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BMW iX vs Tesla Model Y: miles apart on price, but closer than you think

The Tesla Model Y is often considered the go-to pick for those who want a large electric crossover, and for good reason. It offers a great range, a still relatively modern design, and additional features like a well-designed infotainment system. But it’s far from the only option out there — and in fact, there are some seriously great alternatives, like the BMW iX, for example.

I know what you’re thinking — the BMW iX is way more expensive than the Tesla Model Y. It starts at $87,100, while the Model Y starts at $43,990. This is perhaps not the fairest of comparisons out there, but you might be surprised how well the Model Y does, considering the fact that it’s around half the price of the iX. The one you buy will ultimately depend on your priorities, but regardless, it’s important to know the similarities — and the differences.


The first thing you’ll notice about these cars is their design, and in that respect, they’re pretty different.

Exterior design is one area in which Tesla puts its minimalism ethos on display. The car offers the same overall look and shape as all of Tesla’s other current models, with its flush door handles and largely bare nose. The car has slim, slanted headlights, along with a glass roof, and while it is starting to age a little, for the most part, the Model Y’s design still looks modern and sleek.

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Inc

The BMW iX is a little busier in design, and probably a little more controversial too. The car offers the large front grille that BMW has been showing on other modern BMWs, and it’s a bit of a strange approach. The headlights are nice and slim though, as are the taillights, which complement a rear that looks a whole lot nicer than the front.

Ultimately, of course, design is subjective. The Model Y is a more minimalistic, but it also feels a little safe. The BMW is more unique, but you may or may not like the overall look.

Winner: Tie

Interior and tech

The interior of the Model Y, as you would expect, continues the ethos of minimalism from the exterior. The car has very few physical controls, stark black or white materials (like the vegan leather), and a large screen at the front. That display sits in at 15.4 inches, and it’s how you’ll interact with Tesla’s relatively well-designed infotainment system. The car doesn’t support CarPlay or Android Auto, but its mapping system works great, and it supports many of the top streaming services, including the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. It’s also where you’ll access the various cameras dotted around the Tesla, as well as the self-driving features you’ll have access to.

The interior of the BMW iX is less minimalistic, though still quite premium. After having driven both of these cars, I can say the iX’s seats are more comfortable, and the materials seem a little more premium. The fact that there are at least some physical controls is nice too — even though you’ll still have to access things like climate controls through the display.

Cabin interior of the 2023 BMW iX M60.
Ronan Glon / Digital Trends

Unlike the Model Y, the iX has two displays at the front — one for infotainment and one for instrument monitoring. The displays are high-end and vibrant, even though they’re not as big as the Model Y’s screen.

BMW’s iDrive infotainment isn’t as well-designed either. It’s not horrible — and it’s better than it used to be. But it’s generally difficult to navigate and, at times, slow. Thankfully, the iX supports CarPlay and Android Auto.

Overall, the tech in the Model Y is more advanced, however the interior of the BMW is nicer. This one’s a tie.

Winner: Tie


Tesla has a bit of a head start when it comes to developing EVs, and its cars are some of the best-performing ones out there. The Model Y is available in three different variants, including the standard Model Y, the Model Y Long Range, and the Model Y Performance. In the base model, you’ll get from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds, however with the Model Y Performance, you’ll reach that speed in only 3.5 seconds. That’s pretty quick. The base Model Y comes in rear-wheel drive — however, the Model Y Long Range and Model Y Performance both come in all-wheel drive.

Tesla Model Y

The BMW iX is available in two models — the iX M60 and the iX xDrive50. The xDrive50 is the base model, and it will get you from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, while the iX M60 gets there in 3.6 seconds. Both models come in all-wheel drive.

The slowest BMW is faster than the slowest Tesla, and of all the models, the Tesla Model Y Performance is the quickest. Tesla is getting the win here.

Winner: Tesla Model Y

Range and charging

Range and charging have long been an advantage of Tesla cars. The base Model Y offers a range of 260 miles per hour, which isn’t bad — but if you really want range, you’ll upgrade to the Long Range model, which hits 330 miles. All Tesla Model Ys have a charging speed of 250 kilowatts, which is pretty fast and means that you’ll be able to charge from 10% to 80% in around 25 minutes — that isn’t bad.

The grill of the 2023 BMW iX M60.
Ronan Glon / Digital Trends

The BMW iX xDrive50 has a range between 305 miles and 325 miles, depending on the wheel size that you go for. The iX M60 has a range of 288 miles, which is still quite good. Unfortunately, the BMW iX charges at only 150kW, which means that it’ll take up to around 40 minutes to get from 0 to 80% battery.

The Model Y has a longer range, if only by a little — but its faster charging speed cements its victory here.

Winner: Tesla Model Y

Pricing and availability

There’s another win for Tesla in sight. Both the Model Y and the BMW iX are now available readily, so if you want one, you can get your hands on one. But while the Tesla Model Y starts at $43,990 for the base model, the iX starts at $87,100 — and if you go for the iX M60, you’ll pay at least $111,500. That’s no minor difference.

This section doesn’t need to be long. This one goes to Tesla.

Tesla Model Y

Overall winner: Tesla Model Y

The BMW iX is much more expensive than the Tesla Model Y, but it turns out, it doesn’t really do enough to justify its price tag. When you get right down to it, the main reason to buy the BMW is the more luxurious interior. But if you do go for the Tesla, you’ll be getting a slightly longer range, a faster charging speed, and a faster performance depending on the model you go for. That’s all at $40,000 less.

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Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
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