BMW iX xDrive50 review: More power, more range, more features

    Not one to rest on its laurels, BMW has made its best-selling EV even better. But it has come at a price.

    Published on May 29, 2024 10:26:00 AM

    15,918 Views

    Make : BMW
    Model : iX
    We Like
    • Best-in-class range
    • Ride comfort
    • Features
    We Don't Like
    • Expensive
    • Complicated touchscreen
    • Handling not BMW sharp.

    Whichever side of the fence you might be on when it comes to the look of the BMW iX, its bucktoothed face especially, it doesn’t really matter. That’s because the people that buy one-crore-plus luxury electric SUVs seem to absolutely love it, and have made it the best-selling luxury EV for a second year running, with 738 units sold in FY2024. And it did this despite having a critical flaw, one that usually has EV buyers up in arms. Though quite an efficient vehicle, the modest 77kWh battery of the iX xDrive40 gave it the lowest range in the segment; a meagre 356km in our real-world test. Not one to rest on its laurels, though, BMW addressed this in March by replacing the xDrive40 with the xDrive50, which not only gets a bigger battery, but more power and more standard features too.

    BMW iX xDrive50 badge
    It gets a bigger battery and more power.

    At 111.5kWh (105.2kWh net), the new battery is a whopping 45 percent larger than the previous one, resulting in a WLTP range of 635km! What’s more, during our rigorous real-world range test, a combination of city and highway driving, it delivered 504km, comfortably higher than any of its rivals and a massive 148km more than the xDrive40. It can now also be charged at up to 195kW on a DC fast charger, as opposed to 150kW previously.

    What the 50 also brings is a power bump from 326hp to a massive (and class leading) 523hp, with torque up from 630Nm to 765Nm. This brings the 0-100kph time down from 6.1 to 4.5 seconds, something we verified with our VBOX testing gear. The xDrive40 never felt like a slouch, particularly with Sport mode engaged, and the powertrain set in B mode (when in D, tap the select lever down once more). The xDrive50, however, feels supercar quick off the line, and even more so in rolling acceleration, so much that you’ll want to avoid B mode in almost every situation; it’s simply too ferocious. Even without it, however, accessing the added performance is no more than a purposeful prod of the accelerator away, so you have to learn to be judicious with it in everyday driving.

    BMW iX xDrive50 rear action
    The 0-100kph time is down from 6.1 to 4.5 seconds.

    Speaking of which, two other hardware changes include the standardisation of air suspension (previously optional) and a move up from 21 to 22-inch wheels, and this has had an impact on the ride quality. The old coil-spring setup was soft, and the air suspension is too, but there seems to be a greater bandwidth in the efficacy of the adaptive dampers now; basically, it is even softer or firmer at either end of the scale. Though the suspension does the heavy lifting, the larger wheels have had a negative impact, with road imperfections registering more prominently in the cabin. As before, the iX’s 2.5-tonne weight can be felt in corners, and combined with the soft suspension and not-too-sharp steering, it falls short of the handling high water mark BMW itself has set with its other large SUVs.

    BMW iX xDrive50 cornering shot
    Its 2.5-tonne weight can be felt while cornering.

    All this has come at a Rs 20 lakh premium, with the iX now costing Rs 1.40 crore (ex-showroom), going from being the most affordable to the most expensive in the class, alongside the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. You have to remember, however, that battery and range aside, the iX was among the best in nearly every aspect, and continues to be. Its rear seat is cozy, plush and spacious, the features list is vast and cutting edge, and it’s very entertaining from the driver’s seat too. With the updates, and despite the price bump, there’s no doubt it will remain at the top of the luxury EV sales charts for another year to come.

    Also see:

    Comparison: Mercedes EQE SUV vs Audi Q8 e tron vs BMW iX vs Jaguar I Pace

    BMW Concept Skytop previews future V8 roadster

    BMW 2 Series Shadow Edition launched at Rs 46.90 lakh

    Tech Specs

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