Say Hello To The Stylish New BMW X1

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The little crossover has had a nip and a tuck and looks much prettier as a result.

It's been almost two years since we first saw spy shots of the 2023 BMW X1. In the time since then, we've been able to glean plenty of information about the cute little crossover. Like the majority of its siblings, the new X1 was predicted to be equipped with BMW's latest infotainment system, namely iDrive 8. There's a lot more to it, particularly with its new styling, and BMW has been whetting our appetites with teaser imagery ahead of the little family car's reveal. That waiting period has now come to an end, as the all-new model has finally been exposed in all its glory.


This is the third generation of the X1, a car that many fans of the brand never imagined would survive beyond its first. Clearly, the design language previewed by the BMW Concept XM is being lightly integrated on every new model, so the X1 crossover has had a number of angles and upturned flicks added to its styling.

Almost square kidney grills dominate the front, while sharp LED headlights and lovely new LED taillights "provide a new and exciting interpretation of the L shape classically sported by BMW X models." Another typical design trait of BMW's crossovers and SUVs is black trim at the lower edge of the body from the bumpers to the rocker panels.

18-inch wheels are sat inside curved wheel arches, with these connected by a straight, strong shoulder line below the glasshouse. We think this and the sculpted hood look great, as does the integrated spoiler and the addition of various silver accents throughout the body. Flush door handles complete the elegant look.


The X1 is now 1.7 inches longer at 177.2 inches, 0.9 inches wider at 72.6 inches, and 1.7 inches taller at 64.6 inches. The wheelbase measures 106 inches, 0.9 inches longer than before, while the track widths have increased by 0.8 inches to 62.3 inches both front and rear. Seating for five is therefore promised to be more comfortable than before.

Luggage capacity has not yet been revealed, but we expect that it should increase from the 2022 model's capacity of 27.1 cubic feet. With the seats folded, the 2022 X1 achieved a figure of 58.7 ft3, which was already an improvement over the 48 cubes offered in the Audi Q3.


In terms of aesthetic customization, the X1 is offered in 13 colors, including new options like Blue Bay Lagoon, Cape York Green, Utah Orange (pictured), Space Silver, and BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey, a matte finish. Also available are non-metallic colors Alpine White and Jet Black, along with Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, Portimao Blue, Storm Bay, and San Remo Green. The roof rails and mirrors are offered in Satin Aluminum as standard, but Shadowline (gloss black) trim is also on offer. While 18-inch wheels are standard, with the xLine design or M Sport Package, 19-inch wheels can be specced, and for the first time on an X1, even 20-inch rollers are available.


The cabin shows off Black High Gloss trims as standard, but Eucalyptus Open Pore Fine Wood Trim or Aluminum trim with mesh effect are available. The newly developed seats are said to be more comfortable than ever and are trimmed exclusively in perforated SensaTec 2.0 faux leather. Color options are Oyster with contrast stitching, Red/Black, Mocha with contrasting stitching, or Black.

BMW Operating System 8 features just as expected, giving you a 10.25-inch driver cluster and a 10.7-inch central touchscreen, with both displays housed in one curved unit focused toward the driver. As usual, touch and voice inputs can control the system. The instrument panel is now slimmer and there's a "floating" armrest with an integral control panel. Slim sir vents add more elegance, with some of these integrated into the A-pillars.


Two cupholders and a smartphone tray reside in the area below the central air vent, with the latter providing a moveable clasp and wireless charging. A 12-volt socket in the center console and the cargo area enhance practicality while four USB-C ports further ensure no dead smartphones.

Optionally, a Harman Kardon premium sound system offers 12 speakers and 205 watts of power. Ambient lighting is standard with brightness and color schemes configurable via the iDrive menu. In addition, the dynamic interior light function has been added to the X1, with its pulsating light informing occupants of incoming calls, open doors, and the running of the engine.

An optional panoramic glass sunroof is also offered, with the electrically operated roller blind cover now featuring a multi-layer design.

All of these features have been crammed into a package that provides "segment-leading aerodynamics" - the 2023 X1 has a drag coefficient of just 0.27.


Now, onto the powertrains. The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder has been revised for the new model year, working on a Miller combustion cycle as well as a new direct and port injection fueling system and revised combustion chamber geometry. While the old motor generated 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, the new engine makes 241 hp and 295 lb-ft. The old car's eight-speed automatic has been eschewed too, in favor of a new seven-speed dual-clutch. The result is that the X1 xDrive28i powers all four wheels to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds.

The transmission automatically shifts into Park when the engine is shut off, and "sensors can detect when the vehicle is parked on a slope and automatically engage the parking brake." In cars with the M Sport Package, paddles behind the wheel add to the fun. They also enable a Sport Boost function - when the driver pulls the left paddle for at least a second, all powertrain and chassis settings are primed to be as sporty as possible.


When AWD is not required, the X1 sends power exclusively to the front wheels. Furthermore, the X1 is now more agile and torque steer has been mitigated, with these the result of entirely redeveloped components of the single-joint spring strut axle. The three-link rear axle has been refined too, becoming more rigid. Along with new wheel bearings and refinements to the dampers, the X1 is promised to provide a sportier yet more comfortable drive.

If that's not good enough, adaptive M suspension is available for the first time. This setup gives you the best of both worlds and drops the ride height by 0.6 inches. It also provides a Sport version of the electric power steering system for a more direct steering experience.


Other highlights include near-actuator wheel slip limitation to further enhance handling, an integrated braking system that vows to improve braking feel, and a tire pressure indicator on each wheel. This is the same cloud-based system that recently debuted on BMW's more expensive offerings and is said to work faster than a typical system. It can also read tire wear and predict remaining life, informing the driver of the need to replace the rubber.

Other safety enhancements include the standard fitment of the latest front collision warning system with brake intervention, including pedestrian and cyclist detection. Front cross-traffic alert is part of this, and Active Blind Spot Detection is now standard, including a new exit warning function. Driving Assistant Professional will be available for the first time too, with camera- and radar-based lane keep assist and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go. Speed Limit Assist with route monitoring helps regulate speed according to traffic signs and upcoming curves, traffic circles, corners, and exits.


BMW has comprehensively reimagined the X1 and bestowed upon it greater style and a wide spread of technological updates that you'd expect to find only on more expensive Bimmers. However, the German automaker is yet to reveal the full scope of the American offerings. That means that we don't know if FWD models will be available, and we don't know what the xDrive28i model will cost. We also don't know when it will go on sale, but we expect that the wait won't be too much longer. At least we do know that this little family car will do 130 mph with regular tires and up to 149 mph with performance tires. That bodes well for the go-faster M35i model that we spied earlier this year.


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