BMW iX review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
Futuristic cabin design and superb interior quality help justify the iX’s high price, although the infotainment system can be overwhelming at times
The winner of our Best Luxury Electric Car award for 2022, the iX is one of the most refined and comfortable cars on sale today – electric or otherwise – with very little noise penetrating the cabin. Sounds composed by Hans Zimmer can be played through the speakers as the iX accelerates effortlessly, but it's somehow more impressive without them, allowing you to appreciate just how quiet it is at speed.
Material quality throughout the expansive cabin is first-rate; all the touchpoints feel expensive and either work with the gentlest of presses or offer a reassuringly hefty weight. The dual-screen infotainment setup is also impressive, with graphics that are crisp and bright, while the central touchscreen is responsive. However, the wealth of features, menus and content in the latest version of BMW’s iDrive system offers can be overwhelming.
BMW iX dashboard
Like many brands making electric cars, BMW has tried to minimise clutter in the iX’s cabin, doing away with most of the physical controls usually found on the dashboard. Instead, the main controls are located on a 'floating' centre console, which features a crystal-glass volume dial, gear selector and iDrive controller, with buttons integrated into a single panel.
Equipment, options & accessories
The entry-level xDrive40 Sport with its 322bhp dual-motor setup, 71kWh battery and 257-mile range starts from just under £70,000. Standard kit includes 21-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, a 14.9-inch infotainment screen and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, as well as BMW safety systems like parking assistant and Driving Assistant Professional (a package that includes things like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist).
Upgrading to M Sport trim costs an additional £3,000. These models get sportier styling, which includes a different front bumper and side skirts, as well as 21-inch aerodynamic wheels and M Sport brakes, plus exclusive interior trim options and a dark headlining (Sport cars get a lighter headlining).
The xDrive50 is only available in M Sport trim and comes in at a whisker under £100,000. But for that you get a larger 105.2kWh battery and 380-mile range, plus more power, rear-wheel steering, air suspension and 200kW rapid charging.
There are plenty of optional extras, most of which come as part of packs. The list includes a 'skylounge' pack, which adds a panoramic sunroof and sun-protection glass; while the 'comfort plus' pack includes soft-close doors plus heated and ventilated seats; the 'technology plus' pack adds parking assistant, interior camera and a Bowers & Wilkins stereo.
The top-of-the-range M60 gets a mammoth power output of 611bhp and 1,100Nm of torque, plus a 348-mile range, M air suspension, 22-inch alloys and design changes to distinguish it from the other variants. Prices for the performance-focused version start from just under £120,000.
Inside, the iX M60 also receives more equipment as standard, such as soft-close doors, laser headlights, BMW’s Parking Assistant Plus package and an interior camera. The interior is trimmed in natural leather, while there are also heated, ventilated and massaging seats, BMW’s Heat Comfort package and the previously mentioned Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
All BMW iXs come with a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen as part of a curved display. Both feature extremely crisp graphics and are responsive to use, either by tapping the central touchscreen or using the rotary dial on the floating centre console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, too.
One thing we will say is that while the iX’s infotainment system is certainly impressive, the sheer amount of functions, icons and submenus can feel a tad overwhelming at times and can be fiddly to operate on the move. Fiddlier still are the climate controls which, while they sit on a fixed point at the bottom of the display, aren’t quite as easy to adjust while driving as a set of physical knobs or buttons.
In This Review
- 1VerdictBMW's flagship electric SUV has love-it-or-hate-it styling, but to drive, the iX is a thoroughly impressive all-rounder that gives the Tesla Model X a run for its money
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe BMW iX boasts an impressive range of up to 380 miles, however it can't rapid-charge quite as fast as the Tesla Model X, or some other less expensive EVs
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe iX has a hefty price tag, but the flagship SUV promises the same low running costs you’d expect from any electric car, especially if you’re a company-car driver
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe BMW iX offers the strong straight-line performance you’d expect from a luxury electric SUV, but its supreme refinement, comfort and handling are what set it apart from the competition
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainment - currently readingFuturistic cabin design and superb interior quality help justify the iX’s high price, although the infotainment system can be overwhelming at times
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityWhile boot space isn’t as generous as we might like, the iX’s cabin is spacious and airy, with plenty of space on offer
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe iX’s wealth of technology and safety features, paired with a five-star Euro NCAP rating, should reassure potential owners