New BMW iX vs Audi E-tron: practicality

BMW has finally joined the luxury electric SUV party with the radical iX. To be counted as a success, it must beat the likes of the Audi E-tron...

New BMW iX rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

On paper, there’s very little difference between our contenders when it comes to space up front; even six-footers will find that there’s plenty of leg room and space above their heads. However, due to its tall side windows, low-slung dashboard and floating centre console between the seats, the BMW iX feels like it’s significantly more spacious. It’s a clever bit of design and gives the iX a more relaxing ambience.

The same is true in the rear seats. Both have loads of rear head and leg room, but BMW’s designers have focused on areas where incremental improvements can be made. The iX’s middle seat, for example, is much softer and more comfortable than the Audi E-tron’s rock-hard central pew, plus it has a flat floor in front of it, giving the central passenger more foot room. Unlike in the E-tron, you can also adjust the angle of the rear seatbacks in the iX if you fancy a nap on a long journey.

Audi E-tron rear seats

However, with such a roomy interior, it’s a little disappointing that the iX doesn’t have a bigger boot; at 500 litres, it’s 160 litres smaller than the E-tron’s. Granted, eight carry-on suitcases can still fit under the iX’s tonneau cover (the same number that the E-tron can swallow), but the E-tron has more space left over – enough for a soft travel bag. The E-tron also benefits from a second, smaller boot under its bonnet, although it’s really only big enough for charging cables.

Both cars come with electric tailgates, and both feature handy boot-mounted switches for folding down the 40/20/40 split rear seats, saving you from having to walk around to the rear doors to reach the releases. When folded, both rear rows lie at a slight angle, but they don’t leave you with a stepped floor area. The resultant space is easily big enough for an Ikea run.

Boot space


New BMW iX boot space

Boot 500-1750 litres Suitcases 8

Audi E-tron

Audi E-tron boot space

Boot 660-1725 litres Suitcases 8

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