BMW is finally ready to enter the electric SUV game. Following in the still-fresh footsteps of automakers both near and far, the 2022 BMW iX looks poised to hit the ground running in the first quarter of 2022, offering some seriously stylish concept-car-adjacent looks inside and out. It's promising to be pretty darn efficient, to boot, with fifth-generation electric powertrain tech promising a manufacturer-estimated 300 miles of range. Sounds like a pretty solid package, right?
Well, nobody stands alone, especially in this burgeoning segment that's only gaining momentum as time inexorably marches onward. Already, this luxury electric crossover will have a solid little chunk of competition from the Audi E-Tron, the forthcoming Cadillac Lyriq, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Tesla Model Y when it arrives in dealers. Let's dive a little deeper into the nitty-gritty specs and see how these five rivals stack up on paper.
BMW's iX is a two-row, midsize SUV but with an overall length that's equal to a Toyota Land Cruiser, it only barely fits that midsize category. Of course, overall length isn't that important, unless you need to see if it'll fit in your garage. Wheelbase is a lot more important and the iX offers 118.1 inches in between its aerodynamic rolling stock. That's a longer than the Tesla, Ford or Audi in our comparison, but is a good bit shorter than the Cadillac.
Of course, the Cadillac Lyriq is quite the big boy. In a few ways -- in fact, were it not for a patently insane price delta, I could almost compare the Lyriq to Tesla's larger Model X. The Lyriq dwarfs the E-Tron, Mach-E and Model Y when it comes to overall length, width and wheelbase. That last figure is especially interesting, as the Lyriq promises a whopping 121.8 inches of space between the wheels -- in excess of four inches beyond what Ford's Mach-E can muster.
Yet, at the same time, the Lyriq (this name will never get easier to type) is actually the same height as the Model Y, coming in about an inch-and-a-half beneath the E-Tron, although the sleek Mach-E remains the shortest of the bunch. Curb weights are pretty close, too, with the Lyriq's 5,610-pound chonk being the second-heaviest of this bunch, beating the E-Tron but piling on the pounds over the Tesla and Ford. We're not sure how much the iX will weigh, but given its carbon-heavy construction, we'd expect it to be at the lighter end of this group.
|Model||Length||Width||Height||Wheelbase||Curb weight (lbs.)|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E||186||74||63||117||4,394 - 4,890|
|Tesla Model Y||187.0||75.6||63.9||113.8||4,416|
Remember how I said the Lyriq was relatively larger than this competitive set? Well, the playing field is back to even once the doors open. Despite its swollen footprint, the numbers are pretty similar as far as interior dimensions are concerned. The Lyriq is low on headroom, although it's unclear if the pittance of data GM has delivered so far includes a sunroof or not (all the other models here do). The Caddy is about even with the rest in legroom, but it wins out by a few hairs in both shoulder room and hip room. Suffice it to say, if you've been in any of these other EVs, you should have a good idea of the Lyriq's interior space once it lands at dealerships.
When it comes to cargo space, the only figure all four automakers have released independent of each other is trunk capacity with the second row folded down. In fact, Tesla doesn't offer any other measurement. That said, the Lyriq and Mach-E offer about the same space behind the first row, with Tesla leading and Audi bringing up the rear. The Lyriq will have a small frunk, but Cadillac doesn't have dimensions readily available yet.
BMW hasn't coughed up any interior dimensions for the iX yet, but given its exterior dimensions, we'd bet it'll land somewhere in the middle of this particular pack.
|Model||Headroom (F/R, in.)||Legroom (F/R, in.)||Shoulder Room (F/R, in.)||Hip Room (F/R, in.)||Rear cargo space (cu. ft., behind first row)|
|Audi E-Tron||39.8 / 38.6||40.8 / 39.1||58.6 / 57.2||N/A||57.0|
|Cadillac Lyriq||38.6 / 37.7||41.4 / 39.6||58.9 / 58.6||56.5 / 54.0||60.8|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E||40.4 / 39.3||43.3 / 38.1||57.6 / 55.9||55.4 / 53.2||59.7|
|Tesla Model Y (5-pass.)||41.0 / 39.4||41.8 / 40.5||56.4 / 54.0||53.8 / 50.6||68.0|
All five vehicles utilize lithium-ion batteries in their floors, but everything beyond that is different. BMW's iX claims 300 miles of range from its 106.3 kWh (that's usable capacity, mind you) battery pack. At 100 kW, the Lyriq's battery capacity is large, though not the largest, but that curb weight comes home to roost in the Cadillac's estimated mileage, which GM figures is also roundabout 300 miles. Tesla, on the other hands, does more with less, its 75-kWh battery pack enabling a range of 326 miles in the Long Range variant -- being 1,200 pounds lighter has its benefits. I included both the Standard Range and Extended Range variants of the Mach-E to show its variation and how it can tailor to many different buyers, as each battery can be paired to either rear- or all-wheel drive (plus, awill arrive in dealers before the Caddy).
|Model||Battery size (kWh)||Max range (mi, US est.)||Number of electric motors||Motor locations|
|Audi E-Tron||95||222||2||Front, rear axles|
|BMW iX||106.3||300||2||Front, rear axles|
|Cadillac Lyriq||100||300 (mfr. est.)||1||Rear axle|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E (SR)||75.7||211 - 230||1 - 2||Front, rear axles|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E (ER)||98.8||270 - 300||1 - 2||Front, rear axles|
|Tesla Model Y (LR)||75||326||2||Front, rear axles|
All that juice is only good if it gets put to use effectively. We've already talked about range, so now, it's time for the fun stuff. BMW's iX leaves all these other electric SUVs in the dust with a combined power output from its dual motors of 516 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Comparatively, the Lyriq's sole electric motor puts out a net 340 hp and 325 lb.-ft., which lags behind the figures of the other four vehicles. While the Lyriq's acceleration figures are still unknown, we do know what to expect from BMW and its good, if not stellar. It will take a claimed 4.6 seconds to reach 60 mph -- that's just under a second faster than the Audi or Ford (5.5 seconds). Tesla also offers up a very respectable 4.8-second runs in non-Performance trim.
BMW and Ford have already voiced plans to sell hotter versions of the iX and the Mach-E, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Cadillac offer a Lyric V at some point with a second motor and a boatload more performance to back up its good looks.
When it comes to slipping through the air, both the E-Tron and Mach-E have a commendable drag coefficient of 0.30 and BMW manages 0.25, but Tesla beats 'em all with a 0.23. The Lyriq's drag coefficient remains a mystery as of this writing.
|Model||Power (hp)||Torque (lb.-ft.)||Acceleration, 0-60 mph (sec.)||Top speed (mph)||Drag coefficient|
|Audi E-Tron||355 (402 overboost)||414 (490 overboost)||5.5||124||0|
|BMW iX xDrive50||516||564||4.6||124||0|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E (ER AWD)||346||428||5.5||114||0|
|Tesla Model Y (LR)||384||376||4.8||135||0|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E (ER)||98.8||270 - 300||1 - 2||Front, rear axles||
|Tesla Model Y (LR)||75||326||2||Front, rear axles||
The Mustang Mach-E is the most affordable vehicle of the four, with a lineup starting price of $43,995 including destination. Due to the convoluted nature of "off-menu" ordering and other hoops that can befuddle the average car buyer jumping through them, I chose to set the Model Y's base price as the one advertised on its website, $51,690 including destination. The Lyriq slides in above the Tesla at $59,990, with the Audi predictably coming in near the top of Price Mountain at $66,995 to start. However, it's BMW that brings home the crown for most expensive with a starting price of $84,195, including a $995 destination charge.
Of course, these figures are before options, taxes, and crucially, discounts and incentives -- including potentially substantial federal, state and local credits for qualifying vehicles.
|Model||Lineup starting price|
|BMW iX xDrive50||$84,195|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E||$43,995|
|Tesla Model Y||$51,690|