2022 BMW iX xDrive50: What's It Like to Live With?
We're testing the all-new BMW iX for 20,000 miles
|Average Electricity Consumption (kWh/100 miles):
- Over 350 miles on a full charge
- Over-the-top BMW luxury
- Has BMW found the electric SUV sweet spot?
What We Bought And Why
• Our test vehicle: 2022 BMW iX xDrive50
• Base MSRP: $83,200
• MSRP as tested: $102,070
The BMW iX is the Bavarian automaker's first all-new electric vehicle since the BMW i3 debuted in 2014 (which we also owned). It seems the wait was worth it. The iX is of similar size to the popular BMW X5, which we recently put through a 20,000-mile test. But while the iX shares characteristics with its X series cousin, this feels like a brand-new vehicle. It leans hard into its luxury status, with an interior that feels like the automotive equivalent of a stroll through the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Its range is also impressive. We drove 377 miles on a single charge in Edmunds' real-world range test, which put it atop our SUV range leaderboard.
What Did We Get?
We got a 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 on loan from BMW for the purpose of a 20,000-mile test. An iX with no modifications comes in at a little more than $82,000. The xDrive50, which in this case is booted with 22-inch wheels, is BMW's way of saying it's a vehicle with all-wheel drive.
That's just the start of the numerous packages on this iX. The Dynamic Handling package ($1,600) adds a two-axle air suspension; the Luxury package ($1,150) bequeaths us with a walnut console and glass controls; the Premium package ($4,000) includes an interior camera, parking assist, Live Cockpit Pro, a surround-view camera system, and as a treat, an upgraded Bowers & Wilkins sound system ($3,400). Finally, the Sport package ($2,800) is what allows us to upgrade to those 22-inch wheels ($950).
Still other additions include the Radiant Heating package ($950), the Active Driving Assistant Pro ($1,700) pre-collision warning and mitigation system, and adaptive LED headlights ($1,000). Add a destination charge of $995, subtract $175 for the passenger lumbar control (yep, chip shortage), and we arrive at a grand total of $102,070 MSRP. Whew.
Why Did We Get It?
At the time of this introduction, the BMW iX is Edmunds' highest-rated electric SUV, beating the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. It's also part of a small group of luxury all-electric SUVs that includes the Rivian R1T. But while we were impressed with the iX in initial testing, we are eager to push it through a full year of rigorous testing. That includes taking this very road trip-friendly SUV on the open road, testing both drive comfort and America's charging infrastructure.
How well will this luxury EV hold up after 20,000 miles of driving? What surprises does BMW's latest foray into electric cars hold for us? Only time will tell.
BMW loaned Edmunds this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.
Average lifetime consumption (kWh/100 miles): 32.5
EPA rating (kWh/100 miles): 39 combined ( 39 City / 39 Highway )
Best consumption (kWh/100 miles): 39.6
Best range (miles): 298.5
Current odometer: 17,228
So, what's the range like?
"You might have anxieties in your life, but running out of power in a BMW iX need not be one of them. This thing's got more range than Rory McIlroy teeing off at the Masters Tournament. The EPA says to expect 315 miles of range from a full charge, and we officially recorded 377 miles in a different iX as part of our standardized real-world EV range test. We haven't gone that far in our long-term iX (yet) but it's pretty obvious from driving it that it's got the legs. I personally drove it 298 miles before stopping to charge, with an indicated 23 miles left to go. Plus, a majority of those miles were on the highway, which is rarely kind to EV range." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
"I hit the road in our BMW iX for a road trip through Central California that necessitated a midtrip charge. That proved to be a bit more challenging than I thought because the first two chargers I tried to stop at were unavailable: The first because the rest stop it sits at was closed and the second because I simply couldn't get it to function properly.
"We hopscotched around the Central Valley before staying in San Jose and South San Francisco; both of our hotels had Level 2 chargers but the chargers at the latter hotel didn't work. This was a great feature in San Jose, as we were able to plug the iX in overnight and come out to a full charge in the morning. There were more than a dozen chargers at each hotel and charging was free.
"Getting back to Southern California was a bit of an adventure. We drove down on Presidents Day and encountered a long wait at a congested Electrify America station 200 miles north of Los Angeles. One of the four chargers was out of service and, unlike some chargers, you can only use one cable at a time — making this an inefficient experience. We charged for an hour using a high-speed charger and made it back to Orange County with range to spare.
"There are very few electric vehicles that can make the drive from Orange County to San Francisco in one charge, and it might not be reasonable to pine for a bunch of EVs with 500 miles of range. But the current charging infrastructure is such that a drive I've made dozens of times in gas-powered vehicles without thinking twice became quite stressful when driving a $100,000 luxury SUV." — Jake Sundstrom, editor
2022 BMW iX xDrive50: Maintenance
Any maintenance issues for our BMW iX will go here!
|Total routine maintenance costs
|Additional maintenance costs
|Scheduled dealer visits
|Unscheduled dealer visits
|Days out of service
|Breakdowns stranding driver
|Total body repair costs
Our first recall is in the books
"We learned about an airbag recall that our iX was affected by, so we called BMW to inquire about the next steps. There's no remedy for that recall as of now (March 2023), but we did find out there was another open recall for our iX. We scheduled an appointment to have that checked out the very same week. The recall was for a software update that can prevent the monitoring of the high-voltage battery charging process from failing and in turn, avoid sudden loss of power or stalling. This update required us to take our iX to a service center where it stayed overnight. The next day BMW ordered us an Uber, and we picked up our car. There was no cost to us. The whole process was short and smooth." — Albert Hernandez, editorial assistant
Is it fun to drive?
"Hmm, that's a tricky question to answer. Certainly, many of its specs and design elements suggest it should be. Check this out: It's got 516 hp, all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, an adaptive suspension system, and lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber-based construction. Out in the real world, I do find our iX fun in brief moments. Mashing the accelerator pedal results in rapid acceleration, for instance, and it's respectably grippy and stable when cornering. But I don't get much of an emotional experience from our iX. There are two reasons why, I think: 1) the steering is pretty light and doesn't offer up any feel for the road, and 2) the wide front seats and lack of a full traditional center console combine to produce a minivan-like vibe." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
How's the steering on the BMW iX?
"The steering on the iX is ridiculously light. That's been a complaint on the last two X-series vehicles we've had in the fleet (the BMW X3 and X5) but this wheel feels even lighter than in those gas-powered SUVs. It's taken some getting used to, particularly on highways where I find myself constantly correcting the vehicle to keep it between the lines." — Jake Sundstrom, editor
How are the front seats on the BMW iX?
"They aren't what I'd consider normal BMW seats. When I think of a typical BMW seat, I think of leather upholstery, sporty bolstering and lots of adjustments. The ones in our iX seem wider and flatter. There are no adjustments for extendable thigh support or the headrest. But I will note that I still find them comfortable, which is the important thing. I've done a few long-distance drives in our iX and have been comfy on each one. Interestingly, BMW put the main seat adjustment controls on the door rather than having them down on the seat itself. This is more of a Mercedes hallmark, but I can understand the logic that they will be easier to use if you can see them. On the downside, I find it odd that BMW didn't put all of the controls on the door. Lumbar adjustment, for example, has to be done through the touchscreen." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
"I really like the seats. They're comfortable even after sitting in them for a long time, and putting the seat adjusters by the door handles is really intuitive. A minor complaint about BMWs in the past is how tough it's been to find a comfortable seating position; I just don't have that problem in the iX." — Jake Sundstrom, editor
How's the ride quality?
"Pretty smooth. I've only driven our test iX, which has the adjustable air suspension, so I can't comment on how an iX would drive without it. But it does a nice job of absorbing bumps and potholes. The suspension changes to a sportier and firmer feel when you select the Sport mode, and that's the setting I actually prefer for routine driving. It seems more appropriate for a BMW, and it's not overly stiff or uncomfortable." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
The infotainment system takes some time to learn and get used to
"I used to find BMW's iDrive infotainment systems generally pleasant to use. Older versions, while perhaps not fully intuitive, at least had an underlying logic of design that I could rely on to figure things out. But man, the latest iDrive 8 system in our iX is a challenge to learn. I've had to consult the on-screen owner's manual to try and figure out how to change settings or find features on a couple of occasions now. The basic premise is still the same — there's a control knob and on-screen menus that flow from left to right — but somehow it's gotten more complicated. There seems to be more steps involved, and there are simply more features to tinker with. I finally got comfortable with the system after a couple weeks of driving, which I suppose is good from an ownership standpoint." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
Adaptive cruise control is missing a button
"BMW used to include a button on the steering wheel that one could use to easily cycle through the available follow distances for the adaptive cruise control. But somehow the iX's designers thought we'd be better off without one. It took me a while to figure out that you can still change the car's following distance, but that adjustment has to be done through a deep dive of on-screen menus. Realistically, you'll never do this while driving, which is unfortunate because different traffic situations often require different settings. For example, I know of drivers who like to lengthen the following distance on the highway to give the system more time to react, and then shorten it in stop-and-go traffic to minimize the chance that other drivers will cut in front." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
How is smartphone connectivity?
"Wireless music connectivity for Apple CarPlay in our iX has been spotty for me. My iPhone XR pairs up fine but I've noticed that it can be slow to respond to requests (to skip to the next track, for example) and will also occasionally and randomly pause before resuming the music stream. I've tested other vehicles with wireless CarPlay connectivity and those have been slower to respond than a traditional wired connection, so I'm not surprised about that. But the glitchy connection is a little frustrating. I've resorted to using the native BMW iDrive interface for music (still streaming over Bluetooth) and this seems to work better." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
How is BMW's parallel parking feature?
"Ashamed to admit it, but the BMW iX's parallel parking feature works so well, it might actually be a more efficient parker than I am. It's one of the few cars where I actually use this feature regularly. It's quick, it gets dangerously close (judging by the camera angles), and the rear steer endows it with incredible maneuverability." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing
Gesture Control has not been our favorite feature
"Getting back into the BMW iX after a couple of months and I get instantly reminded of how annoying the gesture controls are. Video Content Manager Will Kaufman and I went out to grab a quick lunch and upon shifting the iX into reverse, the act of moving my hand down to the shifter was identified as a gesture control movement and switched the radio stations. Time to turn this off." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, associate manager, vehicle operations
BMW reinvents its wheel
"How many people have ever thought the following: 'Boy, I like my car's steering wheel, but its circular shape is just too boring and conventional. I wish it was different somehow ... like a ... hexagon! Yeah, that would do the trick.' Well, apparently somebody at BMW design thought this because that's what the iX has. To be fair, BMW says it's not just for styling. Here's a quote from BMW's iX press release: 'The rim’s unique, track-inspired contour has the effect of improving ease of access and seating comfort. The hexagonal shape also affords the driver a better view of the section of the Curved Display positioned directly behind the steering wheel.'
"I can't argue with that but I don't think these were things that really needed improving. The iX is already very easy to get into, and other new BMWs have the same display but get along with a regular steering wheel just fine. In real-world driving, the iX's hexagonal shape feels weird in my hands when I'm making turns or parking, and I haven't gotten used to it even after weeks of driving." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
We're impressed by the iX's interior
"My first thought when stepping into the iX's cabin for the first time: 'Oh wow, BMW is really going for it these days, aren't they?'
"After many years of producing interiors that are fairly similar across the lineup, BMW clearly found influence in the unique designs of the departed i3 and i8 when it was dreaming up the iX. Its precursors embraced odd shapes, textures and materials that not only stood apart from the other cookie-cutter Bimmers but also the automotive world at large.
"The iX wholeheartedly continues with that tradition. Our long-termer is equipped with the bizarre two-tone microfiber/wool upholstery, open-pore walnut on the control panel, rose gold trim and glass controls. And of course, there's the signature BMW i carbon-fiber passenger cell — just like in the i3 and i8, the carbon tub is visible when you open the doors.
"As evidenced by the sharp 7 Series/i7 sedan, for the first time in many years, BMW is daring to produce truly stunning interiors. I hope that new versions of their more wallet-friendly fare also get distinct cabin designs." — Cameron Rogers, manager, news
"There are many things about the BMW iX's interior that I adore, but the front seats are my favorite by a huge margin. Our car comes with microfiber and wool blended seats, which not only look awesome but are also ridiculously comfortable. And while I can obsess about the look and feel of these seats for much longer than you'd like me to, there is one specific feature that sounds out the most. The Radiant Heating package costs $950 but I promise you it is well worth it. This adds rapid heating to the front seats and even better: heated armrests. I'll be direct: The iX has the best heated seat experience of any car I've ever tested. With this option added, they heat up in less than 10 seconds and the armrests are just wonderful. The overall experience is so cozy and plush you can't help but love it. This might seem like a small thing, but in the luxury car world, it's the little details that make all the difference." — Clint Simone, editor
2022 BMW iX xDrive50: Utility
So ... there's no frunk on the iX
"I expect we're going to hear a lot about this, but I'll help get the ball rolling: It's comical that the iX does not have a frunk. The massive hood, which looks even larger in person than it does in photos, does not open to an even more cavernous storage area. All it offers is a place to refill your windshield wiper fluid; to do that, you press the BMW logo. That's cute but pretty disappointing." — Jake Sundstrom, editor
What do we think of the exterior styling?
"You can see a vehicle in photos and critique its styling, but sometimes your opinion will change once you see that vehicle in person. So here's my take on how the iX looks after living with it for two weeks: Ehh, well, it's still not an attractive vehicle. I do credit BMW for trying to be bold. People notice the iX. So there's that. But jeez, that giant grille that serves no functional purpose is just too much. It looks just slapped on, as if I laid down two slabs of Spam on top of my wife's vegan salad right before she was going to eat it; there's no winning from that. Things are less awful elsewhere but still not great. I don't like the liberal use of black skirting, and the iX's profile seems like BMW couldn't decide whether it wanted an SUV or wagon and ended up with an odd mix of both. Now, I'm not a BMW hater: I own two of them currently, and I used to lease an i3. And the styling wouldn't prevent me from buying an iX. But I'd definitely have to get it in *black or very very dark gray* to minimize the stylistic wonkiness." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
Here are some early returns on the BMW iX
"Here's my overall take on our BMW iX after driving it for a few weeks straight: It's a standout choice for a practical luxury EV. While there are some things that I dislike, there are ultimately many more important things that I do like. Consider: 1) It drives more than 300 miles on a charge, no problem; 2) it's respectably efficient for a luxury SUV; 3) it's easy to drive and yet plenty quick when you give it the spurs; 4) it's roomy and comfortable; 5) it's packed with tech and driver assist features; 6) the interior design is cool; and 7) it's built by BMW, a company that has more experience building EVs than any other legacy luxury automaker. The iX is out of my budget but I would have no problem recommending it to someone shopping for a high-end luxury EV." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content
"The BMW iX is my favorite long-termer in our current fleet. As a family of four with two young kids, it really checks all the boxes for an all-in-one vehicle. It is quiet, rides incredibly well, has loads of passenger and cargo space, and is fast enough to satisfy your g-craving every once in a while. Not to mention the range on this means I can go days without worrying about charging, yet it supports nearly 200 kW of DC fast-charge power, so you can top off quickly when you need it.
"The one downside is it's a bit out of price range for me, and a lot of other regular folk. BMW needs to come out with a slightly more downmarket version of this. I don't need all the bells and whistles (though I do love every one of them)." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing
"Used the iX for my wedding weekend, which meant it had to serve as a people hauler, a things hauler, a dress hauler, etc. And on top of that, my wife was starting to move out of her condo after the wedding so it also turned into a moving truck.
"With the rear seats folded down, this thing has some serious cargo capacity. It fit a 5-foot-wide standing desk in with ease, with plenty of room to spare between the tailgate and the end of the desk. The seats folding down don't make a completely flat load floor, but it's got barely a slant so loading and unloading was still easy. We were also able to fit all of our flowers and other greens in the back in 5-gallon buckets, along with a steamer, a big box of other stuff, etc. Just a great hauler that fits more stuff in it than you'd think.
"Also, drove around my mother-in-law and the rest of the family some — big compliments on the interior. She's seen a bunch of cars I've had over the past few months and she has only said that about the iX and the EQE AMG I had (even the i7 she said "too big") so that's some high praise.
"I liked the iX before we had one, and after my last week in it I like it even more. It's still overpriced, though." — Brian Wong, senior editor