Spec’ing the Ideal iX: Why We Chose Power Over Range

It was a bittersweet goodbye. Our 2024 BMW iX M60 is going back to its rightful owners, and it’s time for us to reflect on what it meant to live with this electric crossover for months at a time. In the summer of 2023, BMW of North America asked us to spec our ideal iX. The choice was between an iX xDrive50 and an iX M60: more range or more power. We picked the latter. Why? I’m already well aware that the base iX xDrive50 is an outstanding and comfortable daily driver, a luxurious crossover that adapts to various needs. However, I wanted to see if the iX M60 would be “too much” for everyday use. I’ve done already several test reports and video reviews and you can see them here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Today, I’m excited to share my experiences from the past few months with the 2024 BMW iX M60. Let me start with this: despite having one of the best jobs in the world, driving both new and classic cars, this electric crossover has quickly ascended to the top of my favorite BMWs list. When asked about my favorite BMW, most people expect me to name an M2, M3, or M5. So they’re always surprised when I point to the iX.

How the iX Reminds Us of BMW’s i3 Legacy

Naturally, the next question is why. The answer is simple: the BMW iX is one of the most innovative products BMW has created since the i3. In many ways, it reminds me of the i3, but with advanced technology and, most importantly, luxury. Like the i3, it’s built on a bespoke platform, and while it lacks the carbon fiber chassis, it embodies a no-compromise approach to electromobility.

While the i4 and i7 are impressive in their own right, they make compromises in space and efficiency due to the shared CLAR platform. This becomes evident the moment you sit inside an iX compared to an i7. The iX’s interior design appears simple at first glance, but a closer look reveals the intricate effort behind its minimalism. Every element inside the iX is crafted to avoid overwhelming you—except for the large curved display—and to maximize space and functionality. The dashboard is pushed forward and angled to create a sense of openness unmatched by any other BMW. The floating center console offers ample storage without encroaching on lateral space. Even the haptic buttons on the center console are discreetly arranged, avoiding the need for constant attention.

The seats in the 2024 BMW iX M60 are plush, though they lack the sportiness typically associated with BMW. However, this design choice maximizes front space, enhancing overall comfort. The steering wheel, with its quirky flat-bottom design, facilitates easier ingress and egress. Additionally, the Bowers & Wilkins system stands out as the best audio experience in a BMW to date, meticulously designed to complement the iX’s interior.

Audiophile’s Dream: Inside the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System

The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System is a groundbreaking feature, marking the first use of 30 speakers in a BMW. This setup includes 17 mid-range speakers (21 watts, 4 ohms), 4 bass speakers (250 watts, 8 ohms), 5 tweeters (25 watts, 4 ohms), and four 4D audio shakers. Strategically positioned throughout the cabin, these speakers deliver exceptional sound quality. Integrated with the BMW Operating System 8 or 8.5, the system offers a 7-band equalizer, four sound modes (Studio, Lounge, On Stage, and Concert), and numerous customization options via the “Sound” menu.

Diving deeper into the specifics, the iX’s front seats feature headrest speakers and 4D audio shakers. These headrest speakers, present in both the front and rear seats, create an individualized surround sound experience for all passengers. Additionally, the headliner incorporates extra mid-range speakers for the first time. The front seats are equipped with four 4D audio shakers, which use built-in swinging magnets to transmit music signals through oscillations. This technology enhances the low-end audio experience for both driver and passenger, even at lower volumes, providing a unique bass sensation. In the second-row seats, headrest speakers replace the traditional speakers in the D-pillar, further enhancing the immersive audio experience.

Lastly, the rear bench in the 2024 BMW iX M60 is ingeniously designed. Its angled configuration provides ample headroom, while its plush cushioning ensures comfort on long road trips. The middle section is subtly scooped to accommodate a third passenger with ease. Have a couple of kids with large car seats? No problem at all. Need extra cargo space? Simply fold down the rear seats to reveal an impressive 77.9 cubic feet of storage, surpassing even the X5.

Range and Charging: The iX M60’s Performance in Real-World Use

By now, you might see why I’m enamored with the iX. However, being an electric vehicle, its range and charging capabilities are of paramount importance to EV customers. While the iX M60 might not top the charts in terms of range, I frequently achieved over 300 miles on a single charge, which is impressive by many standards. The charging rate stands at 195 kW—could it be better? Absolutely. A slightly faster charging capability would provide additional peace of mind for long trips. However, even at this rate, gaining around 100 miles in just 10-12 minutes of DC fast charging is quite satisfactory in my book.

In fact, it was so efficient that during my months-long test, I never felt the need to install a Level 2 charger at home. Instead, I relied entirely on public charging stations, primarily Electrify America, because nothing beats free.

Chicago’s Test Bed: Air Suspension Performance on Rough Roads

Still not convinced? Let me highlight the standout feature of the BMW iX: the driving experience. In my opinion, the iX offers the most luxurious driving experience in the entire BMW lineup, surpassing even the 7 Series and i7. There is a caveat, though—you need the air suspension option.

And there’s no better place to test this suspension than in Chicago, with its potholes, construction zones, and generally imperfect road surfaces. The iX with air suspension handles rough, poorly maintained asphalt exceptionally well, making it worth every penny. It doesn’t exhibit the typical “floatiness” associated with air suspensions; instead, it delivers a surprisingly well-balanced ride with minimal body roll for an SUV. The ride is pillowy soft, effectively smothering bumps to the point where it feels like all roads have been freshly resurfaced.

Another key feature is the remarkable interior quietness of the iX. Some reviewers even measured it as being almost as quiet as a Rolls Royce at speed. I haven’t done a scientific test, but how BMW achieved this, especially with frameless windows, is beyond me. The result is astonishing.

Family Favorite: The First Car My Kids Were Sad to See Go

There is much more to say about the BMW iX, but the links I shared above will cover all the details. I suspect that when the facelifted iX arrives in 2025, I’ll have another chance to dive into it. Ultimately, the BMW iX might not be perfect, but it boasts enough qualities to secure the top spot on my car list. Of course, your mileage and needs may vary, but for me, it ticked all the right boxes. It’s also the first car my kids were genuinely sad to see go.