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2024 BMW iX Road Test and Review

Brady Holt
by Brady Holt
June 8, 2024
2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

BMW sold one of the first electric luxury cars when it introduced the i3 a decade ago. This oddball hatchback had the “kidney grille” of a BMW, but it didn’t otherwise retain the brand’s luxury performance DNA. That’s changing with the latest line of BMW “i” models, including the 2024 BMW iX mid-size crossover SUV. 

Like the i3, the iX has some design quirks that keep it from blending into a sea of ordinary BMWs. But with a starting price of $87,100 and a standard horsepower rating of 516 hp, luxury and performance are as essential to the iX experience. But it also remembers to be an electric vehicle, with a fuel economy rating of 86 miles per gallon equivalent and an estimated range of 324 miles per charge. We just spent a week driving the iX’s M60 performance model, which provides 610 hp for $111,500 and up. Keep reading to find out what we learned about the BMW iX and whether it’s the right luxury SUV for you.

You Won’t Mistake It for an X5

On an electric car, a grille is for decoration. There isn’t an engine under the hood that needs the cooling power of airflow. But the grille is so elemental to BMW’s design language, the iX proudly sports a pair of tall, narrow kidneys. They’re decorated with a pattern that simulates mesh, though they’re actually solid pieces built into the bumper.

That’s not to say BMW is trying to make the iX look like any other BMW SUV. Decidedly not. Extra-slim headlights and big, angular bumper inserts point toward that big would-be grille. A false extension of the windowline connects the side windows to the rear windshield for a “floating roof” effect. The taillights are whited-out slits. And bulges on the fenders and tailgate step away from the clean simplicity that marks a similarly sized BMW X5. This design is polarizing, and it doesn’t exactly scream “I’m electric.” But unlike, say, an Audi Q8 e-tron, the iX works hard to stand apart from the rest of its brand’s lineup.

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Next-Generation Interior

The iX’s interior stands apart from most other BMWs, too. That’s in part because it’s an EV, but in part because it’s one of BMW’s newest crossovers.

BMW has simplified its dashboard into a single glass panel (a 14.9-inch touchscreen next to a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster) that stands up from the leather-clad dash like a tablet on a stand. This “iDrive 8” system is highly customizable, and unlike a Tesla, you do have some physical controls as well; BMW just puts them on the center console to keep the dashboard clear. You can also learn some gesture-based controls like twirling your finger in front of the screen to adjust the stereo volume. And the system supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Everything feels luxury-grade, with leather or soft fabric covering most surfaces. And our test vehicle used glass for the console’s main control dial plus the door-mounted power seat controls. The controls do require a learning curve, but they’re intelligently and attractively designed. Some similar interior elements are trickling into more BMWs, but the iX still stands at the brand’s cutting edge.

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

300-Plus Miles per Charge

The base iX xDrive50 has an EPA-estimated range of 307 miles per charge at an energy equivalent of 83 miles per gallon. The more powerful M60 is right behind: 296 miles per charge and 80 MPGe. Notably, unlike most EVs, the iX achieves equivalent or even better mileage on the highway as in the city — a winner if you’ll take a road trip. What’s more, our M60 test vehicle consistently beat its EPA range estimate; we didn’t run it down to zero, but throughout our week with the vehicle, its remaining range would have brought it to between 340 and 370 miles. We had a similar experience when we tested another iX last year.

BMW says a fast-charging station should add 90 miles of range in 10 minutes or get an 80 percent charge within an hour. Fully charging an empty battery would take about 11 hours on a 240-volt charger like you’d find in some public stations or install in your garage; that works out to roughly 27 miles of range per hour. We also added about 3 miles of range per hour by plugging into a standard 120-volt three-prong outlet. 

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Fast or Faster

BMW won’t sell you a slow iX. As we mentioned, even the xDrive50 is wildly quick. With 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque, BMW estimates it will reach 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. And the M60, with 610 hp and 749 lb-ft, needs just 3.6 seconds. This is the sort of absurd speed that can make you forget to breathe. And this blistering acceleration happens in near-silence, though you can dial in a synthetic noise like a muffled aircraft takeoff.

The Tesla Model X would still win a drag race. In base form, it needs a mere 3.8 seconds to 60 in its base form, while the Plaid model’s 2.5-second sprint will beat most Ferraris. That’s especially impressive considering it also beats the iX’s EPA ratings for range and efficiency. But we’d never call the BMW iX anything but wildly fast for any purpose but bragging rights — and even there, it has a lot to boast about.

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Capable and Smooth

Some BMWs have dialed back the brand’s famous focus on driving excitement. Not the iX. And its thrills aren’t limited to the straight-line speed that we just covered.

Turn the iX’s unconventionally shaped steering wheel, and this SUV is uncannily responsive, especially with the available adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering. You can whip it around tight curves like a small sports sedan, with a sophisticated suspension backing up its quick steering. And like other EVs, it uses its heavy battery pack to lower its center of gravity. Maybe it was just because we expected less of an SUV than a BMW sedan, but we even preferred the iX to the BMW i5 mid-size luxury sedan. Despite all its handling capability, the iX also has an agreeably smooth and hushed ride, even on the M60 performance model. A choice of driving modes includes a “personal” setting where you can pick and choose your preferences for the steering, throttle, suspension, and synthesized driving sounds. BMW smartly defaults to this personal setting whenever you switch on the car.

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Extra-Comfortable Seats

Some BMW seats are uncomfortably stiff for some tastes, but the iX delivers a superb mix of cushiness and support for our tastes. You’ll find thickly padded chairs that hold you nicely in place without being too confining. They’re welcoming without coming up short as the journey wears on. Leatherette upholstery is standard, but you can also get genuine cowhide or fabric. We’ve read some criticisms about the backseat being too low to the floor, but it didn’t bother us given the amount of legroom and the good-sized side windows. Unlike Tesla's SUVs, the iX isn’t available with a third-row seat. 

Cargo space measures 35.5 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 77.9 cubic feet with the rear seat folded flat. In this case, the iX edges out its gas-powered counterpart. You don’t get the same “frunk” advantage as some EVs, though; the iX’s under-hood area may not have an engine, but it’s still filled up with various electronics, support braces, and other mundane automotive bits like the windshield-washer-fluid reservoir. Also, although it’s rated to tow a trailer in some overseas markets, BMW does not support towing with the U.S.-spec iX.

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Long List of Features

At its base price of $87,100, the 2024 BMW iX xDrive50 already includes high-end features like the full-size dashboard screens, GPS navigation, a panoramic moonroof with electrochromic dimming, four-zone climate control, and driver aids that include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and hands-free automatic parking. 

Still, it’s easy to swell the price tag further with items like adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and in-car Wi-Fi, which we’d argue should be standard at this price. When you’re ready to get into the more exclusive content, BMW offers you heated armrests, massaging front seats, motors that pull the door shut when it’s not fully latched, augmented reality for the navigation system that includes a video feed in the gauge cluster, and a 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins stereo. The iX M60 like our test vehicle starts at $111,500 with some (but not all) of these items as standard equipment. 

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Competitors to Consider

The BMW iX faces a host of competitors in its class of mid-size electric luxury crossovers, including two fellow Germans: the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV and the Audi Q8 e-Tron. Both cost less than the iX, but they also have shorter ranges and slower acceleration in their base forms, and none matches its extra-agile handling. Subjectively, we also think the EQE looks like a smaller, cheaper vehicle than the iX; however, not everyone will love the BMW's more aggressive design.

You might also shop the iX against the Rivian R1S, whose boxy shape and impressive off-road capability belie its on-road performance chops. It's a different aesthetic from the iX, and it's not as cushy or decadently finished, but it's roomy, fast, and efficient. Then there's the SUV that invented the electric luxury SUV segment: the Tesla Model X, which still delivers winning speed and range but comes up short of the BMW for everyday comfort, usability, and luxury.

2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Final Thoughts

The 2024 BMW iX is a luxury SUV that uses its electric motors to provide thrilling acceleration, a quiet ride, and a low center of gravity. We found it both more comfortable yet more fun to drive than the already-excellent BMW X5. Yet the iX also delivers the environmental benefits of greater energy efficiency and eliminating tailpipe emissions.

The iX faces a number of strong rivals in its quest for your money, and we’d definitely encourage you to shop around and find the best one for you. But for blending comfort, performance, luxury, technology, ease of use, and range and efficiency, this BMW is a compelling choice. We’d stick with the base xDrive50 over the extra-absurd extra-expensive M60. But whichever iX you choose, you’ll enjoy the ride.

2024 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt


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