A guide to the luxury brand’s latest crossovers
If you’re in a position to buy a BMW SU,V but aren’t familiar with the automaker’s lineup, you might be surprised to learn that its SUV lineup isn’t named in the most conventional. Take Chevrolet, which gives its SUVs different names, like Trax and Suburban, designed to evoke specific brand associations and imbue its vehicles with a bit of personality. Instead, BMW names its SUVs with an X followed by a number. So we have the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7 and the remarkable iX. Therefore, it is difficult to tell them apart based on the name alone. Here’s a brief guide to the luxury brand’s latest crossovers.
Starting at $38,600, the BMW X1 is the smallest of the BMWthe SUV lineup from . It’s a pretty attractive option with a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic. This powertrain offers solid handling and performance, as is often the case with BMWs.
The X1 also sports the FWD standard with the base version, the sDrive28i. However, you can get all-wheel drive in the higher-level version, the xDrive28i, offered by BMW. The X1 also has a large cargo area of 27.1 cubic feet (58.7 cubic feet with the rear row down).
Inside, you’ll find the kind of premium materials that BMW is known for. You’ll also find a standard 8.8-inch touchscreen with every trim, along with built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay compatibility and a standard seven-speaker audio system. The X1 isn’t compatible with Android Auto, but that’s a small sacrifice for an otherwise superior subcompact SUV.
The BMW X2 starts a little cheaper than the X1 at $36,600. Still, despite being similar in size, it’s sportier than the X1. In fact, you could say it’s more of a hot hatch than a proper SUV.
You can buy an FWD sDrive28i or an AWD xDrive28i, both with the same powertrain as the X1. However, your best bet to take full advantage of the X2’s sportiness is to buy the M35i, which comes with a 302-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
With the M35i you can hit 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Handling is superior, given the upgraded powertrain, upgraded suspension, and limited-slip front differential. You’ll also enjoy a beautifully decorated interior and the same technological amenities you’ll find in the X1.
The compact BMW X3 moves up the size scale, with a starting MSRP of $45,500. This SUV offers different powertrain options than the X1 or X2. There’s a 248-hp 2.0-liter I-4 that comes with the sDrive30i and xDrive30i. There is also a mild-hybrid M40i that adds a 12-volt system to the 382-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 engine of the M40i variant.
However, if you’re looking for even more performance, you can opt for the M trim, which generates 473 hp using the six-cylinder, or the M Competition, which manages to generate 503 hp.
You’ll also find that the X3 has plenty of cargo space – 28.7 cubic feet behind the second row. The X3 also includes the standard features of power front sport seats and dual-zone climate control. Moreover, if you opt for the M40i version, you will also get two 12.3-inch screens, one for the infotainment and the other for your digital dashboard. Android Auto is also standard.
Slightly different in style from the X3, the BMW X4 is still just as fun to drive as its corporate sibling. Starting at $53,400, the X4 looks more like a coupe than a true SUV. Despite the different exterior, the X4 offers similar powertrain options to the X3.
The xDrive30i offers the same engine producing 248 horsepower. However, the M40i offers a 48-volt electrical system paired with its turbocharged inline-six engine. The X4 also includes less space than the X3 due to its design. Rather than the 28.7 cubic feet behind the second row, there’s 23.7 cubic feet. There’s also a little less headroom and legroom.
Yet the X4 also includes the more generous technological equipment that the X3 offers compared to the X2 or X1. For an extra charge, you can add a wireless charger and a 16-speaker audio system to replace the standard 12-speaker setup.
The higher the BMW number, the higher the starting price. The BMW X5 starts at $63,900, for which you can buy two or even three smaller SUVs. However, you wouldn’t get the superior performance, luxury attributes and amenities of the BMW brand.
The X5 offers the same tech options as the X4, but where it really shines are the various powertrain options. The sDrive40i and xDrive40i feature a 335 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six mated to a 48-volt hybrid system.
Opt for the M50i and you’ll get a 4.4-liter turbo V8, which generates 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. There’s also the X5 M which sports the same engine but can hit up to 600bhp when you add the optional Competition Pack. Finally, there’s the xDrive45e plug-in hybrid, which pairs the sDrive40i’s straight-six with an engine that generates 389 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
Like the X2, the BMW X6 sits in a strange niche. It’s a mid-size SUV, but you could describe it as a fastback. Starting at $70,100, you’ll find the X6 to be very similar to the X5, but for its exterior styling and a few key details.
You’ll find the same powertrain options of the X5 with the X6, delivering the same performance and handling. When paired with the Competition Pack, the X6 M generates up to 617bhp (rather than the similarly equipped 600 of the X5).
You’ll also find that the X6 has a little less cargo space than the X5. While the latter sports 33.9 cubic feet behind the second row and 72.3 cubic feet behind the first, you’ll only get 27.4 and 59.6 cubic feet in the X6.
Technology and optional technology upgrade packages remain the same. What you’re really paying for with the X6 is improved performance over the X5.
Even more economical, the BMW X7 starts at $77,850, but you’ll get a full-size luxury vehicle that’s superior to most in its segment.
You’ll find the same powertrain options for the xDrive40i and M50i drive trims that were available for the X6. However, if you are looking for more power, you should opt for the Alpina XB7. This top-tier version also uses the X7’s V8 powertrain, but tweaks it to generate up to 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. You’ll also hit 60 mph in just 4 seconds.
As a full-size SUV, you’ll also benefit from a generous helping of space. The X7 sports 12.8 cubic feet behind the third row, 48.6 cubic feet with the rear row down, and 90.4 cubic feet with the second and third rows down. The dual 12.3-inch touchscreens that come standard with the X3 through X6 are also standard here, and for an extra charge you can add a heads-up display.
Beyond a BMW SUV with a different naming convention, what is the iX? The iX is BMW’s all-electric SUV option, starting at $84,100. With every automaker rushing to electrify their fleets, the iX is BMW’s crack at a luxury electric vehicle, and it looks like it got it right on paper.
The iX is powered by a single electric motor, but its powertrain offers drivers 516 horsepower, 564 lb-ft of torque and 300 miles of range. Like many EVs, it can hit 60mph fairly quickly, with an out-of-the-gate time of just 4.6 seconds.
If you’re looking for even more performance, opt for the iX M60, which develops 532 horsepower and 749 lb-ft of torque. This variant offers a Boost mode that bumps power to 610 hp and a Launch mode that bumps torque to 811 lb-ft.
The iX comes with even more tech features than its gas-powered siblings. The 12.3-inch touchscreen is accompanied by a 14.9-inch control screen. There’s also a standard 18-speaker audio system, four-zone climate control and an interior camera.
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