2023 BMW X1: Munich renews its popular small crossover, but the United States skips the electric version

The BMW X1 is completely redesigned for 2023. It’s a bit larger overall than its predecessor, with a cleaner, more muscular look. Thirteen bright colors will be offered, including Utah Orange. BMW

BMW has unveiled its redesigned third-generation X1 crossover. Slightly bigger overall and drawing inspiration from the styling of the chunky X7, the new SUV will only take one form in the US, at least initially, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) xDrive28i.

Updated styling heralds major changes underneath, although BMW fans will note that the most significant new design cues are those that will likely only be for Europe.

While the X1 xDrive28i will get a huge boost in power, Europe will get a host of new motors and an all-new all-electric version, the iX1. BMW has no plans to offer this new variant in the US at this time, but it is continuing Munich’s recent practice of offering battery-only versions of its new models.

Although not a huge seller like its larger X3 and X5 siblings, the German-made X1 has proven to be an important entry point for young buyers to the rest of the important lineup of BMW crossovers. (The larger X3 through X7 are made in South Carolina).

The automaker also offers the even smaller X2, a pint-sized crossover coupe that rides on the same platform (shared with much of the Mini lineup), but the X1 is a far more popular vehicle. on both sides of the pond and the true anchor of the X line. This won’t change immediately, but where the X1 leads, the X2 will eventually follow.

Complete range BMW X1 2023
The full European X1 range includes the new iX1 (left) as well as plug-in hybrid models like the xDrive30e (centre). For now, only one version is planned for the United States, the 2.0-liter turbocharged all-wheel-drive xDrive28i (right, called xDrive23i in Europe). BMW

Bigger and smarter, but not much more expensive

BMW hasn’t announced a replacement for the current front-wheel-drive base model X1 (sDrive28i), but the new AWD xDrive28i will start at $39,595, including a destination charge of $995, an increase of just $1,200. $ compared to its 2022 predecessor. For that, buyers get a machine that has increased in size and substance.

Like most things, the BMW X1 has grown through the full generation change, and it’s now 177.2 inches long. That’s over two inches longer than before and less than two inches shorter than the original X3 circa 2003.

It also sports a longer wheelbase, going 0.9 inches to 106 inches overall, and it’s also wider (72.6 inches) and taller (64.7 inches). Even the track widths push the tires 1.2 inches apart. 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels will be available to fill those bulky wheel arches.

With sharper lines draped over that slightly longer body, it looks more grown up and slightly resembles the giant X7 from a distance.

Dashboard BMW X1 xDrive23i 2023
BMW’s super cool curved screen and iDrive 8 systems are standard on the new X1. BMW

A larger and more modern cabin

Like the underpinnings, the interior is an all-new design, with a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster integrated behind a curved screen to meet the 10.7-inch infotainment screen in the center of the dash.

This striking design was first seen on the i4 and iX, and will gradually trickle down to other BMWs. The curved screen is gorgeous, but there aren’t many hard controls, which might not appeal to everyone.

The setup runs iDrive 8, the latest and greatest version of BMW’s infotainment system, also seen for the first time on new EV models. Navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard. Over-the-air updates will keep the system contemporary for a long time and can enable new features in the future. Additionally, the automaker is planning a variety of subscription-based extras.

Dual-zone climate control is standard, and the rain-sensing wipers now automatically activate the headlights as well. Even the standard versions will have four USB-C ports, two 12V sockets and a range of driver assistance systems.

As before, BMW will bundle some of the more desirable features (adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, traffic jam assist and active lane keeping) into a driver assistance package. Forward automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and blind spot detection will be standard.

There will be three full-size rear seats for the first time in an X1, and it also features a split 40/20/40 layout. BMW didn’t give exact numbers for the US models’ cargo volume, but the European X1 models grew by around 3-5% inside.

Profile BMW X1 xDrive23i 2023
Only slightly heavier than its predecessor, the new X1’s increased power should help it move even faster, and BMW claims a zero-to-60 time of 6.2 seconds for the xDrive28i. BMW

more power

The outgoing X1 was a fairly quick and light machine on its feet and the new one should be even more so. The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is lightly massaged to 248 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, up 13 hp and 37 lb-ft from the old model.

Fortunately, the new X1 xDrive28 weighs only about 25 pounds more than its predecessor, a negligible amount considering its greater size and power.

That extra power is transmitted through a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), and the automaker says the combination is good for zero-to-60 sprints of 6.2 seconds, down from around 0. 2 compared to before. Models equipped with the M Sport package are equipped with paddle shifters for lightning-fast gear changes.

The M Sport models also get other cosmetic and mechanical tweaks including adaptive suspension, M steering wheel and sports seats that are sure to be more comfortable for people who love track days. With the 20-inch wheels and optional runflat performance tires in the M Sport package, the X1 will hit 149 mph (lower trims clock in at 133).

The X1 will have 8.1 inches of ground clearance, but as before, we expect it to be more about on-road performance than off-road muscle.

2023 BMW iX1
Although there are no immediate plans to import it, the iX1 is one of BMW’s first truly mainstream electric vehicles and comes at a price well below that of either the i4 or the iX1. ‘ix. It stands out visually, like the i4, with its blue accents. BMW

iX1 and plugins

If there’s one major change to the X1 globally, it’s the arrival of the all-electric iX1. But BMW also offers a variety of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains in other markets.

None of these are planned for the US, but the previous X1 design lasted seven model years and by 2030 BMW expects half of its global sales to be battery-powered.

The BMW iX1 xDrive30 has big efficiency claims, including best-in-class efficiency of 17.3kWh/100km on the European WLTP test cycle. It’s also the fastest X1 ever, with 310 hp and 364 lb-ft of instant torque thanks to two electric motors.

The AWD iX1 will sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.7 seconds, which is still faster than the X2 M35i hot-rod (the X1 doesn’t get any M-badge variation).

BMW won’t confirm the iX1’s battery size, but it does between 257 and 272 miles on the WLTP cycle, which would amount to between 75kWh and 80kWh. On the slightly different EPA test cycle, that would translate to between 229 and 243 miles. A second, smaller (and cheaper) battery is expected at a later date.

There are also diesel and PHEV X1s for Europe, including the xDrive30e plug-in, with up to 321 hp and 351 lb-ft of torque. For now, BMW is unlikely to bring any of these models, but the iX1 would make a very compelling alternative to the Volvo C40 Recharge.

When can I get one?

BMW estimates the new X1 xDrive28i will hit dealerships in the fourth quarter. As before, buyers will have plenty of opportunities to gild the lily, with Design xLine, Convenience and Premium packs adding interior features ranging from panoramic sunroofs to open-pore wood.

The first of these packages also allows buyers to install the larger wheels and performance tires from the M-Sport package, but with different visuals and finer interior appointments. Well-equipped X1s should cost around $45,000, and we’ll bring you more details on final specs and pricing as they become available.