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2023 BMW iX M60 - Review by Larry Nutson

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Fun, fast, practical and green

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau

The global automobile industry continues to move forward with the ever-increasing electrification of vehicles. Specific battery-electric vehicle architecture, referred to in the industry as a skate board because of its look, is being designed.

The BMW iX is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable architecture on which the future of the BMW Group will be built. Conceived from the outset as purely electric mobility, the iX sees BMW redefining its Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) concept.

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The BMW iX is a four-door, five-passenger mid-size utility vehicle with a large opening rear hatch. For 2022 the xDrive50 model was introduced that features front and rear electric motors producing a total of 516-horepower, all-wheel drive, and a driving range of up to 324 miles. Acceleration from stop to 60 mph is in 4.4 seconds. MSRP is $83,200, plus a $995 destination charge.

For 2023 the iX M60 has been introduced. It also has the two-motor system and all-wheel drive. Output is 532-horsepower. A Sport Boost mode ups that to 610-hp. Zero to 60 mph is in a very rapid, perhaps too rapid, 3.6 seconds. Driving range is up to 280 miles. MSRP is $105,100, plus the $995 destination charge.

I recently enjoyed, truly, a week’s time living with and driving the new iX M60. The exterior design is striking…somewhat head-turning. The Phytonic Blue Metallic exterior helped make it stand out in the crowd of grey, black and white vehicles that we see so often today.

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Open the door using the touch-activated exterior pull handles and the Castanea Chestnut perforated leather seating greets you. An optional $1,150 Luxury Package provides glass and wood controls. The hexagonal steering wheel contains a number of multi-function controls.

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The BMW iDrive 8 connects you with the on-board personal assistant to verbally operate controls. There’s seamless smart phone pairing, automatic intelligent climate control, “My Modes” curated lighting and sounds, turn by turn augmented reality (AR) navigation, plus more. A large curved central information and control display is easily viewable. Gesture control allows for volume adjustments of the Bowers & Wilkins 1615 Watt audio. A panoramic moon roof has an electrochromic shade activated with the touch of a button.

The Radiant Heating Package warms the seats, steering wheel, and armrests and features innovative radiant heating of the door panels and dashboard to surround the occupants in warmth in cold weather.

The iX is 195 inches long and has a ground clearance of 8.8 inches. It’s a comfortable size for a crowded city and yet can traverse some unpaved roads with ease. The aluminum spaceframe and carbon cage with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the roof, side and rear sections are an intelligent mix of materials that combines increased rigidity with optimized weight. 

It’s quite heavy at 5,769 lbs. However, there’s plenty of instant torque to get you moving very quickly. The 2-axle air suspension helps deliver a very smooth ride. The iX is the best riding all-electric vehicle I have driven. I’ve driven a number of EVs and some are too harsh riding with suspension tuning not suited for their heavy weight. Handling is very BMW with rapid response and precise cornering. Overall driving dynamics are excellent. It's also a very quiet with minimal tire and wind noise that might disturb you in the cabin.

The iX is equipped with a long list of collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features. A “D” or “B” setting on the gear selector engages adaptive regenerative braking or one-pedal driving with 80% energy recovery.

EPA driving-range estimates vary with tire and wheel size. With 21-inch wheels the driving range is 288 miles. With 22-inch wheels its 274 miles. Most all of my driving in the iX M60 was city-type stop and go. I used the “B” setting frequently to maximize putting charge back into the battery. The iX has a display that tells you how much is added. At one point I had increased range by 17 additional miles.

I don’t have access to at-home charging…not even a 110-volt outlet. I used a nearby Electrify America DCFC charger and in 20 minutes charged from 50% to 80% capacity.

BMW says a 240-volt Level 2 charger can bring the battery from zero to fully charged in 10.25 hours…that’s overnight, so you need a home charger. A DCFC Level 3 fast charger can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in as little as 35 minutes. Charging time varies by the output of the charger.

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I wanted to have a look at the electronics under the front hood but soon found out there is no accessible hood latch because BMW only wants their technicians doing so. Interesting, huh! To refill the windshield washer fluid the opening is under the BMW logo on the front hood.

There is no front trunk, or frunk, like some EVs have. But, this is not a must-have. The rear cargo area holds 35.5 cu.ft. of stuff and expands to 77.9 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded. Another EV advantage I noted is the flat front floor with no sweeping center console which now opens up a lot of space.

Complete performance numbers, full specs and every detail about the 2023 BMW iX can be found on this deep link HERE. BMW iX was named a 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors and UX Winner.

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I was very impressed with the BMW iX M60. It is quite good. Of course, for over $100K it should be. It makes for an ideal daily driver. The BMW iX is clear realization that a battery powered vehicle can indeed provide both delightful and exhilarating transportation.

Of note! The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 amends the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit (the Federal tax credit). It’s now known as the Clean Vehicle Credit and adds a new requirement for final assembly in North America that took effect on August 16, 2022. The BMW iX is made in Germany. 

Happy motoring!

© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy