BMW

BMW iX wins Best Luxury Electric Vehicle under $150K

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Car Of The Year

Full of ‘wow’ moments inside and out, the 2024 Drive Car of the Year Best Luxury Electric Vehicle under $150K is the zero-compromise BMW iX


Have electric cars become mainstream? Certainly, with 7.2 per cent market share in 2023 (up from 3.1 per cent in 2022), EVs make a compelling case for being included in everyday conversation in Australia.

And while we saw an influx of (relatively) affordable electric cars in 2023, this category recognises the upper end of the market. Last year, DCOTY awarded the title of Best Luxury EV Over $120K to the BMW i7, excelling in a category where ‘money proved no object’.

But, for 2024, we’ve trimmed some fat, recalibrating the segment to maintain a semblance of relevance. That’s why the upper limit of this new category sits at $150,000 before on-road costs, excluding the carry-over champion as well as a host of luxurious and high-performance EVs from some of the world’s most premium carmakers.

But, our DCOTY price cap hasn’t diminished the quality of the field and as our team of judges discovered during testing and evaluation, picking a winner wasn’t easy. 

In what proved one of the most tightly-contested categories for the judges, this year’s winner combined cutting-edge technology with unquestionable luxury.

With that in mind, it’s time to reveal Drive Car of the Year 2024 Best Luxury Electric Vehicle Under $150,000.

Winner: BMW iX

Drive’s pick: BMW iX xDrive 40 Sport from $136,900 MSRP

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BMW iX key facts:

  • Priced from $136,900 to $233,400 (range)
  • 5 year warranty
  • Range: 420km to 620km

Why the BMW iX won:

  • Uncompromisingly luxurious
  • Hot-hatch like straight-line performance
  • Composed and comfortable ride

BMW took its time entering the luxury SUV EV fray but when it did, it arrived with an imposing and undeniably luxurious large SUV.

The BMW iX has all the hallmarks needed to crown it the 2024 DCOTY Best Luxury EV Under $150,000. From its sumptuous yet cutting-edge cabin design, to its healthy performance and supple and comfortable ride, the iX truly epitomises what the judges are looking for in a luxury electric car.

With a real-world driving range of 425km, and enough power and torque (240kW/600Nm) to hustle the 2.5-tonne SUV from 0-100km/h in a hot hatch-like 6.1 seconds, the iX never feels underdone in terms of performance.

The ride comfort too is excellent, despite the iX sitting on 22-inch alloys with slim-walled rubber, a testament to BMW’s chassis engineers and the refinement they’ve built into what is otherwise a heavy SUV.

The cabin is where the iX really lays its luxury cards on the table, a stunning interpretation of the modern post-petrol driving experience. There is no minimalism here, as has seemingly become the norm in electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes and at all price points.

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Instead, the iX’s cabin takes everything that is good about BMW and then ups the ante. It’s luxury written in leather and walnut, avant-garde design flourishes, and a sweeping infotainment screen featuring the latest smartphone connectivity and everything we’ve come to expect from today’s cars, electric or otherwise. Inside, it feels like money well spent.

Safety too is at the forefront of the BMW iX. A five-star ANCAP safety rating on the strength of good crash testing along with what BMW claims is the most extensive list of advanced driver assist systems ever bundled into a single BMW model, brings peace of mind.

It’s not all bouquets, however, the iX’s cargo capacity on the small side for the segment, especially considering its overall proportions. And its exterior styling is brash and imposing, lending the iX a heavy appearance.

And while 425km of driving range is good, and certainly enough to suit most buyers’ needs on a week-to-week basis, you’ll need to spend closer to $200,000 on the road for the iX xDrive 50 Sport and its more comfortable 620km range. 

Those brickbats are minor though and ultimately outweighed by the iX’s unquestionable luxury, the defining quality of this category. It’s writ large in the cabin where premium touches abound, pampering occupants in a plush and quiet environment, one that is only enhanced by the iX’s excellent – and tangible – road manners.

This is why, when it came to the final reckoning, our judging team was unanimous in awarding the BMW iX the title of Drive Car of the Year 2024 Best Luxury EV under $150,000.

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Drive Car of the Year – Every category, every winner

Find out everything you need to know about all the Drive Car of the Year 2024 category winners at our DCOTY content hub.

Drive

Drive Car of the Year 2024

All the categories, all the winners – Drive Car of the Year 2024

Rob Margeit is an award-winning Australian motoring journalist and editor who has been writing about cars and motorsport for over 25 years. A former editor of Australian Auto Action, Rob’s work has also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Wheels, Motor Magazine, Street Machine and Top Gear Australia. Rob’s current rides include a 1996 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and a 2000 Honda HR-V Sport.

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