Swinging open the iX’s frameless driver’s door admits you into a cabin that’s notably less risqué than the car’s outward appearance, but little more ordinary.

The large front seats, with their integral-style head restraints, position you quite high and bent- legged at the controls, with good forward visibility (it’s less good over your shoulder and to the rear). The design theme of the fascia in front of you, and of the panels and consoles to either side, isn’t overly ornate or showy. This isn’t a luxury car cabin that’s out to dazzle you with chrome, or that ladles touchscreen technology on every available surface. It has fairly modestly sized features and beguilingly lavish materials and finishes, but it’s also a bit understated and feels harmoniously balanced. Nothing is clamouring for your attention; it’s smart, it’s inviting and it puts you at ease.

Cut-glass-like cabin fittings, part of the optional ‘Clear and Bold’ interior trim theme, look and feel very authentic. They refract sunlight to appealing effect

There are certain similarities between the iX’s cabin and that of BMW’s trailblazing all-electric i3: a flat cabin floor with front footwells left open at the inboard sides, a low-feeling scuttle, a two-spoke steering wheel and a raised centre console with split-level storage. The iX’s combined instrumentation and infotainment screen is of a grander scale than the i3’s was, however, and it curves around towards the driver a little as it runs across the dashboard. In terms of outright passenger space, the iX wants for little. The back seats are comparable to a full-size limousine on leg room, and would certainly beat one for head room; they’re very easy to slide in and out of, although they’re shorter and flatter in the cushion than a limousine’s rear chairs might be. They don’t offer the ‘stadium-style’ seating of other luxury SUVs, but your view out from the back seats is nonetheless good; and if you want charging ports to plug a device into, you need look no further than the seatback in front.

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The iX’s boot, meanwhile, is shaped a little narrowly on account of the impact of the car’s wraparound tailgate, but it still offers some 500 litres of carrying capacity under the window line. That space can be extended to the roof and up to the front seatbacks in ways conventional limousines couldn’t match.

BMW iX infotainment and sat-nav

The iX bloods BMW’s latest generation of infotainment system, called Operating System 8.0. It lacks absolutely nothing for connected entertainment options and can be controlled via the curved, 14.9in central touchscreen display (which is very bright, clear and responsive); via an iDrive-style rotary input device (which to our delight continues to be part of BMW’s usability regime); via the steering-wheel remote; or via voice command. That means you can nudge a cursor around while flicking your gaze to and from the road if you prefer, and don’t necessarily feel as distracted by the need to swipe and prod at a screen with an outstretched arm.

The bad news is that it has subsumed the car’s heating and ventilation controls, which makes one more menu screen to scroll through, and which we regret a little. But there are enough physical menu shortcuts to make a fairly complex system easily navigable with practice – and the user-configurable, swipeable home screen helps here too.