BMW iX – a big, comfy home on wheels

The new BMW iX electric SUV marks a change of direction for the German car maker. Nicole Garcia Merida reports

BMW’s design choices raised eyebrows when the company unveiled its new flagship electric car. Online, people called the iX a “Bugs Bunny look-a-like” and an alien, and asked for bleach for their eyes. But it’s a shame that its exterior is hogging the attention, says Shane O’Donoghue in The Sunday Times, “because underneath is a cutting-edge electric SUV that previews the technology that will underpin the next generation of BMWs”. 

The car’s figures are impressive enough. It can go 280 miles on a single charge (380 if you splash out for the xDrive50 model), can recharge pretty rapidly, has a top speed of 124mph and goes from zero to 62mph in 4.6 seconds. It also debuts a “swish” new operating system, a new direction for BMW’s cabin design, and “the near-future promise of ‘level 3’ self-driving capability, meaning drivers will be able to hand control over to the car completely under certain circumstances”. 

The iX is “a competent, practical crossover-style EV that fully delivers BMW’s excellent craftsmanship and quality”, says Hannah Elliott on Bloomberg. “BMW has done enough here to retain, even excite, its brand loyalists” and it is great to drive too. The ride “is really good”, agrees Andrew English in The Daily Telegraph. It may weigh 2.5 tonnes, but it is “astonishingly quick… overtaking is absurdly quick and easy. It can even be quite fun.”

The iX is not a sports car, and BMW “isn’t selling this as a driver’s champion”, says Top Gear. But it is nevertheless “pretty good”, accelerating smoothly, and throwing its weight around neatly enough. The car is really all about “comfort, silence and relaxation” – it is a “big comfy home-on-wheels” with a lot of new technology that will allow the driver to remain soothed and those in the passenger seats to “kick back” and relax – even when “covering the ground at surprising speeds”. 

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