We review the all-electric BMW iX1

The BMW iX1 is an all-electric variant of the well-received X1 SUV, sharing the same platform as its latest counterpart. Equipped with advanced battery technology, the iX1 draws inspiration from the larger BMW iX flagship while offering a more compact and family-friendly choice.

Distinguishing the iX1 Electric Vehicle (EV) from its conventionally powered siblings is easy, thanks to the subtle blue halo encircling the BMW logo, the presence of 'i' badges on the front and rear, and a slightly distinct cabin design.

The iX1 boasts a 64.7kWh battery beneath the floor, offering a claimed range of up to 400km between charges and recharging at a rate of up to 130kW, enabling a 10 to 80 per cent top-up in just 29 minutes. When utilising an 11kW AC cable on three-phase electricity at home, the 64.7kWh battery recharges from 0 to 100% in six-and-a-half hours.

The new BMW iX1 features advanced fifth-gen eDrive technology, comprising a front and rear motor setup for four-wheel drive, delivering a total power of 200 kW and an impressive 494 Nm of torque.

The iX1's all-wheel-drive setup enables it to achieve a 0-100km/h acceleration in just 5.6 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 180km/h.

The BMW iX1, though a crossover, comes equipped with an array of SIX diverse drive modes catering to individual preferences: Personal, Sport, and Efficient, followed by the unique 'My Modes' - 'Expressive,' 'Relax,' and 'Digital Art,' as coined by BMW.

The different modes offer distinctive graphics on the screens and transform the 'engine sound' into various characters, a creation by two-time Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

The focal point within the interior is the cutting-edge iDrive 8 operating system, featuring a spacious curved screen extending across the driver's side to the central infotainment display. Additionally, a novel transmission tunnel replaces the traditional gear knob with a compact and inconspicuous selector.

The rear offers ample space, providing generous head and knee room, but the overall cabin quality slightly diminishes compared to the front; nevertheless, it maintains a premium feel.

In terms of practicality, the iX1 boasts a commendable 490-litre boot, coming close to the flagship iX, which offers 500 litres. While slightly smaller than the Audi Q4 e-tron's 520-litre boot, it still surpasses the Volvo XC40 Recharge's 452-litre capacity.

Buyers can select between xLine or M Sport trim levels, and BMW SA offers several package choices to elevate the iX1 experience. The Equipment Package encompasses adaptive LED headlights, a wireless charging cradle, comfort access, and so on. Meanwhile, the Deluxe package enhances the iX1 with Harman Kardon audio, a panoramic roof, and a towbar. Opting for the Equipment Package Professional gives you access to BMW Live Cockpit Professional, a heads-up display, and adaptive LED headlights, among other features.

The all-electric BMW iX1 arrives in Mzansi with a starting price tag of R1,205,000. (Price correct at time of publication.) It joins the rising range of BEVs now available to South African consumers. These include the popular MINI Cooper SE, known for its affordability as the most accessible BEV in the country, the i4 eDrive 35 M Sport, the iX3, i4 M50, iX, and the i7 sedan.

Upon purchase, you will receive a BMW Flexible fast charger cable, a Mode 3 public charging cable, and a BMW Wallbox home charger as part of the package.

Follow the MotorHappy blog to find out about new EV models arriving in South Africa.

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