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BMW iX2 review: electric SUV gets Bavarian butt lift

The BMW iX2 delivers on the style and luxury fronts and is even decent to drive, but the more conventional iX1 ultimately offers more for less

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Decent to drive
  • Luxurious and tech-filled interior
  • Decent boot space

Cons

  • Short(ish) range
  • Unrefined driving experinece
  • Tight rear headroom

BMW iX2 verdict

BMW has used more nips and tucks than you’d see in an episode of Real Housewives of Cheshire to morph the iX1 SUV into the sleeker iX2. While a more attractive rear end is all the rage right now, just as in the world of cosmetic surgery, it’s pretty expensive and almost always less practical. Don’t get us wrong, we do, for the most part, like the way the BMW iX2 drives, and are fans of its premium-feeling interior. But a slipperier shape hasn’t done all that much in terms of improving the baby BMW EV’s already lacklustre range and while it certainly stands out next to the relatively unassuming iX1, we don’t think it’s worth the sacrifice in terms of interior space and upfront cost.

Details, specs and alternatives

The coupe-SUV craze has gained even more impetus from the electric revolution. Not only are coupe-SUV models often considered more stylish than their boxier traditional SUV counterparts, they are typically much more aerodynamically efficient, too, which benefits range. Oh, and did we mention that manufacturers can charge even more for them?

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With that in mind, say hello to the BMW iX2: a more stylish, more aerodynamic and more expensive version of BMW’s smallest electric car, the iX1 SUV. Having arrived at the tail end of 2023, the iX2 joins a seemingly ever-growing pool of rivals which now includes the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, Genesis GV60, Volkswagen ID.5, Skoda Enyaq and not forgetting the UK (and the world’s) best-selling EV, the Tesla Model Y.

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Things are pretty simple when it comes to ordering a brand-new BMW iX2 as, just like with the iX1, there are just two powertrains to choose from. The entry-level iX2 eDrive20 gets a single, front-mounted electric motor for (BMW purists, look away) front-wheel drive and this produces 201bhp with 250Nm of torque. Need more power?  There’s also the top-spec xDrive30 model which gets an extra electric motor on the rear axle to provide four-wheel drive and boost power to 309bhp and a pretty hefty 494Nm of torque.

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Both versions come equipped with a 64.8kWh battery pack, which provides an official range of between 259 and 283 miles, depending on the exact model and specification. BMW also says that all iX2 models get a maximum rapid charging speed of up to 130kW for quick top ups.

Unlike the iX1, which is available in Sport, xLine and M Sport trims, the inherently sportier BMW iX2 is, rather suitably, only available in M Sport guise. While this certainly contributes to the iX2’s higher entry price point, at least it means that even the cheapest versions get a decent list of equipment. Standard fare includes LED exterior lighting, 19-inch alloys, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.7-inch touchscreen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Alcantara upholstery, heated front sports seats, a powered bootlid, adaptive suspension and a reversing camera.

Range, battery size & charging

Model

Range

Wallbox charge time

Rapid charge

eDrive20

272-283 miles

10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)

29mins (10-80%, 130kW)

xDrive30

259-267 miles10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)29mins (10-80%, 130kW)

Put simply, the BMW iX2 lags behind the competition by some margin when it comes to the maximum range figure, although it should have legs sufficiently long enough for most family buyers. Configure the iX2 with the eDrive20 powertrain and the smallest 19-inch wheels and BMW says it’ll be able to cover up to 283 miles on a charge; while this is slightly more than a like-for-like iX1, buyers can spec that car in Sport specification with its even smaller 18-inch wheels. The result of this is that some iX1 models are capable of over 290 miles on a single charge, which is more than any iX2 can cover.

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Regardless, nearly all of the BMW’s rivals can go even further before needing to be plugged in. For example, both the Audi Q4 Sportback 45 e-tron and Tesla Model Y are rated for up to 331 miles on a single charge. That said, these are all best-case scenario figures: after an extended period with the BMW iX1 xDrive30, we were only able to return around 3.1 miles per kilowatt-hour, which translates to a real-world range of around 200 miles – 50 miles less than what BMW claims.

As mentioned, the BMW iX2 gets the same 130kW maximum charging speed as the iX1. This is, once again, behind that of the competition – a Kia EV6 can charge at speeds of up to 233kW – however, BMW says it’s still enough for a 10-80% charge in under half an hour.

Running costs & insurance

Despite being one of the cheapest electric BMWs you can buy, the iX2 is still priced in-line with premium competition and is therefore rather expensive to buy; base models start from over £50,000. Thankfully, a relatively efficient battery and low insurance premiums should make the iX2 more inexpensive to run than you might expect.

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For example, entry-level BMW iX2 eDrive20 models occupy the relatively average insurance group 31 out of 50, while dual-motor xDrive30 models will demand a slightly higher premium given that they are rated at group 38. That said, a Tesla Model Y will almost always be quite a bit more expensive to insure.

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In terms of daily running costs, the iX2 – like all EVs – is exempt from VED until April 2025, and can also enter ULEZ and London Congestion Charge zones for free. A full charge at home at the current average electricity rate of around 30p per kilowatt-hour means a full charge should cost buyers under £20. Charging up at a rapid public charger will cost a lot more, of course.

Performance, motor & drive

Model

0-62mph

Top speed

Driven wheels

Power

eDrive20

8.6s

106mph

Front

201bhp

xDrive305.4s155mphFour309bhp

BMW still uses the slogan ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’, so it’s no wonder why many people flock to buy its cars, seeking a pleasurable driving experience. However, while the BMW iX2 is certainly capable in this regard, we don’t think it feels quite as refined as you might expect for something with the iconic blue and white propeller on the bonnet. 

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For starters, while the boffins at BMW have done their best to try and disguise the iX2’s bulbous 2.1-tonne bulk, they haven’t completely succeeded; a firm suspension setup has been configured to reduce body lean in the corners, however, the result of this is that the car tends to fidget over smaller bumps. 

Don’t get us wrong, the iX2 is one of the better cars in this segment to drive; we think the steering is nicely weighted, despite being almost devoid of feedback, plus there’s plenty of grip – especially when specified in xDrive four-wheel drive guise. That said, it’s no Lotus Eletre, and if you’re after driver engagement, we think the MINI Clubman – which shares many of the Beemer’s parts – generally offers a little bit more fun from behind the wheel.

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With this being the case, the base BMW iX2 eDrive20 should be more than sufficient for most. While we are yet to try this powertrain, a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds should provide a decent amount of poke around town. The xDrive30, then, seems a tad superfluous; it provides a prodigious amount of punch when accelerating out of corners and should be ideal for swift motorway overtakes, but it's pretty expensive and we doubt most owners will make full use of it anyway.

Interior, dashboard & infotainment

We’ve long praised BMW interiors for their material and build quality, as well as the slick tech they offer. The BMW iX2 is no different in this regard, with plush-feeling materials used in all the main touchpoints, as well as nice touches like Alcantara on the dashboard and the option of seatbelts stitched with the iconic ‘M’ colours.

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If you’ve spent any time in the BMW iX1, you’ll immediately feel right at home in the iX2. Like its traditional SUV sibling, the iX2 gets a rather upright dashboard with a handy wireless charging pad for your phone in the centre console. Unfortunately, there are few physical buttons – almost everything is controlled via the main touchscreen – but we do think the knurled effect of the media volume dial adds an extra level of class.

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Speaking of the touchscreen, this offers vivid and sharp graphics, as well as quick responses to your inputs – just as if you were using your smartphone. There are a few more sub-menus than we’d like, although we appreciate the configurable widgets on the home screen, as well as the permanent shortcut buttons at the bottom of the display for things like the cabin temperature and heated seats. 

Boot space, seating & practicality

Length

Width

Height

Boot space (seats up/down)

4,554mm

1,845mm

1,560mm

525/1,400 litres

The biggest sacrifice of choosing a coupe-SUV (other than perhaps the dent it’ll make in your wallet) is that of practicality over the equivalent ‘standard’ SUV. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the BMW iX2 as while it shares the same wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) as the iX1, meaning there’s plenty of legroom in the back, the sloping roofline cuts significantly into rear headroom. Not only is this a problem for taller passengers, but it can make it more of a pain to fit and load a child seat as well.

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The boot isn’t quite as small as you’d imagine – 525 litres of cargo space is larger than you’d get in a Kia EV6 – and while there isn’t a frunk under the bonnet, charging cables can at least be stored underneath the hinged boot floor. That said, if you’re after a coupe SUV that’s spacious enough for rear passengers, as well as having a big boot, few models can do it all like the Skoda Enyaq Coupe.

Reliability & safety rating

The BMW iX2 may be a brand new model, but it’s heavily based on the iX1 which has been out for over a year now. While it hasn’t been long enough to get any concrete reliability data, we’ve yet to hear any horror stories. BMW didn’t do well in our latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey – the Munich-based maker placed 21st out of 32 brands – but at least its reliability score was somewhat average for the survey.

Neither the BMW iX2 nor the iX1 have yet been crash tested by Euro NCAP, however, we expect both models to fare well in this regard. Standard safety kit is decent, with all iX2 models getting autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and a reversing camera. A range of optional Driving Assistant packs range from around £600 to £1,600 and add things like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and even semi-autonomous driving which will keep the car in-lane and even follow sat nav directions.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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