The 2022 BMW iX first drive review: A tech-rich EV with an eye to design

The 2022 BMW iX first drive review: A tech-rich EV with an eye to design ...

In early 2022, BMW's iX SUV should be shipped to BMW dealers.

The 2022 BMW iX makes a bold first impression. From its polarizing exterior design to the holy-smokes-that's-good interior, there's a ton of things to do before you even hit the road.

This iX crossover SUV is one of two new electric transmissions that the German automobile manufacturer will use in the United States in 2022, and it is the company's big. Although the iX is pretty much a with an electric powertrain, the design is clean-sheet from the start up. It's unlike anything else in BMW's current portfolio.

The iX's body structure is as light as it is strong, as it begins with a carbon-fiber reinforced space frame. When the tailgate is raised, it starts with a composite space frame that is constructed of high-strength steel. Sound familiar? BMW is using this framework when designing the and, and the iX's hatch is also as bright as it is strong. Plus, it's cool -- remove the exposed CFRP shell along with inset taillights. Safety first.

When you lift the hatch, I love that you see the CFRP structure.

The iX's smooth skin, which includes dark horizontal lighting elements, textured surfacing on faux front air intakes, and a Roundel logo that doubles as a windshield fluid port. Instead of focusing on its size or design, check this out: The grille has a polyurethane coating that makes it less susceptible to damage, and the surface can actually fix itself. Ugly? Yes.Cool? Yes.

The iX is about the height of an SUV, which is 77.4 inches wide and 66.7 inches tall, although it is less than the width of an SUV. In the United States, the iX will come standard with 20-inch wheels, and a range of 21- and 22-inch options will be available.

I hope you like the more aggressive face of the iX xDrive50, because it is the only one BMW will offer in the United States for the time being. There's a slightly smoother front fascia with blue accents on the less-powerful iX xDrive40 that will be sold in other countries, but I don't think we got the short end of the stick here; the xDrive50 looks better. BMW is working on a hotter-looking and-driving i

The 2022 BMW iX is depressing on the outside, and depressing on the inside.

The xDrive50 is a pretty good spec, although it is positioned in the middle of the iX's 111.5-inch wheelbase, with a 116.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. This converts power to one individual axle, and the front motor produces 268 horsepower and 295 pound-ft. But it's not uncommon to combine the two numbers together to achieve the iX's combined output (EV math is odd).

Despite its lightweight architecture, the iX will be a bit heavier than a V8-powered X5 xDrive50i. No, but instant electric torque is a thrill no matter the launch time, and BMW believes its batteries should be able to deliver excellent, repeatable acceleration performance.

The iX can accept DC fast-charging at speeds of up to 195 kW, reducing the duration of your charging from 0% to 100% in under 40 minutes. According to the EPA range estimates, the number should come in 300 miles. That's enough for the majority of EV buyers.

The iX is about as huge as BMW's X5 SUV.

The iX's main aim in life is to keep you and your family silently and efficiently, resulting in less body roll while cornering. That said, this EV is hardly a dud, with a well-controlled ride quality and little in the way of body roll while cornering. Finally, the shocks feature an extra hydraulic damping for a smoother return on bumps. Even on 22-inch wheels, the iX glides across miles and miles of German autobahn without the smallest

While the iX's steering is quite powerful, it's not just a squircle, but it's also more of a jump. Spec the $1,600 Dynamic Handling Package, which helps scoot the iX's frumpy butt around corners, making it quite abrasive while pointing up twisty Alpine roads in the Bavarian countryside.

Considering the dual-motor setup, the iX xDrive50 requires through-the-road all-wheel drive, but the front motor can be turned off when power isn't required, making the vehicle more efficient during sporty driving. No, the AWD system's fully variable torque distribution should certainly make the iX a good fit for the cold weather. Throw on some winter tires and you're good to go.

This is BMW's finest interior yet.

iX offers four different modes, the high, medium, and low, while the latter is pretty much adjusting when you lift off the throttle. Another feature of the iX is Adaptive recuperation, which is why the vehicle isn't operating properly, and it's flexible and convenient. I'll be honest, this is why I prefer using adaptive braking and do the one-pedal thing.

The standard driver-assistance systems include the usual adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warnings. For $1,900, you may add the Driving Assistance Professional Package, which includes the appropriately named Active Driving Assistant Pro, where adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are combined to make your highway commutes a lot easier. Checking this option pack also gives you an always-helpful surround-view camera.

I'd be remiss not to mention the funky (and standard) BMW Iconic Sounds. Hans Zimmer helped BMW create a driving soundtrack for the iX's speakers, and it changes based on your driving mode. Floor it in Sport mode, and you'll get all kinds of loud whirry future noises to accompany the drive. It's neat, but -- buzzkill alert -- my favorite thing about this feature is that you can turn it off. It's just a bit rough for me.

The soft cushions are extremely comfortable.

The iX is the first BMW to introduce a 5-G connectivity platform, with a 94% drop in nonreflective glass, and a 14.9-inch touchscreen. But the big advantage is that it's crisp, colorful, super responsive, and pretty easy to understand.

The gauge cluster has a modern look, with many different ideas for multimedia or vehicle data, and it can now store large gauges, a minimalist display, or have it focused mostly on a navigation map transmitted from the central infotainment screen. However, if you're using or, the map data from those smartphone-mirroring apps is now included into the gauge cluster, so you can see third-party map data as per BMW's native software.

The gauge cluster is managed by controls on the right side of the steering wheel, but drivers can adjust the climate control in a number of ways. Speaking of, "Hey, BMW, I'm cold," BMW says, and offers a 50% success rate. The interior monitoring camera will be on so you and your passengers can smile for a photo and then share it right from the center screen.

Crystal controls, open-pore wood, and blue suede. I want this in my living room.

I prefer to work iDrive just by touching the screen, owing to the enhanced processing capacity that allows for immediate response to taps and swipes. iDrive 8 has a fresher look at the widget design you might remember from iDrive 6, where you can swipe horizontally through different tiles for navigation, media, driver profiles, and more. New for iDrive 8 is a favorites menu, which you may remember by sliding down from the bottom of the screen, where you may save shortcuts to the most frequently used pages or

The $1,150 Luxury Package is made of glass, with absolutely stunning detailing and strong tactile feedback. Especially against the walnut open-pore wood on the center console, the glass looks so, so, so good. That the walnut trim is backlit with hard buttons for iDrive menus is another fantastic feature.

The interior of the iX is all about design, but I've truly saved the best for the last here: the cabin is the most impressive thing about the new iX. Spacious, light, and nicely laid out, this is the best BMW interior I've ever sat in, and it's totally different from what you'll see in other luxury automobiles. The fact that the lower shelf has a storage area, and the overall console design is one of the reasons why the iX reminds me so

This is a superb electric vehicle.

The other big difference between i3 and iX is the impressive use of materials and the various colors on offer. I am extreme dissatisfied to report that the blue-and-gray suede interior pictured here is absolutely fantastic. Instead, we'll get a selection of several leather options or a combination of gray microfiber and wool for an additional $500.

Other nice features include the glass roof, which is ecstatic, and gradually tinting via a slider near the dome lights. The rear-seat passengers have a flat floor for plenty of legroom, and the rear 40/20/40 seats fold flat to accommodate larger loads. There is also a nice storage space for the iX's charging cord below the luggage floor.

The 2022 iX is expected to hit dealers in the coming months, ranging from $84,195 (inclusive $995 for destination but without any federal or local tax incentives). Despite its impressive design, the iX is truly a model for BMW's next generation of electric vehicles. Unlike the i3 and i8, which seemed to be like design exercises and science experiments at the time, the iX is a fully realized concept designed for mass consumption, and it is proof positive that BMW's expanding electric

The manufacturer provided transportation expenses for this story, which is common in the automobile industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow's employees are our own, and we do not accept paid editorial content.

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