There’s a certain line that keeps popping up in my mind — One man’s art is another man’s scrawl. I think it’s safe to say that the BMW iX xDrive40 with its looks will bring out the love it or hate it emotion. Do you think it looks like the Juggernaut or just a large boulder? Whatever you associate its design with, you certainly can’t ignore it. Not even if you wanted to. Well, it’s a BMW thoroughbred and what that means is its driving experience is going to be sublime, with luxury features and quality that money can buy, it should be right up there as well. We will tell you what makes the iX stand out and why it should be taken seriously.
BMW iX review: Self-healing grille
The iX is an all-electric SUV, right? Then why did BMW spend so much time crafting the gigantic twin-kidney grilles? The answer is quite simple. If they hadn’t then we wouldn’t be talking about it. With a hate-it-or-love-it design, one can’t deny that the iX has an in-your-face presence that you can’t ignore. So the job was well done.
It’s time to look beyond the design and appreciate the Bavarian grey cells behind this gargantuan grille, which will knock your socks off. For starters, behind this front grille houses, a plethora of radar functions, sensors, and cameras that ensure this new-age electric SUV is equipped with state-of-art technology which is reliable.
BMW has taken the grille technology to the next level if there was any such thing. Well, prepared to be enlightened as the iX’s front grille uses a special nanoscale coating and many other advanced materials and paint that let itself heal from minor scratches. Believe it or not, this is not a marketing gimmick as it fades away small rock chips and scratches. All that’s required is to leave it at room temperature for around 24 hours or five minutes of warm air. That’s it.
BMW iX review: Electrochromic panoramic glass roof
The iX comes fitted with a panoramic sunroof that also is the largest glass roof ever in a BMW model. Apart from managing to make the cabin feel airy and spacious, the glass roof is equipped with Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) technology. What this does is help change the shade of the panoramic sunroof from being completely transparent to opaque. Every time the button is pressed to change the transparency level, a voltage is sent to the crystals in the panoramic roof to digitally change the shade in a couple of seconds.
BMW iX review: Artistic cabin
BMW has taken a very classy minimalistic approach to its interior design, which reminded us of the chic Volvo XC90 and S90. The dashboard has a clean design with a curved 14.9-inch infotainment system and a digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster. In typical BMW fashion, the touchscreen is tilted towards the driver. The dashboard doesn’t get any unnecessary buttons and uses a suede finish panel that is made from recycled materials.
The iX comes with the eight-generation iDrive, which is a lot more user-friendly. Even the voice command is interactive and you can have a conversation with the system in a natural way rather than just giving out orders.
The BMW electric SUV offers plenty of space thanks to the flat floor. In front underneath the armrest, there are cubby holes that can be used to stash knick-knacks. The rear passengers are pampered with the spacious leg-and-shoulder room. The seats are also very comfortable and supportive. They come across as lounge benches rather than something in a car.
BMW iX review: The bling factor
The set-up of the iDrive is nothing short of a masterpiece as the entire panel is crafted from wood. Of course, the mind gets distracted by the crystal rotary knob, but what makes it even more unique is that the buttons are placed inside the wood panel and communicate with the user by giving out haptic feedback. BMW calls this technology ‘Shy Tech’. As amazing as this setup is as a visual treat, it is also very easy to function.
BMW iX review: Hitting the sweet spot in aerodynamics
Aerodynamics is the key to both performance and efficiency. Therefore, BMW has burnt the midnight oil to ensure that the iX achieves a drag coefficient of 0.25. Don’t be fooled by the iX’s larger-than-life design. It is a typical BMW and doesn’t compromise on handling as it is based on the Carbon Cage frame like the 7 Series. Along with weight-optimised materials and high-strength steel, it stays planted at high speed and remains agile though body roll can be felt due to the battery. Thanks to the dampers borrowed from the G20-gen 3 Series, the iX has sublime ride quality and cuts down on any rebounds when it goes over speed breakers.
The new hexagonal steering may look like a showpiece and purists may even find it ungainly, but it’s light and responds without any delay and offers very positive feedback. What BMW has done is not go overboard and overkill the steering wheel’s characteristics making it easy to drive. The steering wheel is on the lighter side but will be liked by many whether in the city or on the highway. One can’t find any flaws.
BMW iX review: Power punch
The iX has a total output of 322bhp with 630 Nm of torque. It cruises past the three-digit mark effortlessly and does 0-100 km in 6.1 seconds. With a big and bulky 76.6kWh battery, according to WLTP, it offers a range of up to 425 km. Realistically, it should be able to achieve around 350 km. Powered by two motors, the iX never hints at piping down when it comes to performance.
Even though the iX offers a charging capacity of up to 150kW, the 11kW AC charger should take roughly 7 hours for a cent per cent charge while the 50kW DC charger should juice it up from 0-80 per cent under one and half hours.
BMW iX review: Final verdict
The iX brings a lot to the table like ride quality that neutralizes the Indian roads. It comes fully equipped with modern features like ADAS, four settings of regenerative braking, a self-healing grille and an electrochromic panoramic sunroof. It is also practical when it comes to cabin space for the rear passengers. Priced at Rs 1.16 crore, ex-showroom, you certainly need deep pockets to buy it, but it ticks many boxes and is a practical option.