As electric cars proliferate, we’ve seen a range of styles from luxury saloons to vans joining the ranks. However, it’s the luxury SUV sector that remains at the core of the market, both for buyers and for manufacturers. These larger, luxury vehicles allow for the very latest technology to be used, and some of the biggest batteries.
Consequently, this luxury SUV EV market has some big players in it. There’s a new SUV version of the flagship Mercedes EQS, Audi’s Q8 e-tron and even the Lotus Eletre vying for the title. BMW’s range of electric vehicles is vast, with nine models at present and more coming this year in the form of an i5. The iX is its flagship EV SUV, however, the iX M60 is the true pinnacle of its electric abilities.
This no-holds-barred model goes well beyond the standard iX in performance and in luxury. For a price that’s nearly double the standard model, the iX M60 features two M eDrive electric motors to deliver 619hp and a 0-62mph of 3.8 seconds. There are 22-inch alloys and an ultra-lux olive leaf tanned natural leather interior, a huge curved display and an audiophile Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
I spent a week behind the wheel of the iX M60 with a combination of long and short trips before they had to pry the steering wheel out of my hands. This is, without a doubt, one of the best electric vehicles on the market right now. It combines the utility of an SUV with the power of a sports car and the luxury of a flagship saloon. If you want an electric car that does everything to the max, this could be for you.
Price and availability
The BMW iX starts from £69,905 on the road. The iX M60 however, starts from £122,775. There is also the iX M Sport that sits in between the two, but even the iX xDrive 50 M Sport (priced from £102,755) doesn’t compare with the full M-series model.
The model I tested was finished in the Storm Bay metallic paint and with a panoramic glass sunroof, taking the total price of this model up to £126,815. Most of the luxury features are already standard on this model, so there’s not much room to spec it up any higher.
BMW iX M60 design and features
The huge kidney grilles on most of the new BMW models aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but there’s no denying that the iX M60 is an incredibly good-looking SUV. That elongated grille is broken up by the front numberplate and though the headlights are fairly narrow they simply help to make this significant front end look sportier.
I really love the Storm Bay metallic finish on the model I tested. It has a slightly bluey grey tone to it that adds to the individuality of the car among a sea of white and light grey models on the road right now. There are some lovely touches here too, such as those giant alloys with the bright blue brake callipers just peeking through, the subtle plain coloured M series badge on the side and the black strip that runs along the skirting of the car and up into the rear bumper.
Inside, the finish feels super-lux thanks to the tanned natural leather that covers the dash, door panels, centre console and seat surrounds. There are colour-coded accents too across the steering wheel door controls and headrest holes to tie it all together. Then there’s that curved display, encompassing a 12.3-inch instrument panel behind the steering wheel and a 14.9-inch touch display in the centre, that looks like one long display. There’s also a head-up display for driving information which can be customised via the steering wheel.
Thanks to the iDrive system, almost all of the controls can be accessed via the screen. However, there are also easy thumb controls on the steering wheel as well as a dial and series of quick access buttons on the centre console, should you need them. Aside from the My Modes and volume control, I barely used the quick buttons and feel they could easily be removed, though some users may like them. Personally, I’m not a fan of the Crystal Maze-like finish on the dial and drive selector but it does feature across most new BMWs.
If there was something I couldn’t find easily in the menu, the ‘Hey BMW’ voice command is actually a faster way to make adjustments to everything from directions to the seat massager. I was always a bit reticent about talking to cars but the voice recognition is really good in the BMW iX M60, so it never felt like a chore to make yourself understood.
The iDrive OS8 running in the iX M60 looks great and is easy to use – though I can’t wait for the new OS8.5 updates and the Android OS9 coming later this year. Of course, you can connect your phone wirelessly to use either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay if you wish. The real treat in this cockpit though is the audio.
The sound system in the BMW iX M60 is the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system. This includes diamond tweeters in the front doors, shakers in the front seats, to really feel that bass, and 30 speakers around the vehicle for a full 4D experience. As much as I loved driving this car, the sound blew me away.
The technology inside the BMW iX M60
There’s no shortage of clever technology in the iX M60, some of which you won’t really notice when you’re driving it. The adaptive air suspension, for instance, features automatic level control, while the Integral Active Steering includes rear-wheel steering, allowing tighter turning at slower speeds and smoother overtaking at faster speeds.
If you look closely at the outside of the iX M60 you’ll notice cameras everywhere, from the rear to the wing mirrors, while the front grill combines a camera with radar and other driving sensors. It uses these sensors for a range of automated driving services, from active cruise control to lane control and parking assistance.
While this model doesn’t offer the hands-free driving option that encompasses a level 2+ automation as the new 7 series does (in some markets), it does provide a robust level 2 system. The Driving Assistant Professional maintains solid road positioning and distance from vehicles in front at all times. I often find active cruise control systems need you to really trust the car but with the distance set to medium, the BMW always kept a generous distance between me and the car in front.
The Parking Assistant Pro allows the car to park itself into a range of tight spaces by using GPS and its sensors. It can also remember manoeuvres to repeat in the future and can perform them even when you’re not sat in the vehicle.
Drive and performance
The good news for range on the BMW iX M60 is that this car features a nice large 116kWh battery that can deliver a range of up to 348 miles. Of course, if you put your foot down to make use of that 619hp and 3.8-second acceleration, that range is going to be much reduced.
Like all electric cars, the range is also massively affected by the weather. A 100-mile journey I took on a cold morning took nearly 50% of the battery, while the return trip in warmer weather took less than 30%. At least here, you are starting with a range of well over 300, so you have some leeway to lose some charge – unlike with models with sub-300 ranges.
This model will also charge at up to 195kW, so with a fast DC charge you could charge from 10% to 80% in around 35 minutes. While it’s still a struggle to find decent fast chargers in the UK, I did manage to find a few that gave me up to 130kW, which was enough to top me back up from around 50% to 80% in around 30 minutes.
Driving anywhere in the iX M60 you’re aware that this is a big car and there’s some serious weight to it. Thanks to the huge amount of power behind it though, and the suspension, it handles incredibly well both in the city and on the open road. Thanks to rear steering, it’s incredibly easy to manoeuvre the car in tight spaces and it just sticks to the road when you push it.
The iX M60 does an impressive job of providing a quiet and comfortable ride for that luxury cruising experience, but put the car into Sport mode and its M series DNA comes out. It’s by far the most fun I’ve had driving an SUV and probably one of the best EVs altogether.
Should I buy the BMW iX M60?
The BMW iX M60 is the best all-electric SUV that you can buy right now. Not only does it take luxury to a new level but the pure power and handling of this car are more than worthy of its M series badge.
The finish is beautiful inside and out and complemented by, not only an impressive infotainment system, but also one of the best audio systems I’ve heard in a car – only matched by the Burmester 4D sound system in the top-end Mercedes, which comes with spatial audio.
I’ve no doubt that in a few years' time, a 350-mile range will seem paltry for an electric car, but right now there’s only a handful of models that beat it. I wouldn’t recommend buying any electric car without installing a home charger, but with this model, you can get in some decent long runs, especially if starting from full.
As a luxury all-rounder, the BMW iX M60 is an incredible offering and a model that is likely to remain a classic of the all-electric range. I can’t recommend it enough.
As I stated early on in this review, the all-electric luxury SUV is a crowded market but once you get to the kind of spec you’re talking about with the iX M60, there are only a few models that really compete. The natural adversary here has to be the Mercedes EQS SUV. This new SUV version of the luxury Mercedes EQS demands a similar price tag to the iX M60 (from £129,029). It has a little more range at 365 miles but power is slightly less, with even the EQS 580 AMG version hitting 544hp and a 4.6-second 0-62mph time.
If it’s pure luxury you’re after, then the BMW i7 is one of the few cars to outdo the iX M60. This elegant saloon has all the gadgets under the sun inside, down to smart tablets in the rear doors and a 31-inch 8K cinema screen in the back. It’s a great car to drive too, with a 544hp motor and 384 miles of range.