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Test: BMW iX falls short for electric car in the top class | Car

CAR TESTThe iX should show how BMW rigorously embraces the future with innovative design and innovative technology. The latter does not appear to have been successful.




BMW iX xDrive 40 (326 hp/240 kW), from €87,330

Anyone familiar with the BMWs of the past decades will first have to get used to the sensational, future-oriented design of the iX. It looks futuristic in everything and the hood can’t even be opened. With a setback as a result: no extra storage space in the front of this electric car.

Admittedly, the iX has a lot of innovative technology on board. Such as 5G, the possibility to take a selfie of the occupants and an arsenal of sensors for safety and semi-autonomous driving: up to five cameras, five radars and twelve ultrasonic sensors. Artificial intelligence is also omnipresent, especially in voice control. But it is disappointing that the computer often does not understand what you are saying.

Another setback is the seating comfort. The leather seats are hard and the headrests also feel uncomfortably hard. In addition, the seat seats are not adjustable in length, which is the case in other BMWs. The luggage compartment (500 litres) is not large for a car of this size. And speaking of that size: the enormous turning circle of 12.8 meters is very inconvenient.

The electric motors make this iX fast enough and provide it with four-wheel drive. BMW claims with this ‘entry-level model’ a driving range of 416 kilometers, under ideal conditions. During this test it was about 330 kilometers: really too little for an electric car in the top class. In addition, it charges less quickly than some competitors, which boast 800 volts technology, while the iX still has to make do with 400 volts.

The good news is that the iX steers tight and lies firmly on the road, as befits a real BMW. But its suspension comfort is disappointing. Without (optional) air suspension you get a car that is too stiff, so that the occupants are shaken back and forth too often.

© Bart Hoogveld

Plus
+ Innovative design.
+ Excellent handling.
+ Innovative technology.
+ Fast and powerful.

min
– Awkward turning circle.
– Wobble butt: too stiff suspension.
– Poor performance battery pack.

Conclusion
This BMW iX shows itself here and there really high-tech and drives well. But it charges less quickly than some competitors and doesn’t get as far on a full battery charge. The comfort and turning circle are also disappointing.

Additional test notes

Inside we see a sleek interior with a minimum of buttons and on top of the dashboard is a large, curved touch screen.

In an effort to be chic, the familiar circular infotainment control knob is fashioned in some sort of Swarovski crystal, as are the seat adjustment knobs. Here BMW balances on the border of art and kitsch. The wood of the control panel between the front seats is also striking.

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

You have enough legroom in the back seat, but with the wheelbase of 3 meters we expected even more.

So the hood cannot open, but you can press the brand logo there: a flap opens to reach the filler opening for the windshield wiper fluid.

Although the Tesla Model X already preceded them, the car industry currently seems to be making a giant step with revolutionary design. Take the BMW iX, Hyundai Ioniq5, Kia EV6 and Mercedes EQS. These are real cars of the 21st century, which you saw as a vision of the future decades ago in science fiction.

Sounds created by the studio of Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer give the iX a lot of character. Instead of parking beepers, you hear sounds in this car as if a spaceship is maneuvering. Even if you give it gas, you imagine yourself in an episode of Star Trek.

The BMW well-known ‘kidneys’ in the nose were previously mainly intended for cooling the engine. But now they form a dense panel behind which radars and cameras hide. In order for them to function properly even in bad weather, the middle part is heated, while a ‘self-healing’ coating has even been applied to the kidneys: if damage is caused by, for example, stone chips, you only need to aim a hair dryer at the scratch to remove it. panel to its original condition.

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

The iX is a giant on the road. No wonder it has such a huge turning circle of 12.8 meters. When parking or ‘turning the street’ you will soon suffer from this. For comparison: the turning circle of the 27 centimeters longer competitor Mercedes EQS is only 10.9 meters.

BMW says the overall carbon footprint of the iX has been reduced by about 45 percent, compared to an X5 with an internal combustion engine.

The doors can be opened from the inside with a push button. Those who prefer to pull a door handle will still find it in this car, albeit somewhat hidden under the armrest.

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Special: you can not only heat the seats and the steering wheel, but also the armrests and the panel between the seats. How hot do you want it to be?

Actually, this should also have been the almost completely self-driving car from BMW. At least, that’s how it was announced a few years ago. But although the iX can drive partially autonomously, like almost all other competitors in this price range, the real robot car still seems a long way off.

There is currently a choice between the xDrive 40 and the xDrive 50. The higher the number, the higher the power and the larger the battery. If you choose the iX 40 for at least 87,330 euros, you will receive a battery with a net capacity of 71 kilowatt hours and a driving range of 416 kilometers. The two electric motors in this version together deliver 326 hp (240 kW), good for a 0-100 km/h sprint in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h. With the large package of options in the testauto, the price rises to €112,650.

If you want more technically, you will end up with the considerably more expensive iX 50 (from 107,539 euros) with a larger battery of more than 105 kWh. With this you reach 618 kilometers, according to the brochure. The system power here is 385 kilowatts (523 hp) and for the sprint from 0-100 km/h, this version needs 4.6 seconds. This top version also charges faster, with a maximum of 200 kW, while the entry-level version does not exceed 150 kW. But in any case, each iX is slower when charging than, for example, a Tesla Model Y, which can quickly charge with 250 kW. Also, for example, Kia, Hyundai, Audi and Porsche do it faster than this BMW, thanks to their 800-volt on-board network.

BMW gives a 3 year warranty and 4 years free maintenance on the iX.

View here the prices & specifications of all BMX iX versions, collected by AutoWeek.

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

Bart Hoogveld
© Bart Hoogveld

You will find all previously published tests in our extensive Autotest file.


Test: BMW iX falls short for electric car in the top class | Car
Source link Test: BMW iX falls short for electric car in the top class | Car

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