The 2022 BMW iX Electric SUV is the Most Brilliant Bauble of them All

Bmw Ix Featured Image

This Electric Car Comes with jewelry. Lots of jewelry.

Oh, how I miss jewelry. There wasn’t a lot of demand to don our blingy baubles during the pandemic, and as we ease back into normal they still don’t yet feel right. But just because we’re not wearing jewelry does’t mean we don’t want jewelry, an idea that makes the BMW iX, with a starting price of $83K and a nicely loaded at $105K, particularly lovely: it comes equipped with jewelry you can hold and behold. 

The jewelry in this car is just the start of what is truly an exceptional and special experience. The BMW iX all electric SUV is a cocoon of posh pampering. Yes, it’s electric and in that regard, the iX delivers a really wonderful experience. But the pure inventive luxury of this car is a story on its own. It’s enough of a lure to draw a discerning and demanding car buyer over to the world of electric driving and all that it entails. It’s that magical.

Related: 30-Minute Test Drive: The 2022 BMW X4 xDrive30i is Way Fun, Especially on Twisty Roads

This Panel Is Simply Sublime Tap The Rough Mahogany Wood With Insest Controls Or Grasp The Crystal

This panel is simply walnut wood with inset controls or grasp the crystal dial control. Photo: Scotty Reiss

An Innovative Command Center Is at the Core of This Car’s Beauty

When you first get into the BMW iX you may be distracted by the quilted leather interior, the hexagonal steering wheel or the wide curved glass panel that spans the front dashboard and houses the media and drivers information screens. But it won’t be long before the crystal iDrive controller catches your eye; it glistens like a beacon on a stage. 

The iDrive controller is a crystal dial set atop a luscious walnut wood panel, and it’s more a thing of beauty than a necessary utility. That’s because the media screen is touch sensitive and enables you to access the same functions as the controller, allowing you to keep the crystal fingerprint-free. Opting to use the controller has its rewards, though— its beveled heft reminiscent of trying on watches at Tiffany. This simple experience on its own sets this car apart, there is nothing else like it.

Related: Four Reasons to Love the Dial Gear Selector

The Floating Console Is Cantelevered Over The Center Of The Car Leaving An Open Floor And Space For Cup Holders And A Wireless Charge Pad

The floating console is cantelevered over the center of the car leaving an open floor, cup holders and a wireless charge pad. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The wood panel is pressure sensitive and contains many of the car’s controls, from drive modes to access buttons for navigation and media to vehicle height— you can raise or lower the height of the BMW iX. All by tapping the icon on the panel. And you may want to keep playing with the functions just to touch the rich textured wood, it feels so lovely.

Related: BMW X7: The New Go-to For Red Carpets, 5-star Valets and the After-School Pick-up Lane

Door Jewelry? Yes Please! The Crystal Door Controls On The Bmw Ix

Door jewelry? Yes please! The crystal door controls on the BMW iX. Photo: Scotty Reiss

From the Jewelry Comes Glowing, Dancing Light

Tear your eyes away from the iDrive controller and you’ll discover even more sparkle: the stop/start button, gear selector, volume control and seat controls on the door are all crystal, too. The seat controls, in particular, are constant source of delight; they catch the light and dance a rainbow of reflections around the cabin. It’s like that special moment when the sunlight catches your earring and suddenly you are surrounded by beautiful, colorful light beams. It’s so beautiful.

The View Of The Front Cabin With The Hexagonal Steering Wheel And Wide, Curved Glass Screen

The view of the front cabin with the hexagonal steering wheel and wide, curved glass screen. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Simple Elegance, the Mark of True Luxury

As dazzling as the crystal controls are, the rest of the cabin is kept in check by simple elegance. For example, looking at the door panels you mostly see leather and cloth panels separated by a slash of chrome. In fact, the panels demurely house a lot of functions: seat controls, ambient light strips, an audio speaker, window and side view mirror controls and two (yes, two) door handles. The main handle is comprised of a button that unlatches the door. Press the button and use the grip under it to push or pull the door open and closed. There’s also a mechanical door handle tucked into the door panel.  

The exterior door handles are equally as smart; they are recessed into the door panels and have a touch pad that you can tap to open the door. Simple. Elegant.

Related: The Best Luxury 7 Passenger SUVs: As at Home In the School Pick Up Lane as it is at Neiman Marcus

Open The Doors From The Inside By Tapping This Button And Swinging The Door Open

Open the doors from the inside by tapping this button and swinging the door open. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Here are more things that I just fell in love with: 

  • The curved glass media screen: It’s large but not too dominant in the space, and while BMW isn’t the first to get this, I like that they went with this technology. It’s a good one
  • Lay flat front seats: Yes, the front seats recline all the way back to lay flat. So you can nap while you’re charging your car. Or, escaping your children
  • The simplified look of the exterior:  The rear features slim horizontal lights and where the exhaust pipes would normally be, there are reflectors. It all comes together in a very elegant and familiar look of an SUV
  • The “Eclipsing” panoramic sunroof that switches from frost to nearly clear with the tap of a button (the roof does not open, however)

    The Panoramic Sunroof In The Bmw Ix Can Be Switched Between Frosted And Semi-Clear

    The panoramic sunroof in the BMW iX can be switched between frosted and semi-clear. Photo: Scotty Reiss

  • Rear seat child car seat lower anchors that hidden by a quilted panel; tug the loop at the top to reveal them, and push the panel down to hid them
  • Rear tail lights on the inside of the cargo area door frame; if you have the lift gate up and the hazard lights on you’re still visible to oncoming cars. I really, really love this detail
  • BMW voice assistant: Say “Hey BMW” and the assistant is there to help you set navigation directions, find the closest Starbucks or change the cabin temperature
  • Augmented reality on both the head up display and the navigation screen; on the screen a live view of your next turn appears with graphic overlays of arrows showing you where to turn
  • Assisted Drive Mode: BMW combined all the adaptive and assist technologies into a single function. Not only is the name easier to wrap your mind around, this simplified the controls on the steering wheel; it’s either on or off
  • Carbon fiber construction: Carbon isn’t a decorative element here, it’s used for body construction. It’s a reminder that this car is built to perform
The Bmw Ix Electric Suv Has A Wide, Strong Presence But Is Still Agile And Fun To Drive

The BMW iX electric SUV has a wide, strong presence but is still agile and fun to drive. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What It’s Like to Drive the BMW iX

Just hit the accelerator and you will feel your head hitting the headrest and your hair sweeping across your shoulder (if you have hair that can do that). You’ll also hear the whirring sound of the iX’s electric motors—two of them, one in the front and one in the rear to power each axle and provide all wheel drive. 

Together the motors generate 516 horsepower, more than enough to create a bit of a thrill on the right roads. But any powerful car can go fast. What’s magical here is how efficient this electric system is. I drove all day on my first day with the iX and used less energy than is typical for the miles I drove. I traveled 72 miles, but I only used 55 miles of range. I started off at 315 and ended my day with 260 left on the range. 


Related: How to Decide if an Electric Car Is Right for Your Lifestyle

The Navigaion System In Our Test Model Had Augmented Reality Combining Video Views And Graphic Overlays

The navigation system in our test model had augmented reality which combines video with graphic overlays. Photo: Scotty Reiss

B Mode is the Actual Crown Jewel of the BMW iX

How did that happen? Well, it starts with B mode. Many electric cars have options that allow you to select various degrees of channeling unused energy back into the battery: while braking, coasting or simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. In the iX, though, pull the gear selector back twice for B mode, and you’re in the most efficient mode. This means that you can actually recharge the vehicle while you’re driving, if you’re in the right circumstances.

And my circumstances were right. My route was from the airport to Pasadena, through the Angeles Crest National Forest and then back to the airport. I’m telling you this because going down hill, as I did when we left Angeles Crest and headed back toward the airport, the regenerative effect was incredibly effective. I regained nearly 50 miles of range, though some of that was due to the crawling LA traffic, which definitely helped. And through it all I almost never touched the brake pedal. It’s that total control—slowing without braking, recouping unused energy, creating more through regenerative braking—that makes electric driving so cool. And with B Mode in the BMW iX, even better. The range and performance were really impressive.

Related: Learn the Magic of the Ultimate Driving Machine at BMW Driving School

The Charge Ports Are Labeled For Level 2 –Ac And Level 3 – Ac And Dc– Charging, Which Makes It Easy

The charge ports are labeled for level 2 –AC and level 3 – AC and DC– charging; these tabs make it easy to open the ports. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Charging the iX— Free Charging and a Smartly Designed Port 

At some point you’ll need a proper charge, though. And with a range of 324 miles on a full charge, you may find that you go more than a day or two between charges. The most efficient way is to charge at a DC fast charge station. So you can do that, BMW is including two years of free 30 minute charge sessions at Electrify America.

Related: Why You Need to Go to Electrify Expo (When It Comes to Your Town): To Shop for an Electric Car

The Rear Of The Bmw Ix With Its Slim Headlights

The rear of the BMW iX with its slim headlights. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs 

Despite being a luxury car with a hefty price tag, the BMW iX comes standard with some pretty impressive features. Like the crystal controls, Eclipsing panoramic sunroof and carbon fiber panels components. Those two things each should add thousands to the price, and while they probably do, they are not broken out as options. That’s just how this car rolls. I like that. 

Here’s what you get for the money: 

  • BMW ix xDrive 50 all wheel drive electric SUV with dual motors, Sensatec leatherette upholstery, multifunction hexagonal steering wheel, curved glass media display, panoramic sunroof, heated and vented front seats, power adjustable lay-flat front seats, Assisted Drive Mode driver assist and safety features, acoustic glass, crystal controls and walnut control panel, wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and two years of free 30 minute charge sessions at Electrify America stations, $83,200
  • Add leather seating, $2,450
  • Add dynamic handling package air suspension, $1,600
  • Premium package with multifunctional seats, interior camera, HUD, augmented reality navigation, and surround view camera, $4,000
  • Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system, $3,400
  • Add Sport package with 21” wheels with runflat tires, $2,800 (22” tires, add $3,750)
  • Add Active Driving Assistant Pro which automates even more of the assisted drive features on certain roads, $1,700
  • Aventurin Red metallic paint, $1,950
  • Price of our test model with $995 delivery, $104,820 
The Rear Seat In The Bmw Ix

The rear seat in the BMW iX. Photo: Scotty Reiss

BMW iX: Worth The Price?

Well, if you can afford it, you shouldn’t go without it. The BMW iX is over the top on so many points, both the pampering luxuries and smartly designed features. The regenerative braking alone was enough to make me feel that yes, I can live life in an electric car and not live with constant range anxiety. But the beautiful details and finishes almost make the fact that this an intelligently designed electric car a moot point. It’s not just a car, it’s jewelry that you live in. A truly exceptional experience. 

The Rear Seats Have Covered Child Passenger Car Seat Latches, Just Pull The Tab To Reveal Them

The rear seats have covered child passenger car seat latches; just pull the tab to reveal them or push the panel back into place to cover them. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Disclosure: BMW provided the iX for this test drive but all opinions are my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss