General

2022 BMW iX is an extremely quiet and long-haul highway cruiser

2022 BMW iX is an extremely quiet and long-haul highway cruiser
  • In our noise testing, the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 was one of the quietest vehicles we’ve ever tested.
  • The iX produces less interior noise than the most recent BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class, and is significantly quieter than any Tesla.
  • The iX also put in 290 miles in our 75mph highway test, the second-longest EV we’ve ever tested.

    Welcome to car and drivers Testing Hub, where we zoom in on the test numbers. We’ve pushed vehicles to the limit since 1956 to provide objective data to bolster our subjective impressions (you can see how we test here). A more extensive review of the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 can be found here.

    One of the hallmarks of automotive luxury is cruising in pristine silence. Many people assume that electric vehicles are extremely quiet – using electrons to power the engines puts an end to the hum and hum of the constant miniature explosions that take place in the cylinders of an internal combustion engine. But at highway speeds, EVs aren’t necessarily quieter, and they’re prone to the same tire and wind noise as combustion engine vehicles. However, the 2022 BMW iX, which starts at $84,195, excels even in this environment, proving to be one of the quietest cars we’ve ever tested.

    Our test vehicle was a 2022 BMW iX xDrive50, which, after adding a range of optional extras, cost a cool $104,020. The xDrive50 is the entry-level iX in the US, powered by an electric motor on each axle that produces a combined output of 516 horsepower. The iX we tested ran on optional 22-inch wheels with Bridgestone Alenza 001 B-Silent summer tires, which made its silence all the more impressive.

    Jessica Lynn WalkerCar and driver

    Hereby Car and driver, we determine the sound pressure levels in the interior using a portable Brüel & Kjær Class 1 sound level meter. We take three measurements: at idle, at full throttle, and while cruising at 70 mph. Sound pressure measurements are on a logarithmic scale, meaning a small numerical increase in the data represents a significant noticeable difference in the real world. For example, every increase of 3 dBA means a doubling of the sound pressure. We’re only comparing data measured in the same testing facility because our Michigan test track is rougher and noisier than our California test track.

    In our testing, the BMW iX registered an average of 66 dBA with the accelerator pressed and 63 dBA at a steady 70 mph. This makes it some of the quietest cars we’ve ever tested. Only four cars were quieter at highway cruising speeds: a 2019 Bentley Bentayga V-8 (61 dBA), a 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan (62 dBA), a 2020 Audi S8 (62 dBA), and a Jaguar I- Pace from 2019 (62dBA). The iX was significantly quieter than this quartet at full throttle, beating even the all-electric I-Pace, which measured 71 dBA under heavy acceleration. And the iX is much quieter than the quietest Tesla we’ve ever tested, a 2021 Model S Long Range Plus, which came in at 66 dBA.

    BMW’s EV SUV outperforms some seriously luxurious vehicles by keeping it quiet on the highway. The iX was one decibel quieter than a 2020 BMW 745e plug-in hybrid, a 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 4Matic and a 2021 Cadillac Escalade 600. The iX also easily outperforms these three gas-powered land yachts when it comes to lack of noise during maximum acceleration. .

    The iX’s serenity at highway speeds can also be enjoyed for extended periods of time, as it covered 290 miles in our 75-mph highway range test. That’s the second best result we’ve ever recorded. It’s also an impressive 92 percent of its EPA range number of 315 miles, which represents a much higher percentage of its rated range than the standard for EVs. Only the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, which has covered 320 miles, has advanced in our testing, although we fully expect a Lucid Air to jump to the top of our EV range test leaderboard once we test one.

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