its finally here – and it is one of three full electric models that we can expect to see in south Africa in 2022, this is the bmw ix. More specifically, the x drive 40 model. It is based on the 2018i next vision concept and its achingly similar, but i dont know if i like it. The bmw ix is the size of an x5 in length and width. It stands about as tall as a bmw x6, but then it has bmw, x7 sized wheels and a bmw, x7 sized grille, and i dont know that. I, like that, and i use the term grille loosely because, while being an electric vehicle, it doesnt actually need a grille. So this is just a panel up front here. It actually houses a lot of the safety and driver assistance sensors. They have given it the bmw laser lights in a very narrow design, very similar to that vision. I next concept i dont like the front end, though it really does just look like darth vaders mask, especially when you have it in black. If you have it in a different color, these lower sections these pieces here and down the side are going to remain black and then it offers a little bit of contrast. This is a little too well diplomatic. They come in a few different packages, so weve got 21 inch wheels here. Ordinarily, theyll be 20 inch. Wheels. Weve also got this bronze trim package, which isnt standard on all of the ixes its that trim package option that youre allowed to get.

I do like the door handles, they are flush and aerodynamic, and this vehicle actually is very aerodynamic. Its got a very low coefficient of drag. You just simply slide your hand in underneath here and push a button and it opens up, and then the doors are frameless. Both front and rear uh nicely lifted from subaru there. We come down the side, and this waistline in this bronze goldy trim that weve got here, flows all the way up to the ix badge at the rear. This is very reminiscent of that vision. Next concept, theyve actually been very, very true to that concept. Even around the back. When you come around the back well, things are a little more attractive. Youve got these beautiful, slimline tail lights, very true to that eye. Next vision, concept with indicator elements inside it and it is a 3d style tail light that wraps around weve once again got this bronze styling to the badging at the rear ix and x drive 40. There. Bmw badge has a blue ring around it because its electric and theres the reverse camera hidden inside of it. Now the ix 40 only has one camera, a reverse camera, theres, no camera in front, unless, of course, you specified as part of a package the rear end. Definitely looks a little better and i think thats, because its still a little bit familiar, you see theyve, given it these almost exhaust, like diffuser elements down at the bottom, and that just well makes it feel familiar you see, electric vehicles could just be a pod on Wheels they dont conform to traditional internal combustion, design and engineering, so you could have a really weird looking car, but you dont theyve, kept it somewhat familiar and somewhat traditional, so that people will still buy it and it doesnt seem too foreign.

If its too strange people will discard it straight away, open up the tailgate, full electric tailgate, naturally, and no gas struts, it does reveal the carbon fiber reinforced plastic tub that they use much of the vehicles. Construction is carbon fiber, reinforced plastic. This is super strong and super lightweight to offset the weight of the batteries and the electric motors theyre going to be using this platform. The clar modular platform, which is pretty much like a lego, set for many of the ev suvs going forward. Although i shouldnt call it an suv because bmw calls it an sav, a sports activity vehicle and they stay true to that by giving you this, it takes a little while to come out but simple push of a button and we get a tow bar thats right. Its one of the few electric vehicles that is actually rated to tow and is rated up to 2.5 tonnes and thats fantastic in here youre also going to get buttons to drop the seats forward, but without them folded forward youre going to get 500 liters of boot Space here the floor sits relatively high and theres a little bit of storage underneath, but that is consumed with your cargo net and your charging cables. We didnt get a charging brick so well. Its charging stations for us overall rather nice, and definitely the better side of the exterior. The really interesting bit, though, is the interior. When you climb, inside its a real radical departure from what we know, bmw to be remember how i was saying they dont have to conform to traditional engineering.

Well, that means that they can almost redesign the interior as well and as such we dont have a transmission tunnel, so that usual area that wed have here is missing. Its step through weve now got this floating console, which is very starship enterprise below it cup holders. Usbc, ports and wireless charging and thats only the start of the tech. The bit thats really going to grab your attention is the display screen this curved screen that has two screens 14.9 inch for the controls there and for the instruments and information 12.3 inch. It is a touch system, it also has voice control, gesture control and, of course, an idrive controller finished off in this jeweled plastic here with the similar treatment for the volume control and the gear selector, which is just a little toggle, thats kind of like the new Golf, but a bit of a traditional take on things where the jaguar eye pace just had push buttons. That jeweling also happens with the seat controls which have now been moved up onto the door. The memory function, if you select that option, would also be up top here on the door the door handles, though well they dont really exist. Theres a grab handle but theres no handle handle rather theres a push button that opens the doors much like the bmw i8. Rather entertaining getting people in the car for the first time and seeing them figure out how to get out, they have provided an emergency handle down at the bottom.

Here, though, in case you do run out of power, so you dont need to worry about getting trapped in the vehicle. Bmw has placed a lot of emphasis on keeping things sustainable, so theyre completely open and transparent, with the way that they mine the lithium and the way that they source the lithium for the batteries. And then things like the interior materials well theyre trying to use as many recycled materials as possible. Thirty percent of what you can see and touch on the door cords is recycled, but nearly the whole of the structure is recycled. The nylon that they use in the floor mats on the carpeting well thats, 100 recycled material with a lot of it actually coming from old fishing nets. When it comes to the liver upholstery, they say that that is responsibly sourced and then dyed and tanned with olive oil or olive tree leaves something of the salts any case its responsible and, i think, thats fantastic. It really is a responsible way. Even this little wood piece here that sort of reclaimed – wood, its environmentally friendly, so its admirable from bmw that theyre going that way, but lets turn our attention. Now to this infotainment, the bmw ix uses bmws latest operating system os 8 and frankly, i think theyve missed the mark a little bit, as is customary with first releases. They need to iron out a few of the bugs and i dont really think there are bugs per se more than just ux oversights.

If you go into it, youve got so many different apps and it makes sense. I understand why they did it, but the execution is lacking a little bit trying to find the setting for the thing that youre trying to change or the area where you set. It is sometimes really difficult. So you end up using bmws, intelligent personal assistant, which frankly isnt all that good, either yeah theres a couple of other manufacturers out there that have it dialed in bmw, not quite just yet not with the south african accent. Youll end up fiddling through here to try and find the app and the setting that youre looking for, does have a tiled display for the home screen and you can customize it adding widgets and rearranging them to make things a little more familiar or to just display The ones that you interact with most frequently it does come with android, auto and apple carplay. So if we go up there and thats great because well were using a lot of our navigation and that from our phones anyway, but im led to believe that the onboard navigation is rather good. Theyve included all the climate controls up here and you need to tap to go into the menu if you really want to set things, but you can also just push here to change it. I do quite like those because you will see that the blue lines now moving off to the side, letting you know that its actually doing cooling when its heating up the cabin, then youll see a red line moving off to the other side.

So you know what the vehicle is doing and whether its consuming power or not well its going to be consuming power, whether its cooling or heating. But you know what kind of power its consuming the driver display youve got sort of three different looks to go for there and you can change the information that shows up the bit that i battled with, and what led me to believe that this system is rather Intricate is, i just wanted to reset my trip and that required me having to ask the assistant, because i just couldnt find it in this menu here, which one is it going to be under? Is it going to be under displays driving settings service which one is it going to be under? It does take you a little while before you get to know it. Of course there is gesture control, so you can select your different songs answer calls skip stations and, of course, youve got your idrive control down here, which weve already spoken about, but the steering wheel itself is actually rather interesting and youve got steering wheel controls here, theyve Simplified this as well theyve simplified the whole steering wheel in fact, and theyve removed one of the spokes. So its only a two spoke steering wheel, but the biggest change is the fact that its hexagonal and at first you sit. Then you say oh thats, a little too different. I remember how i was saying if its too different people dont like it, give it a chance, because it actually feels great in the hands here at your ten and two position, its sort of flat, and it gives it the feeling thats a nice large steering wheel When, in actual fact, its fairly small the controls, sometimes a little fiddly to use are not quite as intuitive, this 40 drive doesnt have adaptive cruise control, but it does still have cruise control and those controls sit over here.

You can change the information that you want. There, but you dont, really need to worry about that too much, because the heads up display is actually fantastic, gives a beautifully crisp display on the windscreen projected on the road so that you dont have to divert your eyes down to the screen. All the time you can just sort of lower it from where youre actually looking ahead. One of the fun tech party pieces is the electrochromatic roof. Now this is a full gloss panel without any blinds, but you can make it frosted with the push of a button and thats rather fantastic ive been wondering why its taken so long for people to come up with it just pass. Some current through an electrochromatic panel and its going to do that. You could even do it on the side windows but any case. Bmw has finally executed it. The future is now, and it works really well, and even though it is fully gloss and there arent any blinds, it does reflect a lot of the uv rays. So the cabin stays fairly cool cool, little toy that but lets take a look in the back, because the ix actually has a lot of space climbing to the back and it feels like a limousine. Not only is it spacious, its comfortable too, once again that flat floor means that theres no transmission tunnel, so you can comfortably seat five adults here with loads of leg. Room theyve also kept this console floating to increase the legroom for this center passenger.

It sits just below the climate controls and its got four zone: climate controls with vents in the center console here and in the sides. Alongside the speakers and, of course, that push button exit dont worry, you can lock the rear doors from the front. Itll, lock the windows and the doors, so it is kitty safe. You dont need to worry about them playing or bumping into that as theyre bouncing around in the back here. Behind each of the front seats are two usbc charging ports, and that also keeps things nice and free here and keeps the cables up. High youve got accessory mounts and hooks there for trays tables, hangers theres a whole bunch of stuff on the bmw website. Accessories that you can buy, but then theres little touches that really make it feel, like theyve, considered the type of journey that youre going to be going on everything from the pocket here to the hooks up top here, theres the cargo net hook up top there and Theres another hook over here that just rotates out, so you can hang things like your jackets or dresses or whatever it is that youre needing to hang up and keep out of the way you can do that its the legroom, the leg rooms rather impressive. You dont sit too high up it. Doesnt look like youre leaning over the shoulders of the front passengers and weve got cupholders hidden away, so weve got hidden away.

Cupholders that keeps the armrest nice and clear means you can actually use it. Headrest in the center folds down increasing visibility in the back here and, of course, weve got three inertia, reel seat belts and isofix mountings for the child seats on both the outers airbags at the rear. This vehicle actually has six airbags and a host of safety systems. So it is rather safe. They have taken families into consideration here and made the ix a rather safe vehicle, as they have to in this day and age. Thats all the nitty gritty stuff or the pretty stuff, rather i would say, were going to get into the oily bits but theres. So few moving parts lets just see how it drives. I really do love filming in an ev, its so wonderfully quiet. We get some crisp audio here and it really is quiet in this bmw ix. We can turn on a artificial, sound through the iconic sounds. Then it sounds a bit like the jetsons believe it or not. These sounds have been designed by the legendary musical score composer hunts. Zimmer suppose times are tough. The bmw ix x, drive 40 has two electric motors one on the front axle and one on the rear axle combined. They will give you 240 kilowatts of power and 630 newton meters of torque 40 of that comes from the front. Motor 60 of that comes from the rear motor making. This ix, all wheel, drive but rear wheel, drive biased, and that means that the ix feels like a bmw.

The steering feels like a bmw as do the brakes, and the brakes are really really good. You do have regenerative, braking that you can activate, and then you can do. One pedal driving lifting off of the throttle will see the brakes applied. This helps recharge the batteries, but it also means that well, things are simplified. It takes a little bit of time to get used to, but once you do its brilliant, it really is effortless. These motors receive their power from a 76.6 kilowatt hour battery thats in the x drive 40.. The x drive 50 has a larger battery pack and its also got more power and more torque. This power is good for a 0 to 100 of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 200 kilometers an hour. It is limited, but thats more than enough. This definitely isnt going to be the racy version, thatll be the 50 actually thatll, be the extra 60 thats coming out. Think of that, as an m electric, these motors will consume anywhere between 19.4 and 22.5 kilowatt hours per hundred kilometers, naturally, depending on the mode that you choose, it has three driving modes, an individual personal one, a sport mode and an efficiency mode in efficiency mode. They say that you will get 425 kilometers range from a full charge. We found that to be a little lower at about 415 or 400. If you leave it in the normal mode. Still thats more than enough charging times naturally vary from power output to power output, and should you get a really strong dc charge, you can have this vehicle charged up to 80 in less than 40 minutes charging it at home its going to take about 13 hours.

So youre gon na have to plug it in and wait overnight. I cant really fault the way that it drives. It really does feel like an extremely quiet, x5 or x7 x6. It feels like a bmw suv, its got pretty decent road manners for something that weighs about two and a half tonnes. Remember that grill that we spoke about a little earlier and all those sensors. Well, those give you things like traffic sign recognition, a smart navigation theres. Also front collision avoidance, lane keep assist and, of course, pdc. This one doesnt have a depth of cruise control, but it has regular cruise control. There is theres a host of driver assistance systems as well as safety systems. The family will be safe in this vehicle, not to worry about that. The bmw ix xdrive40 is going to cost you 1.65 million rand before options, and that does make it a bit of a pricey vehicle. But if you consider what a top of the range x3 or a mid spec x5 is going to cost you this actually isnt poorly priced. The problem is, with the options list: youre never going to find one for 1.65 theyre going to be about the 1.8 million rand mark. But if you consider its contemporaries that are charging you two million rand, this actually isnt bad value for money. Its a head turner drives brilliant and its filled with so much tech that well youre, never gon na get bored of it.