The year is almost over, and there have been quite a few additions to the 2022 lineup of BMW SUVs – or SAVs if you prefer. The all-electric BMW iX and completely new 2023 BMW X1 finally started making their way into customers’ hands, the BMW X7 got a pretty significant facelift, and the recently refreshed X3 and X4 continued to offer excellent value and classic styling. But there can only be one. And there’s a BMW SUV that has impressed beyond any other. The best BMW SUV in 2022 is the BMW iX.
The BMW iX: The Best BMW SAV in 2022
The first all-electric BMW is a critical and pivotal moment in the brand’s history. Almost every automotive outlet has excellent things to say about the BMW iX. It currently tops the Car and Driver list for best in its segment, we’ve written many a glowing review of the iX, and it’s even a big hit over at PCMag. Go figure – the most tech-forward BMW vehicle ever is a big hit with the geeks. Chicks dig it, too – it’s the Women’s World Car of the Year for 2022.
While it’s impossible not to talk about the grille, it’s a credit to how good the car is that it’s still so well-received while being, well, unconventionally pretty. It accelerates quickly without the disorienting acceleration of, say, a Tesla. It offers an almost gratuitous level of luxury and an incredible sound system in the Bowers & Wilkins 30-speaker unit. Amenities buyers expect in this segment – like adaptive cruise control and a heads-up display – are optional but not exorbitantly expensive.
This brings us to the price – $84,100 before destination charges. You’re shelling out at least $87,000 for an Audi Q8 e-tron, and a Rivian R1S is a little bit cheaper at $78,000, but you’re getting measurably less range and forgoing Apple CarPlay. Even with important options like the Dynamic Handling Package and Convenience Package selected, the iX xDrive50 comes in under $90,000. No vehicle – electric or otherwise – offers that much performance and practicality at that price point.
Honorable Mention: the 2023 BMW X5
Truthfully, BMW doesn’t really make any bad SUVs these days. With the X2 largely out of the picture and the 2023 X1 xDrive28i getting an incredible exterior makeover, all of BMW’s SAVs and SACs are pretty competitive. They all offer intuitive technology and surprisingly agile handling characteristics – especially the M Performance vehicles. But the current-gen, soon-to-be-refreshed 2023 BMW X5 does it the best.
With a base MSRP of just over $61,600, it’s a little pricy for the segment. But even base versions come well-equipped with all the infotainment goodies you could ever need, like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The iDrive is one generation behind the newest, but it’s wonderfully intuitive. Plus, you still have physical buttons for climate control. There are value propositions in the safety equipment, too – blind-spot monitoring and more come standard on all X5s.
The best thing about the BMW X5 is that there’s a trim level for everybody. The BMW X5 M50i and X5 M offer incredible performance that’s almost unparalleled in the segment. Having driven an X5 M on the track, I can attest to its logic and physics-defying handling prowess. But, the X5 xDrive45e hybrid exists for those looking for a more sustainable option. It truly does a great job of giving shoppers options – and if an EV doesn’t fit into your life right now but you still need an SAV, the BMW X5 is a choice you will not be disappointed with.