Testing the iX in the real world
Edmunds tests every new electric vehicle on the same real-world driving loop to see just how far it can travel from a full charge down to zero miles remaining. If you scroll through our EV range leaderboard, you’ll see that most EVs have matched or exceeded their EPA range estimates in our testing. Much of that has to do with our ability to test in near ideal conditions year-round.
Our iX xDrive50 test car was equipped to the nines with nearly every package and option, less BMW’s laser headlights. Adding the Sport package bumped our standard 20-inch wheels up to 22-inchers wrapped in summer tires (Bridgestone Alenza 275/40 R22) and inflated to the factory-recommended pressures of 39 psi and 46 psi front and rear, respectively. The big wheels are where our iX’s specific 315-mile EPA estimate comes from; had we tested one with the standard 20s, the EPA projection would have jumped to 324 miles. Our configuration carries an EPA consumption estimate of 39 kWh/100 miles, which is surprisingly efficient for something this big.
At the test track, we weighed in our iX at 5,707 pounds, which is almost exactly 400 pounds more than a BMW X5 M with its twin-turbo V8 and a full tank of fuel (5,309 pounds).
Drumroll, please. Over the course of a full day of driving our 2022 BMW iX at an ideal average temperature of 73 degrees, we managed to travel a total of 377 miles. As of this writing, that’s the fourth-best range number ever recorded in Edmunds’ EV testing. What’s more, it’s 33 miles clear of the previous electric-SUV champ, the Ford Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 (344 miles). Our VBox GPS data logger showed the iX’s trip meter to be accurate to the mile, so this result is fully vetted. At 62 miles more than the EPA estimate, it’s a laudable 19.7% improvement, topping even the BMW i4, which outperformed its estimate by 18.1%.
So how much did those 377 miles cost?
While the total range of a vehicle continues to dominate the EV conversation and will likely be a popular talking point for the iX, energy consumption is an important factor as well. Energy consumption is what determines how much your miles will cost you. The unit of measurement for consumption, the kilowatt-hour, can be thought of as the EV equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Just like gas, the price of electricity varies depending on where you live. For example, you’ll pay about 10 cents per kWh in Idaho as of this writing, whereas in Hawaii it’ll run you about 42 cents.
So, what can BMW owners expect to pay at “the pump”? After charging the battery back to full, we calculated an impressive Edmunds consumption rate of 32 kWh/100 miles, which is 18.0% more efficient than the EPA estimate of 39 kWh/100 miles and even bests some smaller vehicles, including the all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang Mach-E and BMW’s own i4. Based on that 32-kWh/100-mile consumption rate, if we lived in Hawaii, our 377-mile trip in the iX would have cost us $50.67, while if we lived in Idaho, that same trip would have cost just $12.06.
If we compare the iX to its most efficient competition, the Tesla Model X Long Range (35 kWh/100 miles), the same 377 miles in the Tesla would have cost $55.42 in Hawaii and $13.20 in Idaho. The least efficient SUV we’ve tested, the Audi e-tron (38.4 kWh/100), would have cost $60.80 and $14.48, respectively. It’s worth noting that none of the current EV SUVs can match the iX on range, so putting aside efficiency, being able to cover this kind of distance on a single charge is a major differentiating factor.