thing, so the ix is rated pretty highly for towing and given the performance, i imagine you wouldnt even feel towing, something like A caravan or a horse box until you looked at the range that is which i imagine would drop like a stone, and i also imagine all the faff when you come to a charger on hitch plug in i dont know i might be wrong, maybe well see A load of these lined up at ascot next year, who knows fold those seats back up manually, unfortunately, and youll find theres plenty of space in the back. Adults can stretch out no matter where theyre sitting with a generous amount of both leg and headroom in the rear, theres also a completely flat floor, so space for your feet. Ill be honest. I didnt think id love the bmw ix as much as i do. Many of these big heavy, relatively inefficient suvs, im thinking, mercedes eqc, audi e tron and the like feel as if theyve already had their day. But the ix is different. Yes, its still big and yes, its still heavy and yes, its still relatively inefficient, but its quiet. Its comfortable, its sharp to drive, packed with the most cutting edge tech and it can tow dont, you know, but seriously. If you can get past that slightly questionable styling and seriously high price tag, then theres a really talented electric car under the metal come on.

Bmw dont make us wait another eight years next time head to drivingelectric.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NIODg7co2A