We test out the BMW iX1 – its most affordable EV yet

BMW’s new iX1 marks a new entry point into its electrified vehicle range. So, for those who want to hop into a fully electric premium compact SUV, this could be their ticket. 

However, is the iX1 able to compete with alternatives in the market? More importantly, does it deliver on BMW’s traditional values? We had a chance to take the iX1 through the hills and bends of rural Victoria and made a video about it too. Be sure to check out what we liked and how it handled.

Inside and out

Overall, the iX1 is a lovely vehicle to spend time in. Its cabin is well-appointed, and it really does feel premium. It gets the latest in-car entertainment system, found in its more expensive vehicles, as well as a number of safety and comfort features. We liked the huge curved display and the new floating centre console is refreshing and has some practical places to put your things.

Charging stats

The iX1’s drivetrain features two synchronous motors, a 67 kWh high voltage battery, 230 kilowatts of power and 494 Newton metres of torque. The driving range is rated to be 400 kilometres (ADR/8) on a single charge and there are maximum charging rates of 22 kilowatts AC and 130 kilowatts DC. The iX1 draws 18.3 kilowatt-hours per hundred kilometres and that’s around what we found during our road test.

Charging-wise, you can go from 10 to 80 percent state of charge in 29 minutes, and just 10 minutes will add about 120Km of range using the 130kW DC mode.

Both Mode 2 fast charge and Mode 3 public charging cables are included, which can be stored in a panel beneath the 490 cubic metres of rear storage. There’s no front trunk, however, as this is where one of the two motors sits.

The iX1 on the road

With a dual-motor setup, driving the iX1 is probably more fun than you might think for an SUV. It dispatches 0-100km/h in just 5.6 seconds, feels planted, with plenty of grip and feels flat around the bends. Yes, you can have a Hans Zimmerman orchestral soundtrack that simulates what an EV ‘might’ sound like to spur you on, or just drive in serene silence.

There are a few different regenerative braking modes, the most intensive of which can feed back 130 kilowatts into the battery. We also like the adaptive regenerative braking mode that applies the best settings depending on the driving situation. For example, if you’re in stop-start traffic, the regeneration will be low, however, if you’re driving down a hill in the countryside, it will be set to maximum.

EV features

Like other electrified BMW’s, the iX1 shares the same conventional design of the new petrol-powered X1. However, there are some EV-centric enhancements to improve aerodynamics including a slot-less front grill, air ducts for circulation around the front wheels, the removal of exhaust pipes, and it’s 35 millimetres lower to the ground to allow more undercarriage space for the batteries. 

Some cool tech includes the ability to unlock the car with your mobile phone thanks to BMW Digital Key Plus, and you can use all of the various cameras around the car to record driving incidents as well as what’s happening around you while parked to protect it. You can even tune into the live feeds from your app whenever you want.


The iX1 is priced at an MSRP of $84,900 AUD. If you’re looking around this budget, then you’re probably also considering the dual-motor, long-range versions of the Tesla Model Y (from $78K) and Polestar 2 (from $82K). The iX1’s pricing is fairly closely matched to both the Tesla and Polestar, however, the iX1 is arguably more ‘premium’ and akin to the Mercedes EQA. However, the less powerful single motor EQA 250 costs about $86K and you’ll to stretch up to around $106K for the dual motor EQA 350 4MATIC variant. So, with this in mind, the BMW iX1 is a competitive and well-appointed premium electric SUV for the price.

Another positive is that both M Sport and xLine model options (BMW iX1 xDrive30 M Sport & BMW iX1 xDrive30 xLine) share the same price. This means you can go for something with a sporty edge, or focus on a more luxe look without having to spend more on one or the other.

M Sport and x Line versions of the BMW iX1
The x Line (left) and M Sport (right) versions of the BMW iX1 cost the same

There is a single option pack for an additional $4,700, called the ‘Enhancement Package’ that includes metallic paint, panorama glass sunroof, Harman/Kardon Hi-Fi system, front row active sports seats with lumbar support and massage function. This also comes in a different upholstery option.

You can find both models in BMW dealerships around the country, and if you order now, deliveries will be expected around December.

BMW iX1 xDrive30 equipment highlights

Motor2 x current-excited synchronous motors, one front, one rear
Charging Membership3-Year Chargefox membership, complimentary use of Fast and Ultra-Rapid (DC charge) public charging stations
SafetyAcoustic protection for pedestrians, Active protection
LightingAdaptive LED headlights
SuspensionAdaptive M suspension with M specific steering function
Air ConditioningAutomatic air conditioning, 2-zone
Vehicle OperationAutomatic tailgate operation
DisplayBMW Head Up Display
Sound SystemBMW Iconic Sounds Electric
CockpitBMW Live Cockpit Professional with 10.25” instrument display and 10.7” high-resolution curved widescreen control touch display feat. BMW Operating System 8
Drive SystemBMW xDrive all-wheel-drive
Energy ManagementBrake energy regeneration
Access SystemComfort Access with Digital Key Plus
Driver AssistanceDriving Assistant Professional
Stability and ControlDynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Braking Assistant, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC)
SeatingElectric Seats with memory function on driver’s seat, Seat heating, front row
Charging CablesFlexible Fast Charge cable, Mode 2, includes domestic plug, Public charging cable, Mode 3
Interior FinishM headliner, anthracite
NavigationNavigation guidance with augmented view
Parking AssistanceParking Assistant Plus
Steering WheelSport leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons

BMW iX1 xDrive 30 xLine styling includes: 

  • 19″ light-alloy wheels V-spoke style 867 Bicolour
  • Radiator grille frame in Pearl Chrome
  • Radiator grille struts in high-gloss black
  • Bumper trim elements, front/rear and right/left Pearl Chrome
  • Entry sills (front): aluminium inserts with ‘BMW’ inscription
  • Roof Rails, aluminium satinated
  • Mirror caps in Satin Chrome
  • Optical front and rear underride protection in Aluminium Matt
  • Window recess cover in Aluminium satinated

BMW iX1 xDrive 30 M Sport styling includes: 

  • 19″ M light-alloy wheels Double-spoke style 871 M Bicolour 
  • M-specific radiator grille in satinated aluminium 
  • Front bumper panel with M-specific design, in vehicle 
  • colour with inserts in black high-gloss 
  • Rear bumper panel with M-specific design, in vehicle 
  • colour Side sill covers with M-specific design, in 
  • vehicle colour 
  • with inserts in black high-gloss 
  • M identification on the sides 
  • Entry sills: Aluminium inserts with ‘M’ inscription 
  • (front) 
  • Mirror caps in body colour 
  • M Roof Rails High-Gloss Shadow Line

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