Class: Electric Vehicle
Miles driven: 319
Battery capacity: 112 kWh
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||A|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||610 horsepower|
|Engine Type||2 electric motors|
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
EPA-estimate MPGe: 77 city/80 hwy/78 combined
EPA-estimated driving range: 274 miles
Consumer Guide range estimate (ideal conditions): 274+ miles
Base price: $106,100 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Castanea Chestnut perforated leather trim ($3500), Driver Assistance Pro package ($1900), Luxury Package ($1150), 22-inch alloy wheels ($950), passenger-side lumbar-support delete ($175)
Price as tested: $113,420
The great: Thrilling performance, modern and airy cabin
The good: Excellent outward visibility, better than expected battery range
The not so good: Multiple tech gremlins compromise driving experience
Introduced for 2022, the iX is BMW’s first American-market electric crossover. At 195 inches in overall length and riding on a 118-inch wheelbase, the iX very closely approximates the brand’s
popular X5 midsize crossover in overall size. The compact iX3 crossover preceded the iX into production, but is sold primarily in China, and is not destined for North American distribution.
New for 2023 is the high-performance iX M60, which joins the xDrive50 in the iX lineup. Both crossovers come only in dual-motor AWD trim, and are powered by a 112-kWh battery. Equipped to accept charging at up to 195 kW, either iX can be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent in 40 minutes at a DC fast-charging station capable of delivering that level of power.
Starting at around $85,000, the xDrive50 delivers 515 horsepower and reaches 60 mph from a stop in a reported 4.4 seconds. With a base price around $106,000, the M60 cranks out 610 horsepower and reaches 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Our well-equipped test M60 listed for just over $113,000.
The iX cabin is a tribute to clean, modern design. The airy cabin feels especially roomy thanks to a generous amount of glass and excellent outward visibility. Flat floors and a non-intrusive dash design add to the sense of space. One quibble with the cabin layout is the front-row drink-holder location, which is forward of, and below, the center console, which makes for an awkward—and sometimes spill inducing—reach to retrieve stowed beverages.
On the road, the iX lives up to its “M” badge, providing both a comfortable ride and impressive athleticism. The iX is absurdly fast when put to task, serving up immediate response and a seemingly endless well of passing power. Equipped with the available 22-inch alloy wheels, our test iX is EPA at 274 miles or range per full charge. On the standard 21-inch wheels the rating rises to 288 miles. Regardless of the ratings, our test iX was reporting full-charge range estimates between 310-320 miles during seasonal Chicago weather. Our driving supported those estimates.
Sadly, our test vehicle was plagued by technical gremlins, all of which popped up during its weeklong visit, and all of which were profoundly annoying. First, the tire-pressure-monitoring system (TPMS) failed, leading to an endless barrage of pop-up touchscreen warnings regarding the failure, each of which inhibited any action taking place during the alert. Secondly, our test iX suddenly decided to ignore the existence of our key fob, forcing drivers to touch the fob to the steering column to start the vehicle, and, to unlock doors—and the rear hatch—via the interior “open” button, and then open said portals manually. A replacement key fob fared no better, and was also ignored by the BMW. Finally, and to this driver most annoyingly, the iX speed-alert system went afoul and insisted on warning drivers, loudly and often, that the speeds of 35 and 45-mph were being crested. The constant alerts in traffic inhibited use of both the audio and navigation system.
A call the BMW Personal Assistant—a real product expert accessed by call via the iX infotainment system—lasted 20 minutes, but failed to provide any relief from the audio speed alerts. Resetting the vehicle to “factory settings,’ as suggested by the Assistant, did not resolve the issue. The technical gremlins are a shame, as the core product is especially compelling. Additionally, our recent experience with the all-electric BMW i4 was trouble-free, and little short of a revelation.
Wonky key fob made this test period an inconvenient and at times frustrating experience. (Starting became a two-handed job, one hand pressing fob to steering column so it could be “read” while the other hand presses starter button on console. Even in the “dark ages” of 2012 when many vehicles still had key-in-slot ignitions this was ever only a reliably easy one-handed operation.) Tire-pressure monitor seemed to have a fault as well—which, of course, it would never let you forget. Advisory had to be cleared repeatedly.
Infotainment screens are big and vibrant but working through central controller is time consuming and takes precision so as to not overshoot or undershoot desired information or activation point for a given feature (and there are so many of those to be uncovered). Why can’t preset audio “Favorites” be treated like a menu in which the user can stay and scroll through them? Favorites cluster had to be selected for every use, and then playing a Favorites setting kicked out of the cluster of presets. (Next question: Assuming this Favorites-playing capability does exist and I missed it, why is it not immediately obvious, or a default position? It seems like once you realize you have favorites, you’d probably like to listen to them most often.)
Good room in both rows. Big windows aid driver vision. Three-adult seating in second row; flat floor helps. Personal-item storage is convenient but pretty normal: glove and console boxes, long door pockets, hard-sided pouches on backs of front seats, cup holders in console and rear-center armrest. Even with rear seats up, cargo space is good. Front headrests are integral with the seat and nonadjustable, and include an opening rimmed with a hard trim piece that rests uncomfortably behind the head of shorter passengers.
When you finally do get it running, the iX M60 is a fairly eager goer. Steering—via curious hexagonal wheel—is very numb and isolated. At some point you realize the vehicle did indeed go where you intended for it to go but you don’t fully understand how. Even with big 22-inch wheels ride comfort couldn’t especially be faulted. B-mode provides effective one-pedal driving.
2023 BMW iX M60 Gallery
Click below for enlarged images