TEST-DRAW: Is the BMW iX xDrive40 enough for most customers?

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When the BMW iX was first introduced, some enthusiasts were a little overwhelmed by its entry-level choice, the iX xDrive40. Unlike its older siblings, this is the only version of the iX that comes with a smaller battery. While lower power may have been missed by many because horsepower is not a central element of luxury electric vehicles, a smaller battery is a bigger problem when most electric vehicle customers have it all.

What is the BMW iX xDrive40?

The iX line consists of three variants: BMW iX xDrive40, BMW iX xDrive50 and BMW iX M60. Obviously, the xDrive40 is the best device with the smallest battery and the lowest output power. While the latter two are equipped with the largest BMW battery with a capacity of 105 kWh, the iX xDrive40 instead comes with a 71 kWh battery. This is about 30 percent less than its brothers with more kWh.

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Power is also gone. The BMW iX xDrive40 still uses the last two BMW eDrive powertrains, one on each axle, but with only 322 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. According to BMW, 0-62 happens in 6.1 seconds, which is quite fast for most customers.

Do they look different?

Just by looks you can’t tell which BMW iX is which. Regardless of battery size or power, the true nature of the iX remains a mystery to outsiders unless you’re looking for an icon to read. My tester was dressed in Adventurine Red Metallic III, a color that is absolutely stunning on any car. This shade here and there was also complemented by accents of titanium bronze. For example, the door handles were bronze, as were the window environments, but the lattice of the kidneys had a bronze background.

As we were dealing with the M Sport, the front bumper also had massive black inserts on the sides, repeating the design of air intakes that can traditionally be found on BMW sports models. Massive 21-inch wheels complemented the package on the sides, with huge massive tires around. More precisely, winter tires, because now the cold season is in full swing.

Fantastic, but disappointing interior

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Unlike the BMW iX xDrive50, which I tested some time ago, this one had a more luxurious interior, despite the smaller characteristics, and the fit and finish are perfect. The instrument panel is lined with leather, as well as door panels and seats. Everything looks and feels premium. For example, I like the diamond-shaped stitching on the seats, and I really liked the thin insert on the dashboard, which reminds you that the leather in this car is made and produced environmentally friendly.

Wherever you look inside the iX, you find quality materials. From the aforementioned cowhide to textile additives or even crystals that are used for many applications, such as seat controls, volume controls or iDrive wheels.

The interior looks spacious and spacious, all thanks to the new minimalist approach that BMW uses in its new cars. The buttons have been cleaned, and now we basically have only a curved piece of glass on the dashboard, which consists of two screens. These screens will be the center of operations for all your needs. However, there are some problems, and they are not related to fitting and finishing, but rather to design: it is no longer ergonomic.

For each small task, you must return to the center screen. . From climate control to everything else, it’s all on the touch screen, even for things that have buttons on any other current BMW. Want to raise the temperature in the cabin? Tap the screen. Want to change the airflow in the cabin? Take a look at the HVAC menu, which is too complex a menu built into the iDrive screen. Even a small task, such as turning on the steering wheel, is performed using this screen, and its controls are located in three submenus. It’s too much. I will not even go into the fact that the on-board computer button has disappeared from the left handle on the steering column.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those nostalgic enthusiasts who is just against any new technology, and I admit that the iX really feels special, as if it came straight from the future. But I also think that technology should help us, not complicate things. And how these buttons and functions are configured, using them behind the wheel becomes a very distracting and dangerous test.

How is it on the road?

However, while some fragments are outrageous, others are simply brilliant. One such example is the silence you feel on the road. Despite the fact that the BMW iX comes with a frameless door, somehow the masters in Munich managed to create a completely quiet cabin, even at higher speeds. Enter a refined ride and you will get a spooky soothing atmosphere inside, even during long journeys.

For the best possible ride, you need to adjust the air suspension. This is standard on the BMW iX xDrive50 of the highest specification, but the xDrive40 will cost extra. Our tester did not have it, which allowed me to compare both installations, and there is a small gap in comfort between them.

While the xDrive50 felt challenging and easy on any type of road, the xDrive40 has a more intense ride, with more vibration reaching the seats. The good part is that even in this configuration, the sounds that make their way into the cabin from the suspension, which is quiet as a church mouse, is almost not heard. In general, the differences are small, but if you are looking for the most convenient configuration that can offer iX, you should definitely check the air suspension in the list of additional features.

Press the faster pedal a little harder and you will start to notice a few more differences. The shock that the xDrive40 provides, even in sports mode, is not entirely consistent with what its older brother can bring to the table. However, this does not mean that you will ride squatting.

Although the iX is a heavy car, even as an xDrive40 with a smaller battery, the 322 horses it relies on are enough for most people. Acceleration in xDrive40 is not brutal, but it will be enough for most people who do not want to break the speed limit in a hurry.

The best part is that you can always use all the power. Traction is almost perfect. I did notice a few skids here and there, but given that we rode on winter tires, and the weather outside was quite cold, with a temperature of about 0 degrees Celsius most of the time, it was understandable hiccups. Overall, the xDrive40 is very effective at reducing power, and I would love to test it on a summer day with properly warmed summer tires.

Battery range and efficiency

But few are really interested in how this medium-sized SUV will cut roads in the canyon. Instead, more customers care about the range and efficiency. So how does it turn out? According to BMW WTLP’s own tests, this version of the iX should provide a range of about 372 kilometers (231 miles) on a single charge. Keep in mind, this is in absolutely perfect conditions. The real results are somewhat different.

Unfortunately for the iX, both times I had the pleasure of feeling it, the weather was cold and winter tires were really needed. These are the two most important aspects to keep in mind when talking about the range of an electric car. With outside temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius, you can already tell I didn’t go too far.

The city’s recorded energy consumption fluctuated around 25.5 kWh per 100 kilometers, which was significantly better than the xDrive50. If you take into account its 71 kWh battery, it will give you a real range of about 278 kilometers (173 miles) with a full charge in the city. By comparison, the 29.3 kWh / 100 km recorded in the xDrive50 version will give you a range of 359 kilometers (223 miles) thanks to a larger battery.

On the highway, that number has changed a lot, and I was surprised to see that the xDrive40 is actually thirstier than its more powerful brother. To be more precise, while xDrive50 recorded energy consumption of 28 kW / h / 100 km on the highway, at an average speed of 130 km / h (81 mph), xDrive40 rose to 30 kW / h / 100 km. By calculation, this means that the latter will offer a range of about 236 kilometers (147 miles) on the highway, at this rate, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) before xDrive50 will have to go down and recharge.

Speaking of recharging, at first you might think that recharging the iX xDrive40 will take longer than 50 or M60, simply because it produces 150 kW of peak charging power compared to 200 kW. However, if you include the difference in battery size in the equation, you will soon learn that the transition from 5% to 80% in xDrive40 is actually three minutes faster. Not a big difference, but remember. In any case, depending on where you live, chances are that in most cases you will not find such powerful chargers on your route, so you will end up using 50 or 75 kW chargers that I and did. Recharging the xDrive40 from 20% to 80% took about 40 minutes, and I only had to do it once while in the car.

Is cheaper better?

So which one should you choose? Should you save some money and choose a model with a limited range, or should you take the proverb “more is better” close to your heart and spend on xDrive50? Well, it all comes down to how you are going to use the car.

The larger battery in the xDrive50 definitely helps it to cover long distances without stopping, as well as at a faster pace. However, if you don’t really need this extra range often enough, the BMW iX xDrive40 should prove good enough for most uses, and it still has enough power for normal use. You can adjust all the frills that xDrive50 offers, and maybe even come up with a slightly better price in the process. It all comes down to how much you want to spend and how far and fast you want to travel. If it was my money, I would choose the 2022 BMW iX xDrive40.

External appeal – 7.5

Interior quality – 9

Steering wheel feedback – 8

Speech – 8

Processing – 7.5

BMWness / Ultimate Driving Machine – 7

Price Ball – 7.5


It all comes down to how much you want to spend and how far and fast you want to travel. If it was my money, I would choose the 2022 BMW iX xDrive40 and save some money.

What do you think?

Written by publisher

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