- The 2022 BMW iX is the automaker's first fully electric SUV
- But with a $84,195 price tag, it's more expensive than its direct rivals
- We know a more powerful version is in the works. How about an affordable model?
The upcoming 2022 BMW iX will be the automaker's second EV and its first fully electric SUV. With 516 horsepower and 300 miles of range, the iX appears to be much more in tune with shoppers' tastes than BMW's previous effort, the diminutive i3 hatchback. But with a starting price just shy of $85,000, the iX will cost thousands more than rival Audi and Jaguar EVs. Will the iX ever be affordable?
When an automaker releases a redesigned vehicle, the normal stuff typically comes first, and the expensive, performance-focused variants are released later. For instance, the most recent iteration of the 3 Series was introduced for the 2019 model year, but the high-octane M3 didn't debut until 2021. Likewise, Mercedes' new S-Class will be initially released in six- and eight-cylinder forms, with the boffo AMG models set to bow over the next couple years.
Electric vehicles are a little different. Because the buying public at large is still hesitant about EV adoption, manufacturers often introduce the headline-grabbing variants first. The Lucid Air will debut in its 1,080-horsepower dual-motor configuration, which the company says is enough to launch the big sedan from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. More sedate (and less expensive) models will bow later down the road.
With an impressive estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, 516 horsepower and estimated range of 300 miles, the iX xDrive50 has the headline-grabbing specs shoppers are looking for. And BMW has already announced that an even more potent M60 version with upwards of 600 hp is coming in the near future. But what about a more attainable version?
2022 BMW iX
The biggest argument for a less expensive version of the iX is that its primary rivals — the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace — start well below the BMW's $84,195 MSRP. The Audi's base price is roughly $20,000 less expensive, and a loaded Prestige model just barely graces the iX's starting price. The I-Pace, on the other hand, is almost fully equipped right out of the gate. Even if you tick all the major boxes, the Jag costs thousands of dollars less than the BMW. The same could be said for Tesla's Model Y.
There's a major opportunity here for BMW to introduce a more wallet-friendly version of the iX in the near future. Having a version with fewer standard features could be a good starting point. Batteries are a major cost factor in EVs, so it should be possible for BMW to use a less expensive battery to reduce the price tag, though it would reduce the iX's range as well. Still, given the considerable price gulf between the iX and its closest competition, such a move might be necessary once BMW's monthly sales reports start rolling in.
2022 BMW iX
The BMW iX is an expensive electric SUV, and rightly so, given its impressive specs. That said, we think there's plenty of room in the lineup for a more affordable version.