BMW iX vs Audi e-tron Sportback: interior and infotainment
Audi’s interior still impresses, but BMW’s effort feels more luxurious and futuristic
Whatever you think of the iX’s radical exterior looks, its interior is much less divisive. Design and quality are both top-notch and the whole thing feels very futuristic, with twin curving display screens set across the top of the dashboard dominating proceedings. Elsewhere, extensive use has been made of soft, suede-like materials, and while the steering wheel looks oddly shaped at first glance, it feels fine in your hands.
Both of the BMW’s screens feature extremely crisp graphics and are responsive to use, which you can do by either by tapping the central touchscreen or using the rotary dial on the centre console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, too, so smartphone integration is easy – however, the sheer amount of functions, icons and submenus in BMW’s latest iDrive 8 system can feel overwhelming to navigate, making the system challenging to use on the move at times.
The interior was one of the most impressive aspects of the e-tron when it first launched back in 2019 – no surprise for an Audi – and it’s still one of the car’s strong points today. But it can’t help now feeling a little bit behind the curve compared to the cutting-edge cabin of the BMW. And while its infotainment interface (which also allows for Apple or Android smartphone integration) is slick-looking and easy to navigate, we’re not quite sold on the ‘haptic’ touchscreen, which requires a firm prod to activate. It feels like the engineers have tried to marry the feel and functionality of a button with the convenience of a touchscreen, without much success.
In This Review
- 1IntroThe striking-looking BMW iX takes on Audi’s sleek e-tron Sportback in a premium electric SUV showdown
- 2Range and chargingThe iX comprehensively outclasses the e-tron here, getting much closer to its manufacturers’ claimed range number in real-world driving
- 3Performance and handlingIt’s another clear win for the BMW here – the iX is quieter, more comfortable and better handling than its rival
- 4Space and practicalityThe Audi fights back here thanks to its larger boot, although the BMW still has the edge in some specific areas
- 5Interior and infotainment - currently readingAudi’s interior still impresses, but BMW’s effort feels more luxurious and futuristic
- 6Running costs and warrantyGreater efficiency and stronger predicted residual values sway it for the BMW here
- 7BMW iX vs Audi e-tron Sportback: safety and reliabilityNeither manufacturer has covered itself in glory in customer surveys, but electric drivetrains in general promise less chance of problems
- 8Verdict and specificationsIt’s a clear win for the BMW iX here, which bests the Audi e-tron Sportback in almost every area