BMW iX50 review: When even the 40 isn’t enough!

BMW iX50 review: When even the 40 isn’t enough!

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We recently drove the BMW iX50 – not to be confused with its sibling, the iX40. While, in essence, it’s the same car overall but it packs a punch with more power, thanks to a bigger, more powerful battery-motor combo, and exciting new features. But does its driving experience match up to its impressive specs? Well, the only thing that can make EVs as fun as ICE vehicles in terms of driving is more power and boy, this SUV gets lots of it.But that’s just not all that has been changed. Let’s take a look at the upgrades it gets over its stablemate.

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While the iX50 shares a resemblance with the iX40 in terms of design, sporting a bold and muscular kidney grille and sleek headlamps, it’s not entirely unchanged. The front fascia, however, might or might not be of everyone’s taste. The iX50 features newly-designed aerodynamic alloy wheels, thus helping in cutting down the drag coefficient. Beyond that, it’s just the new colours and a bit of minor changes and the iX50 continues to look like a bad boy in a gentleman’s club which we think is a good thing.

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Stepping inside, the cabin matches the radical exterior, offering a unique feel not found in other luxury cars or SUVs. The dashboard features metallic panels that exude luxury, along with a massive curved screen seen in newer BMW models. Besides that, there’s a lot of carbon-fibre panel work inside the body of this car. The resolution and background of the screen are impressive, making it easy to use with a host of features and technology. Visibility is excellent, and the materials used throughout the car, including the soft-touch dashboard and fabric, feel premium.

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The seats are comfortable, and the central console design allows for ample storage space. The absence of a console panel in the central area gives a sense of more cabin space and makes it easier to exit the vehicle from the passenger side when parked tightly. The interior space is impressive, with ample legroom and headroom, especially in the rear seats. While the seat height may pose a slight challenge for under thigh support and long-duration comfort for some individuals, overall, the car offers a comfortable and futuristic experience.

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One thing that stood out inside the cabin of the iX50, not for a good reason, is the steering wheel design that might take some getting used to, as it feels somewhat unnatural. While it doesn’t pose any ergonomic issues, it remains a slightly odd element within the cabin.
BMW iX50: The driving experience
Now, let’s discuss the driving experience, which is the primary reason for considering the iX50. This model boasts a massive 111.5 kWh battery and a more potent motor compared to the iX40. In fact, the iX50’s battery size is equivalent to nearly three times that of an average mass-market electric vehicle in India. It is coupled to a more powerful motor, delivering 523 hp and 765 Nm of torque.

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With all-wheel drive and smart electronic systems, the iX50 ensures a controlled and thrilling driving experience. The air suspension enhances ride quality, offering a comfortable journey on smooth roads while sharpening up for dynamic handling around corners. Due to this, despite its heavier weight, the iX50 boasts of surprising agility, something that one would expect from a BMW.
It’s fast, exciting and sharp around corners. The iX50 also offers various driving modes, each altering the throttle response, steering, and sound profile. However, some of the modes have a really weird sound. Coming from an EV, one would expect a soothing sound but we found them to be coming from a scary movie, although this perception can vary from person to person.

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In the sport mode, for example, an artificial sound is pumped through the speakers. While it may pump the adrenaline for some, others may prefer the silence associated with electric vehicles.
BMW iX50: Range and who should consider it?
Concerning battery prowess, the iX50 offers an impressive WLTP range of 626-630 kms. Realistically, during our tests, we found that driving gently could easily yield over 500 km on a fully juiced battery, in the ballpark where range anxiety shouldn’t be a worry.

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Moreover, charging the iX50 shouldn’t be a concern, thanks to its fast charging options. With a 200-kilowatt charger, you can go from 10% to 80% battery in just 30 minutes.
So, who should consider buying the iX50? If the iX40’s power isn’t sufficient for your needs, and you desire an electric vehicle that exudes luxury, comfort, and performance akin to a sports car, then the iX50 is an excellent choice. All these upgrades though come at a cost, Rs 1.4 crore, ex-showroom to be precise. For the price though there’s no other vehicle that can offer a similar level of thrills so there’s the justification for value!

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