2022 BMW iX xDrive50 Review: Competent, Luxurious All-Electric Daily Driver

2022 BMW iX
The car's sensing never center is located at the nose. BMW of America, LLC.

The 2022 BMW iX is the first of the next generation of the German automaker's all-electric portfolio to come to market bringing with it a new sense of luxury and styling that electric SUVs have not yet been brought to market imbuing.

Though the iX will be available in two variants at launch, only the more robust 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 will be sold in the United States.

The model was executed not as the BMW of electric vehicles, but wholly as an electric BMW. The nuanced difference allows the SUV to seem complete and whole from the start, loaded with the appointments and features that a traditional X SUV would have. Sitting in the car, looking around, touching the finely upholstered surfaces and admiring the high-tech screens, it feels complete.

That feeling stars with the exterior, which wears the unmistakable look of BMW's vertically orientated kidney grille, but filled in with black components that serve as. a sensing system nerve center.

Moving around to the more pleasant view of the vehicle at the sides and back reveals a streamlined model that has electronic door openers that only require a button depression to operate and remove the need for bulky handles. Slim exterior lights at the rear relate the vehicle back to the i3.

2022 BMW iX
The BMW iX will come to the U.S. early next year. BMW of America, LLC.

It gets its power from a lithium-ion battery pack paired with a front and rear motor. The combined output of the motors is 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque, which is instantly available at the press of the accelerator.

Built on BMW's new electric vehicle architecture, the 2022 iX xDrive50 rides smoothly over rough roads and carries its weight evenly. The SUV is not so heavy that it feels sluggish, but rather its power and performance ensure that the car moves swiftly down the road with ease.

The SUV gets an estimated 300 miles of range that is rather easy to conserve utilizing the "B" drive mode, shifted into via the newly designed gear selector, which allows for one-pedal driving. Putting the vehicle into this mode allows the SUV to regenerate its power upon slowing and aids in stopping by combining electronic braking with friction braking.

2022 BMW iX
Slim taillights and rear end design link it to the i3 of the past. BMW of America, LLC.

This is an important component to the drive experience, especially on rural roads where the iX's accelerator allows for rapid acceleration and spirited driving but relying on traditional friction braking can lead to a less than snappy slowing experience.

One-pedal driving continues to be one of the biggest drivability selling points of electric vehicles. Best experienced on rural roads, but also effective in city driving when you get used to its operation, much of the likability from the drive style comes from how well the system is calibrated.

Too much slowing and the model slows abruptly. Too little and the regeneration is not as effective as it could be and proves rather useless. BMW has calibrated the iX very well.

The company says that the iX can charge from zero to 100 percent in under 11 hours via a Level 2 connection. A stop at a quick charger allows the car to add up to 90 miles of charge in just 10 minutes at a 195-kilowatt rate.

2022 BMW iX
The car has a Lincoln MKT-like rear hatch. BMW of America, LLC.

The luxury car manufacturer has engineered the iX to have nearly the same steering input requirements as the X5. Dulled response requires bigger inputs than is desirable but at low speed, but the model proves agile.

The SUV's unique hexagonal steering wheel is extremely practical, offering more passenger space at the bottom and better visibility at the top, while allowing traditional functionality that does't detract form the driving experience.

Surround view cameras also help with visibility though the view forward is generally wide open thanks to low dashboard design, enabled by a distinct lack of buttons, knobs, and switches.

2022 BMW iX
Using simplistic steering wheel controls is an easy affair. BMW of America, LLC.

Interior design holds true to typical BMW fashion. There is a vast amount of unused dashboard space that loves to shine onto the windshield worsening visibility. Slim vents at the center of the dashboard and on the edges give the models a sense of spaciousness.

Like other "i" branded models of the past, the iX sports interior structure made of recycled and sustainably produced materials. The door substructure is made from 100 percent recycled materials while the visible parts are 30 percent recycled material. The car's control panel features sustainable produced wood. Seating surfaces feature Dinamica microfiber that features 50 percent recycled polyester. Floor mats are from 100 percent recycled nylon, some of which came from fishing nets that were previously polluting in the sea.

This all plays into BMW's recently concept car, which showcased how circular production practices could play out in future vehicles.

BMW has equipped the iX with a panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading. Though the roof does not open, it allows diffused sunlight to pass through illuminating the cabin. On a particularly sunny and warm day in southern Germany during testing, the roof did not allow an abundance of sunshine or heat in, but instead pleasantly helped vehicle and sky integrate harmoniously.

The SUV's infotainment system resides under a curved and elongated housing that also includes the all-digital instrument cluster. The control display is 14.9 inches and the information display measures 12.3 inches. The cluster effectively displays all necessary information but thanks to the head-up display, there's hardly ever a need to look down at it.

2022 BMW iX
Two screens are housed in one curved display. BMW of America, LLC.

The car's infotainment system requires a bit more attention, especially if you want to adjust the temperature controls. It marks the debut of the latest iteration of the iDrive system which operates in a very similar fashion to the previous generation but with more options and features buried in text-heavy menu after graphic-heavy menu.

Adjusting the climate controls on the go is a consuming affair that takes eyes off the road too often for too long.If the plan was to get drivers to use iDrive 8's improved voice command functionality more, it's likely that the system's usability will drive them to do so.

The vehicles's phone as key technology and smartphone app integration are musts for the most modern drivers and features have continually been updated to bring more value to the mobile experience.

2022 BMW iX
The car's climate control screen is overly complicated for use on the go. BMW of America, LLC.

One of the best features for Apple iPhone users is the integration of Apple Maps into the car's on-board navigation system. This allows users who have paired their phone and are running CarPlay to receive directions both in the infotainment screen and on the head-up display. It's a welcome game-changer when it comes to safety and ease of use.

The seats in the iX's quiet cabin are plenty comfortable, on par with the rest of the BMW lineup. Standard quad-zone automatic climate control also works to keep passengers happy. Heated seats, heated vertical surfaces, and ventilated seats are available.

Riding on a specialized electric vehicle platform allows iX to have expansive passenger and cargo space for a model its size. The SUV's split-folding rear seat is divided 40/20/40 allowing for multiple large cargo carrying configurations.

The 2022 BMW iX starts at $84,195. That hefty price tag doesn't include any of the available incentives at the state or federal level. Though it is pricey, the iX earns its MSRP on merit thanks to BMW delivering on all levels. The iX doesn't make owners compromise on style or range, instantly making it a winner, especially when compared to the Tesla Model X and Audi E-Tron.