Expert Review - BMW iX I20 (2021-Present)
18 April 2022
Love it or hate it looks aside, the iX is a quality electric SUV with keen handling and an inviting, practical interior. It still drives like a proper BMW, although its agility and ride comfort are deeply compromised by the considerable weight. Sport variant highly recommended for improved looks and necessary spec upgrade.
Quick-ish turn of speed will impress anyone moving up from ICE vehicles, but compared to most other EVs, the base iX xDrive40's performance feels too blunted by its weight. Real world range, however, is good – gets very close to the 425 km claim without any trouble. Braking performance and feel is superb for an EV.
Ride & Handling
Has the usual handling fluidity and excellent body control expected of a BMW, which is impressive. But, it has come at the expense of ride comfort, as the base line is a little too stiff – especially noticeable from the rear seats. Still a fun steer, shooting out of corners is an experience to savour in the iX.
With the base passive suspension chosen for Malaysian models, the iX's ride is surprisingly busy, even by EV standards (where a slightly firm ride is the norm due to the extra weight of the battery). Front seats lack support too. Refinement is beyond reproach, however, as it is pin drop silent even at the worse of times.
Equipment wise, the base iX leaves a lot to be desired. AEB is a standard fit, but 360-degree parking cams, adaptive cruise control, active lane keep assist are all saved for the Sport variant. Reverse cam-only, tiny side mirrors, large rear blindspots plus no rear-wheel steering for Malaysia make the iX a tough steer in tight city streets/parking lots.
It's more spacious than an X5 inside, with a similar-sized boot. Clever interior design also allows for a lot of space under the dashboard for handbags and such. At the rear, the flat but comfortable bench, together with the flat floor fit three adults better than most SUVs in the same size/price class.
Within BMW's own range, the iX is outstanding in terms of value, being almost RM100k less than an X5 PHEV. Consider other EVs, however, and it doesn't offer enough performance, tech or even equipment upgrades over the Volvo XC40 Pure Electric or Hyundai Ioniq 5 to justify the near RM100k premium, other than sheer size and badge flash. Still, a value almost tax-free buy at the moment – but do go for the Sport variant if possible.