When BMW steps into any market segment, it tends to do so in a commanding way. So it’s fitting the new 2023 iX M60 carries the gravitas you expect from BMW paired with a world-class luxury interior and outstanding EV performance.
After bringing out the all-electric i3 back in 2013, BMW took its time bringing out the i4 and iX, which debuted in 2021 for the 2022 model year. Now that these models have a year under their belts, we think BMW has the right formula. They’ve figured out not to make EVs as some funky little oddball car, but rather to make electric versions of the BMWs that people already like — and already buy. That’s a bit of wisdom that has taken some time to percolate through the auto industry.
The iX is BMW’s offering in the electric SUV market, and it’s designed to hit all of BMW’s high points. First, it’s a real SUV. The iX is sized about the same as the popular X5 midsize SUV, within 2 inches in any dimension. Then, it’s got performance, especially in the M-branded iX M60 we tested, with 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. That much power gets you a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds.
Finally, there’s luxury, and this is where the iX really impresses. The design is futuristic and clean, and while we could have wished for maybe a few more knobs with labels, iX owners will figure it all out very quickly. The seats and general interior space is supremely comfortable, and discerning BMW owners will find they don’t have to give up anything they love in this EV.
BMW wisely made the iX a little bit different from the X5, so you’ll never confuse the two. The X5 still has the older, smaller grilles, while the iX got the full beaver-tooth front end treatment. You may or may not love the oversized set of grilles, but BMW’s committed to them. If you want the iX, you’ll get the big grilles. The really funny part is that as an EV, the iX doesn’t really need any grilles at all, so the oversized grilles really are an affectation.
The rest of the exterior is unremarkable, with standard BMW SUV design cues. Still, the iX is a good-looking product, and no one can argue with that.
As mentioned, the interior of the iX is futuristic and well-made. Our test unit had an optional glass-and-wood controls package ($1,150) that made the gear selector and seat adjustment controls all glass, with wood trim. Honestly, that’s over $1,000 you don’t need to spend. It really didn’t add much to the experience.
The seat upholstery is also interesting, because it’s quilted leather. At first, I thought the seats had some kind of protective cover on them but no, that’s the actual upholstery. It’s Amido perforated leather, and that option costs $3,500.
The iX comes with a typical two-motor system, one for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels. Together, they deliver 610 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. As usual for an EV, there’s no transmission to worry about. If you bought the less expensive iX xDrive50, you’d still get 516 horsepower, 564 lb-ft torque, and a 4.4-second 0-60 time. Not bad considering you’ll save over $24,000 with that trim level.
Let’s talk batteries, though. The iX M60 battery pack has 106.3 kWh hours of net capacity, which is big enough to support the 274- to 288-mile range promised. When using a Level 2 charger at 40 Amps (which is typical for home-based charging systems) it will take 12.25 hours to charge from zero to 100 percent. Now, a real 0-100 charge scenario is pretty rare, so assume that with a basic home charger unit, you can get a full charge overnight.
When using the DC Fast Charge capability, a 10% to 80% charge takes 49 minutes at 100 kW, which is broadly available now. If you found a station with 250 kW, that same recharge will be done in 35 minutes. In our real-world testing, we took the iX from about 60% (210 miles remaining) up to 98% charge in 38 minutes on a 62 kW DC fast charger.
Although European media outlets list a towing capability for the iX, none of BMW’s specifications for the US model list a rated towing capacity. Talk to your dealer before attempting to tow with this SUV.
Safety and Technology
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have not yet rated the iX, it comes with pretty much every advanced safety and driver assistance technology available in the industry today. Our test vehicle came with the optional Driving Assistance Pro package ($1,900) which includes an active steering assistance element and a Parking Assistant Professional.
Like many new EVs, BMW has integrated the driver information display screen and the infotainment screen behind a single pane of curved glass. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported, along with a well-refined voice control system and wireless charging. Audio in the top-end iX M60 is a lovely Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system.
As mentioned, we could have wished for just a few more knobs in the tech system. Specifically, the four-zone climate controls are integrated into the touchscreen, and we never did figure out how to get the windshield defroster to come on. So we just cranked up the heat in the cabin and opened the windows. Here again, a long-term owner would figure that out, but we couldn’t find a control, nor did we know what incantation to recite for the voice control.
Driving the iX is everything you expect from a BMW SUV, especially in its top M60 trim. With 610 hp on tap, you don’t have to worry about the iX’s heavyweight (5,769 pounds) demeanor. It will get up and go when you press the pedal. With the M modifications, the iX also stops very well, corners flat and generally does everything well. Because of that weight, it also rides very smoothly and comfortably.
The thing to talk about, though, is the energy usage in the iX. For a thorough test drive, we went over a small (1,500 feet high) mountain range, twice. The trip was 75 miles in each direction, and both times, the iX proved itself better than promised. For the second trip, we started with 276 miles of range showing. Like most EVs, the miles seem to tick off quickly before you get on the highway. Climbing the mountains, we were down to 200 miles of range by the time we’d done the 35 miles to the summit. But we gained back 40 miles of range on the downhill side, and then the iX seemed to travel several miles for every mile that counted down on the range estimate. We arrived at our destination with 210 miles of range remaining.
2023 BMW iX M60 Specifications
|Dimension||L: 195 inches/W: 77.4 inches/H: 66.8 inches/Wheelbase: 118.1 inches|
|Powertrain||Dual electric motors, direct drive to all wheels|
|Fuel Economy||78 mpg-e/274-324 miles of range|
|Performance Specs||610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $108,900; As tested: $115,870 including 995 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The 2023 BMW iX xDrive50 starts at $84,100, while the M60 trim starts at $108,900. Besides saving over $24,000, the xDrive50 also has a bit more range, up to 324 miles. To our way of thinking, that makes the xDrive50 the one to get, unless you’re really jonesing for that extra power.
2023 BMW iX M60 — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the BMW iX safe?
While NHTSA and IIHS have not yet rated the iX, the Euro NCAP crash test found the iX worthy of a 91% adult occupant protection rating, and 87% for child occupants. The safety assist systems were rated at 81 percent.
How fast is the BMW iX?
The BMW iX xDrive50 is governed to 124 mph, while the iX M60 is good for 130 mph.
Does the BMW iX have a “frunk” under the hood?
No, it does not. However, there is a generous amount of cargo space in back, up to 77.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.