Before we talk about the iX, let's talk about the i3. Debuting way back in 2013, the i3 was BMW's first dedicated fully electric car, and it was (and still is) unlike anything else on the road. It was funky and controversial, but had truly fascinating design and engineering baked in. Driving it felt special because it was so unique, and it was chock full of charm and good ideas. Then, after releasing that car, BMW strangely waited a full decade to introduce their 2nd dedicated EV model.
This iX is that model, and while it's a much bigger breadbox than the i3, we believe it to be the spiritual successor. Like the i3, the iX uses really innovative materials that look great, save weight and improve sustainability. Like the i3, the iX is funky to the point of feeling special, boldly avant garde. Like the i3, the iX has polarizing styling, but we think it looks pretty good, and, like the i3, will likely get better with age. Finally, both cars were unveiled at a price point that gave pause. The i3 was an urban runabout priced like a large luxury car, and the iX carries an eye-watering MSRP in the ballpark of lightly used supercars.
So what do you get for all of that money? Well there's good news and bad news. We'll start with the good - you get an absolutely lovely interior that feels serene and premium and exquisitely built. You get the option of one of the best audio systems in any car at any price in the world. You get surprisingly great driving dynamics for the form factor. There are some downsides, however. This iX is using aging battery tech, meaning it won't have stats as impressive as some of its rivals, which feels important at this price range. It compensates by adding a bigger battery, which adds weight and makes your charge times longer - up to 40 minutes to reach 80% on the fastest compatible charger. So it's a curious thing, this iX. Charming, flawed, funky. Honestly, we kind of love it, we just can't afford it.
An EV's advertised range is just an estimate. Your mileage may vary, literally! It's important to understand the factors that can affect EV range, so you choose a car that has enough for your lifestyle and habits. Not choosing enough range for your unique needs can prove to be a frustrating and expensive mistake. If you're not sure how range works or how much you need, visit our section on identifying your EV needs.Identify My EV Needs
Would you rather charge for 20 minutes, or an hour? That's essentially what charge rate comes down to, how much time you'll spend at the plug. Different EVs are capable of charging at different speeds, so it's important to understand what your car's "Peak" or "Max" Charge Rate is. Charge rate is measured in Kilowatts (kW) and in 2023, the average peak charge rate is about 150kW. The fastest EVs charge at 250kW and above. Plug-In Hybrids will charge much slower. What does this mean for actual charge times? Well there's a little more to it...Learn more about Charge Speed
MPGe or Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, is a way to compare the relative efficiency of cars using different types of energy. MPGe says there is 33.7 kWh of energy in a single gallon of gas, so we'll use that equivelency to compare to cars using kWh of energy from gas, batteries, or both.
DC Fast Charging
DC Fast Charging allows you to use more-powerful direct-current charging stations.
Adjustable Regenerative Braking
Regenerative Braking is a feature in electrified vehicles that recuperates energy that would otherwise be lost when the vehicle slows down. When Regenerative Braking is in use, taking your foot off of the accelerator will cause the car to slow, similar to the sensation of engine braking.
One Pedal Drive
One Pedal Drive is a feature that allows your car to come to a complete stop without needing to touch the brake pedal.
Batteries lose efficiency when they're too hot or too cold. Especially on cold days, your car may lose quite a bit of range to a cold battery. Preconditioning allows you to warm your battery (and often the car's cabin along with it) before you leave, so that your car will be more efficient and retain more range. Some cars will allow you to schedule a departure time based on your commuting schedule, and others will allow you to precondition anytime using the car's phone app.
Dual Charge PortsSome EVs will offer a charge port on both sides of the car, which can come in handy if a charge cable isn't long enough to reach one side or the other.
Vehicle-to-Load CapabilitySome EVs offer the ability to power external devices using your car's battery. This can be extremely useful, for example, if your home loses power, or when you're at the campsite or worksite and need to power tools and/or accessories.
Heat PumpA heat pump is a more efficient way to heat your EV's cabin. When temperatures drop, EVs equipped with a heat pump will generally perform better (retaining more range) than vehicles that use more traditional resistance heating. A heat pump may be optional on your EV.
Tow chargingThis is a pretty rare feature, but allows an EV to be charged by towing it. This is for emergency situations when you're out of juice but don't have access to power.