The BMW iX has now been on the market for a while, and the i7 is not far behind it. While the i7 commands a bit higher MSRP, it shares a lot of qualities with the iX: seats for five passengers, identical tech, and of course a fully-electrified powertrain. They’ve both got the same badge swagger, and they’ve got a similar all-electric range, depending on how you order it.
Though their modern looks are a bit polarizing, both are fantastic options for those looking to embrace a BMW-sponsored effort at electrification. The iX is a surprisingly competent driving machine, and I have no reason to think that the i7 will fail where its predecessor has succeeded. But if you’re looking at finally making the jump to all-electric, and you can only have one – which will it be? I’ll be assisting with your cross-examination here today.
iX and i7 Features
Both trims of the iX offer a similar level of equipment as the i7 if you’re willing to spend enough. However, with the i7’s not-insignificant price delta comes a slew of exclusive tech that you currently can’t find anywhere else in BMW’s lineup. Automatic doors and Swarovski-crafted crystal headlights are included in the Executive Package offered on the i7, and you can’t find those options anywhere on the iX. The 8K-capable, 31-inch Theater Screen can’t be had elsewhere either, or the exotic two-tone exterior paint.
That’s not to say that the iX xDrive50 nor the M60i are feature-light, though. They get pretty much every option available on a 7 Series from just a year or two ago, including high-dollar options like Driving Assistance Pro, ventilated seats, and Bowers and Wilkins audio.
iX and i7 Range and Performance
Performance-wise, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to these BMW EVs. All of them boast comparable performance, but the iX M60 is definitively king: 610 horsepower and a thoroughly ridiculous 811 pound-feet of torque with Launch Control active. That gets this 5800-pound behemoth from 0-60 in a BMW-estimated (read: it’s capable of quicker) 3.6 seconds. Expect a reasonable 288 miles with 21-inch wheels, and closer to 275 miles with the 22s.
The i7 weighs more than the iX M60, at least according to BMW. The i7 is an estimated 5917 pounds, which is H-E-A-V-Y. Output from the electric motors is quoted as 546 horsepower and 549 pound-feet, less than the iX M60 and closely aligned with the iX xDrive50. BMW estimates a 4.5-second 0-60 time, which is sufficient, but EV buyers – especially in this price range – might have higher expectations. The range will of course vary with wheel choices: opting for the 19-inch wheels will get you nearly 320 miles of range, while more aggressive wheel choices will hover just around 300 miles of range.
The iX xDrive50 trails the pack with the “least” horsepower, just 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet, but if you can somehow go without 800+ lb-ft torque figures, you’ll be rewarded with miles longer range. You’ll be over 300 regardless of wheel choice, and the 22-inch wheels will net you a BMW-estimated 315 miles. Plus, its claimed 0-60 of 4.0 seconds flat makes it a little bit quicker than the i7.
iX and i7 Pricing and Availability
For the 2023 model year, you can get into an iX for as little as $84,100. The iX xDrive50 is no slouch when it comes to standard equipment: you’ll still get iDrive 8, you’ll get decent looking black 20-inch wheels that return an EPA-estimated 324 miles of range, and can pick from Oyster, Mocha, or Black Perforated Sensatec interiors. You’ll probably want to at least check the box for Convenience Package ($2000, includes Harman Kardon, surround-view cameras, heads-up display, etc), but you’ll still come in well under $90,000 and get a distilled version of what the iX represents. You might be waiting a bit, as some dealerships have customers still waiting for their cars from the pre-order program a year ago.
The iX M60 starts at $108,625 and offers up more power, more features, and a little more curbside cache than the base iX. It’s a significant step up from the iX xDr50, but it’s also considerably better equipped: most features standard on the i7 are shared with the iX M60. It’s the value leader of the bunch – but there’s probably a bit of a waitlist.
The i7 starts at $119,300 – considerably higher than the iX, regardless of horsepower output. You won’t have to look far to see where your hard-earned cash has gone, though. The i7 boasts numerous premium features standard; Bowers & Wilkins sound, iDrive 8 with a heads-up display, and ventilated seats are just a few. Make no mistake, you can deck out your i7 with any number of plush additions – all the way up to around $150,000 if you want – but there isn’t anything the base vehicle lacks that you’ll need to add. Order today and you’ll probably still receive a fairly early production and expect delivery in Q2 of 2023.
Verdict? The iX M60 Offers the Best Overall Value.
The iX M60 delivers the best performance and will still significantly undercut the i7’s base MSRP, even with every option box ticked. While there is certainly some allure to the i7 and its laundry list of truly next-generation technology, there is a noticeable (if slightly irrelevant) performance trade-off that I can’t see myself making. Especially when considering the lofty price tag of the i7. The range is also unimpressive in the i7, and I would have liked to see an Autobahn cruiser like that receive a bit longer range.
I haven’t driven an i7, but I’m not imagining it to be a spry performer – at least not any more than the iX, which (at least in xDrive50 form) drives quite well considering its heft and dimensions. So, unless you need the bleeding edge of technology, I would save thousands of dollars and pick up an iX M60 instead – if you can.