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How We'd Spec It: 2023 BMW iX M60 and 2022 iX xDrive50

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 5/28/2022 Car and Driver
Most of us sensibly spec BMW's bulky electric SUV, but someone empties their fake bank account for ultimate power and prestige. © BMW Most of us sensibly spec BMW's bulky electric SUV, but someone empties their fake bank account for ultimate power and prestige.

Like most automakers nowadays, BMW is busy electrifying its lineup, having just introduced the i4 sedan and iX SUV for the 2022 model year. The iX is a mid-size SUV in the same vein as the popular BMW X5, except the electric version has a much more polarizing appearance. While every iX has dual electric motors and a 105.2-kWh battery pack, power output and estimated range vary between the two available models.

The regular xDrive50 has a combined 516 horsepower and between 305 and 324 miles of range. It starts at $84,195. The higher-performance M60 model joins the iX lineup for the 2023 model year, bringing 610 total horses and between 274 and 288 miles of range. It starts at $106,095. Our editors were asked to spec their ideal iX, and while most of us prioritized range and value, someone emptied their fake bank account for ultimate power and prestige. Using BMW's online configurator, which currently only features the 2022 xDrive50 and 2023 M60, this is how we'd buy the new iX:

Drew Dorian's $87,495 2022 iX xDrive 50

I haven’t driven the more powerful M60 model yet, but I enjoyed my time in the xDrive50 and found it to be plenty quick. I’d go with that model and save my money for some slick upgrades. First, I’d pick the $2800 Sport styling package, which adds 21-inch wheels, clear taillamp lenses, and replaces the black front and rear bumpers with body-colored ones. The no-cost Blue Ridge Mountain Metallic paint looks very nice, and it matches the iX’s optional $500 Stonegrey Microfiber and Wool interior upholstery. Selecting this cloth interior scheme also adds lovely rose gold interior accents. Lastly, I’d add the $2300 Convenience package, which includes a head-up display with augmented reality for the navigation system, a 360-degree exterior camera system, and BMW’s Parking Assistant Plus feature. All in my ideal iX xDrive50i would cost $87,495, which sounds like a lot, but in my experience, this EV SUV is well worth the money. —Drew Dorian

Caleb Miller's $92,270 2022 iX xDrive50


Gallery: Tour the sleek and spacious interior of the $56,000 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUV (Business Insider)

The BMW iX certainly isn’t my favorite car to look at, but after recently spending some time in its sumptuous interior and experiencing the hushed and relaxing ride, the iX is growing on me. I opted for the iX xDrive50, since 516 horsepower in a chunky SUV is more than enough. Plus, with the $84,195 starting price, I was able to splurge on options without even coming close to the M60’s $106,095 base price. For the exterior trim, I went for the $2800 Sport option, which adds the more aggressive front bumper design from the M60 as well as dark clear taillights in place of traditional red units. While it also includes 21-inch bi-color wheels, I ended up spending $950 to replace these with 22-inch dark wheels that have a more intricate design and give the iX a more assertive stance. I painted my iX in the vibrant Phytonic Blue Metallic, a no-cost option. Inside, I chose the $500 Stonegrey Microfiber and Wool Blend upholstery, the same spec we had in the vehicle I drove, which is soft to the touch and provides the cabin with a tranquil aura. I also dropped $4000 on the Premium package, since my luxury SUV better have a head-up display and surround-view cameras. The package comes with useful perks such as augmented reality navigation, Parking Assistant Plus, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and multi-function seats. I could do without the interior camera, gesture control, and weird fake driving sounds, but they're part of the package. I didn’t upgrade to the $3400 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system because I think the 18-speaker Harman Kardon setup will serve me just fine. All told, my iX xDrive50 came in at $92,270. —Caleb Miller

Austin Irwin's $94,675 2022 iX xDrive50

The price difference between the 610-hp iX M60 with an EPA-rated 288 miles of range versus the 516-hp iX xDrive50 with an estimated 324 miles of range isn’t too far from the starting price of the Nissan Leaf. Comparing their estimated acceleration times, the M60’s 3.6-second (mfr's claim) to 60 mph seems less worth it considering how the $21,900 difference nets you a quicker 5700-pound SUV by only eight-tenths of a second. The only thing dorkier than the iX’s faux kidney grilles is paying extra for qualities that will only diminish driving range. I’d rather stick with the already elegant basics of the iX xDrive50 Shadowline base model with 20-inch wheels. Plus, opting for the 21-inchers would punch the EPA range down by 20 miles. Of the colors that don’t require an additional equipment package and bigger wheels, the no-cost Blue Ridge Mountain Metallic strikes a balance between paint not offered on Teslas and ones once available for the Pontiac Aztek. I’d spring for the Amido olive-leaf tanned perforated leather interior ($2450) with Titanium Bronze trim because I like the way the bronze highlights the seat, window, and door lock controls in an otherwise gothic cabin. The optional Premium package ($4000) is a no-brainer. This package includes the 18-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, a HUD and enhanced navigation, a three-dimensional 360-degree camera, front massaging seats, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Strangely, front ventilated seats ($500) aren’t part of either Convenience or Premium packages for the iX Drive50, but are a must-have to keep the bottom of my midwestern, body-by-Costco physique cooled. Heated front seats are standard. Finally, I’d add the optional Icon Adaptive Laserlight headlights ($1000) just to see if they’re bright enough to cook a white-tailed deer before it crosses the road. At $94,675, my iX xDrive50 plugs in at $11,420 less than the more powerful M60 sans options. —Austin Irwin

Eric Stafford's $113,920 2023 iX M60

In my opinion, the only way to make the BMW iX look like something I'd actually want to be seen in is to spec it in Black Sapphire metallic free of charge. The sinister shade successfully masks the mid-size SUV's awkward appearance, and when matched with the optional bi-color bronze 22-inch rims and obligatory bronze exterior trim ($1450 altogether), the iX legitimately looks bad***. While this look can be closely replicated on the 516-hp xDrive50 model, I'd gladly dole out the extra $21,900 for the mightier M60 version. Why spend more on an EV only to give up as much as 50 miles of estimated driving range? Two words: power and prestige. With its dual electric motors at maximum strength, the M60 generates 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque, increases of 94 and 247, respectively, versus the xDrive50. That should launch this nearly three-ton electric brick to 60 mph in about 3.3 seconds (C/D estimate), quick enough to embarrass any Tesla Model Y and Model X owners. I also want any BMW I buy to wear M badges, even if the chassis upgrades on the M60 only amount to slightly stiffer front and rear anti-roll bars. The only bummer about the M60 is that it's not available with the beautiful Stone Gray microfiber and wool-blend upholstery found on the xDrive50. Instead, I'd settle for the rich-looking Castanea Chestnut leather option ($3500). It also seems silly not to spend another $1900 on the package that'll let my iX park itself and even change lanes on its own, in certain situations. Finally, I might as well spare no expense and drop a measly $1150 on the Luxury package. Maybe its soft-close doors will encourage my friends to stop slamming them shut. Either way, I'll definitely like looking at the open-pore wood trim and touching the glass controls. Final cost? $113,920. —Eric Stafford

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