BMW iX xDrive50 Review: Upping The Ante

BMW’s flagship electric SUV gets added power, greater range and more kit in new top variant.

By Jaiveer Mehra


8 mins read


Published on March 21, 2024

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    The iX has gone on to establish itself as BMW’s best-selling electric vehicle in the market despite also being its most expensive. However, now with the luxury segment heating up, the carmaker is looking to sure up its position in the luxury SUV segment by adding to its iX range. The current iX xDrive40 is being joined by the iX Drive50 which promises greater range, improved performance and some additional features. But does it deliver?



    Exterior: Its All In The Details

    BMW i X 33

    On the surface the iX xDrive50 looks near identical to the xDrive40.


    Walking up to iX xDrive50, you’ll be hard-pressed to tell this apart from its less powerful variant. Up front, you get the closed-off oversized BMW kidney grille, the same sleek LED headlamps with twin-bar LED daytime running lamps and the same bumper design. Round the side, it’s the new alloys that help you identify this as the more powerful variant. A set of new aero-optimized 22-inch units compared to the ‘ahem’ more pedestrian 21s on the xDrive40. Round the back too the design is untouched with just the xDrive50 badge telling you you’ve got more power hidden under the bodywork.

    BMW i X 31

    The xDrive50 can be identified by its larger alloy wheels.


    Commenting on the overall design, the iX does have some good proportions with the muscular wheel arches, rising window line and sleek light clusters. The oversized grille might not be to everyone’s tastes though the placement of the numberplate does go some way in disguising its size.

    BMW i X 35

    Oversized grille might not be to everyone's taste; numberplate helps disguise its size.


    The Cabin: Going Digital


    Inside, the iX offers acres of space, be it in the front or the rear. The 3000 mm wheelbase – 25 mm more than in an X5 – makes the cabin spacious enough so even a six-foot-tall person can comfortably sit in the rear seat without feeling cramped. Overall, the cabin design is unchanged from the xDrive40, replete with the floating dashboard, walkthrough design centre console, crystal switches on the centre console and doors and the twin digital screens – a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen. Build quality is good and unless you go right up to the vehicle floor almost every surface you touch features soft-touch materials be it artificial leather, fabric or plastic. BMW has used hard plastics as well, but only at the base of the doors and under the dashboard. Though they are of good quality so there’s little to complain about.

    BMW i X 21

    Cabin design is identical to the iX xDrive40 replete with the digital heavy design.


    The front seats are big and comfortable and offer a range of adjustment – even side bolsters and lumbar - although for some of these functions you need to dig into the touchscreen. The iX was one of the first BMWs to move away from physical switches and if anything I have a gripe with this. Some basic controls are still physical such as the indicator stalk and wiper stalk, gear selector, start/stop button, parking brake and the controls for the seat recline, reach and height and volume control but almost everything else is via the touchscreen.

    BMW i X 24

    iX offers acres of space inside the cabin to the chauffeur driven will be quite comfy.


    Drive modes can be accessed via a physical shortcut button though selecting and tailoring the drive modes is via the touchscreen. Even a lot of the headlamp controls are located on the touchscreen. A trio of switches sit on the right of the steering letting you activate the auto headlamp function and switch on the fog lamps while the third is a shortcut to the lighting menu the touchscreen. Press that and you get options such as switching on your headlamps manually or activating the DRLs with the vehicle powered down. The indicator stalk only lets you cycle between high beam and low beam.


    BMW i X 10

    The touchscreen is the nerve centre for almost all controls with many physical buttons just shortcuts to respective menus.


    On the feature front, you get all the goodies from the xDrive40 including the Harman Kardon Sound system, head-up display, four-zone climate control, gesture controls for the touchscreen, powered front seats with massage functions, ventilated front seats, advanced driver assistance systems, an electrochromic panoramic glass roof, power-adjustable steering column and more. The iX xDrive50 however does get one crucial addition over the 40, adaptive air suspension at all-four corners with self-levelling and a suspension lift function that makes a notable difference to the ride quality.


    BMW i X 16

    Door opening is via a button; basic seat adjustment via the controls on the door, additional adjustments are via the touchscreen.


    Powertrain: All The Difference


    As we alluded to at the start, the biggest changes to the iX xDrive50 over the 40 is all tucked away under the skin. The dual-motor all-wheel drive system has been boosted to produce 516 bhp and 765 Nm – increased by 194 bhp at 135 Nm – and there’s a mammoth 111.5 kWh battery pack now under the floor. So, what does that mean in terms of performance, well if you felt the xDrive 40 didn’t pin you in the seat hard enough, this one will. Acceleration is best described as electric with this 2-tonne-plus SUV blitzing the 100 kmph sprint in a claimed 4.6 seconds though the 200 kmph electrically limited top speed remains unchanged. 


    BMW i X 39

    xDrive50 ups the power and torque by 194 bhp and 135 Nm over the xDrive40.


    Being electric, the power delivery is instant while the Sport mode does let you play with the level of intensity. Modes like Efficient and Personal mellow out the performance while the Sport mode lets you wring out the maximum from the powertrain. Sport mode stiffens up the suspension, weighs up the steering, sharpens throttle response and can also dial back the dynamic stability control with users able to individually customize each of these setting via the touchscreen. Efficient mode also comes with a ‘hypermiling’ setting that allows users to make maximum use of the range – which should prove useful should you find the battery falling too low.


    BMW i X 43

    All-wheel air suspension makes a lot of difference in ride quality; iX floats over the road in comfort mode.


    Coming to the suspension, the air suspension on the iX xDrive50 adds to the luxury car experience one would want in the Rs 1 crore-plus SUV. While the ride was quite good in the xDrive 40, the air suspension in the xDrive 50 feels as if almost all road imperfections have been ironed out. From our experience with the SUV, the air suspension gives the feeling of the car floating over the road when set to comfort while sport does firm up the ride to help contain body roll. That said the ride isn’t too busy in sport mode with the suspension soaking up most of the road imperfections without jarring occupants.

    BMW i X 41

    The 2 tonne-plus iX xDrive50 is a hoot to drive in Sport mode though its weight is felt in the corners.


    Now with this being a big heavy electric SUV, you do encounter body roll in the corners though BMW has done level best to keep it contained as much as possible. The steering feel is quite neutral in the way that it offers some amount of feedback letting you place the SUV on the road accurately enough though it's not the most feel-some. Sport mode additionally does add some heft to the unit.


    Range and Charging

    BMW i X 15

    111.5 kWh battery pack gives iX a range of up to 635 km (WLTP); should realistically do over 500 km on a single charge.


    Coming to the range, BMW claims that the xDrive 50 can cover up to 635 km (WLTP) on a single charge. The xDrive40 offered up to 425 km in comparison. We’ll have to hold our final verdict on the real-world range until we do a proper range test, however, we assume that the SUV should be able to traverse over 500 km on a single charge easily enough.


    With the battery pack now being larger, BMW is offering the option for even higher rates of charging. As before a 11 kW AC charger will be offered as standard with the iX xDrive50 though now buyers will have the option to upgrade to a 22 kW unit. This variant also supports faster 200 kW DC fast charging – up from 150 kW on the xDrive40.




    The BMW iX is quite a likeable SUV and has been quite successful for the brand so far. BMW has said that it remains the company’s bestselling EV in the country, despite being its most expensive one, and we can see why. The SUV certainly has road presence, it turns heads on the road, drives well, the ride quality is amazing, and the cabin is a very comfortable and pleasant place to be in. The iX’s only shortcoming till now seemed to be the powertrain where it didn’t quite have the numbers to match some rivals in a game of top trumps. Well, the iX xDrive50 certainly covers those minor shortcomings too.

    BMW i X 29

    The iX xDrive50 build on an already good product in the xDrive40 with even greater comfort and performance.


    With a sticker price of around Rs 1.5 crore (ex-showroom), the iX xDrive 50 will go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV on Indian roads and from where I sit, it has everything needed to appeal to the high-end luxury EV buyer. There’s ample room to keep the chauffeur-driven comfortable and happy and it's quite a hoot to drive so the self-driven will have little to complain about.

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