Make Room for a New Depreciation King – the BMW iX

The BMW iX is a cool all-electric vehicle. It may not have an admirable front end or a frunk, but it boasts that distinctive Bavarian DNA despite no engine hiding under the hood. If you can get past the looks and the fact that someone drove it before you, there are some great deals out there. Here's what we noticed.
BMW iX xDrive50 20 photos
Photo: BMW / autoevolution edit
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With gas costing over $6 per gallon in some parts of the US and the markets showing a continuing uptrend for crude oil prices, looking for an electric vehicle makes a little more sense now. Charging the battery at home during off-peak hours is guaranteed to cost less than filling up with gas.

Uttering the "EV" abbreviation might make many people immediately think of Tesla. However, other zero-tailpipe emission cars are available on the North American market. One of those premium-luxury models is the BMW iX.

With a quirky face, a blob-like body for the sake of aerodynamic efficiency, a great rear-end, and a cabin that's unmistakably BMW, the iX is available in two trims: xDrive50 and M60. Both are all-wheel drive, but the M-lite version puts out almost 100 hp more and enjoys having better brakes. It also boasts adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering.

All those extra goodies are standard on the iX M60 but are, of course, available at a premium. The iX xDrive50's MSRP is $24,400 less than its M-ish counterpart. At the time of writing, the 2024 iX xDrive50 starts at $87,100, while the 2024 iX M60 asks you for $111,500.

2022 BMW iX xDrive50 for the U\.S\. market
Photo: BMW

But wait, there's more!

Those above-mentioned prices do not include the sales tax or the $995 handling fee. Thus, if you live in a state like Texas and want to order a brand-new iX, you're looking at a minimum price of $93,600 for the xDrive50 version and $119,526 for the M60 trim. And that's without other extra options, titling and registration fees, and possible dealer markups.

Also, you must know that no version of the iX available in the US qualifies for the EV tax credit. The MSRP limit established through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is $80,000. So, you won't get Uncle Sam's $7,500.

The only BMW that qualifies for the federal perk is the 2024 X5 xDrive50e. It's a plug-in hybrid, and it receives just half of the updated EV tax credit.

But for the sake of it, let's presume that buying the iX xDrive50 will set you back $95,000, while the iX M60 commands a premium of $25,000 over its sibling's price. Had BMW not added more standard equipment on the all-electric M-lite iX, the pricing strategy would have felt eerily similar to Rivian's practice of putting around 130 hp behind a paywall.

2022 BMW iX xDrive50 for the U\.S\. market
Photo: BMW
But range is an important factor when considering buying an EV, so here are the EPA ratings:
  • iX xDrive50 on 20-inch wheels – 324 miles of range and an efficiency of 39 kWh per 100 mi or 2.56 mi per kWh;
  • iX xDrive50 on 21-inch wheels – 305 miles of range and an efficiency of 41 kWh per 100 mi or 2.43 mi per kWh;
  • iX xDrive50 on 22-inch wheels – 315 miles of range and an efficiency of 39 kWh per 100 mi or 2.56 mi per kWh (the iX xDrive50 on 20-inch wheels did slightly better on the highway portion of the EPA test);
  • iX M60 on 21-inch wheels – 288 miles of range and an efficiency of 44 kWh per 100 mi or 2.27 mi per kWh;
  • iX M60 on 22-inch wheels – 274 miles of range and an efficiency of 43 kWh per 100 mi or 2.32 mi per kWh.

Keep in mind that these figures don't mean much in a real-world scenario. The EPA gets these numbers by charging the high-voltage battery to 100% and then depleting it. Everything happens in a lab.

Normally, EV owners shouldn't charge constantly above a certain threshold (80% most often) and should avoid reaching a 0% state of charge regularly. Such behavior would certainly lower the life span of the energy storage unit and might even void the eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty.

Shopping for a spanking-new iX? Don't!

If you're willing to let go of the 0.8-second difference in reaching 60 mph from a standstill and upgrades like the four-wheel steering, then searching for an iX xDrive50 is what you will most likely end up doing. But to avoid coming up with at least $95,000 for a brand-new one, let's head to the secondary market.

2022 BMW iX xDrive50 for the U\.S\. market
Photo: BMW
Our first find is a 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 with 5,800 miles on the odometer. It costs $62,996 and even comes with a dealer's Certified Pre-Owned guarantee. That's a much more approachable price point.

But a blacked-out 2023 BMW iX xDrive50 with 1,799 miles on the odo would set you back just $1,998 more. An extra $16 is asked by BMW of San Luis Obispo for a similar all-electric SUV with nearly 2,900 miles on the odometer.

There are many others just like these three models we found. A quick look through Facebook's marketplace reveals similar juicy deals from private sellers. A well-specced iX xDrive50 costs $70,000 or less.

It's becoming increasingly clear that this all-electric Bavarian SUV is getting cheaper fast. Judging by these low-mileage units, the iX xDrive lost around 30% (or more, in some cases) of its initial value in about one year. This downtrend could continue because rivals in the EV space are making a killing by offering seemingly better alternatives at a cheaper price point.

Bad news for BMW and existing iX owners, good news for shoppers looking to score a deal

Two vehicles in particular are a real threat to iX's market success – the recently discounted Tesla Model X and Rivian's R1S. Both are three-row SUVs, have a lower MSRP than the iX, and get more range from a single charge. Moreover, the Tesla qualifies for the entire EV tax credit, while the Rivian gets half.

Tesla Model X
Photo: Tesla
The R1S faces a trickier situation because the version that is eligible for the federal perk is the dual-motor + standard battery pack one. That's the smallest energy storage unit Rivian plans to produce in the summer of 2024. When writing, the cheapest R1S an American can actually buy is the dual-motor + large battery pack. It has an MSRP of $84,000. As such, it does not qualify for the EV tax credit.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS can't be a rival because even its entry-level rear-wheel-drive version starts at $104,400. That's why we didn't mention it.

We took Smith County, Texas, as an example. Buying a brand-new two-row Model X (with Autopilot and the tow pack included) would cost someone living there $88,453. If they qualify for the EV tax credit, the adjusted price is $80,953. That's over $14,000 less than the cheapest BMW iX that doesn't have rear falcon-wing doors and access to the Supercharger network or the off-road prowess of an R1S.

It's not looking good for the electric Bavarian SUV. But that's great news for those searching for a luxurious, silent, non-polluting Bimmer. The model can only get cheaper from here on out.

But if you're still dead set on buying a BMW, the refreshed X5 xDrive50e can be a great option. You'll have to fill up with gas now and again, but the impressive all-electric range of 40 miles can make commuting a whole lot more eco-friendly and less costly if you can charge at home before going out.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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