BMW has released a restyled third-generation X1 crossover. Slightly larger overall and drawing cues than the big X7, the new SUV will only take one form in the US, at least initially, the all-wheel drive (AWD) xDrive28i.
The updated styling heralds major changes underneath, although BMW fans will note that the most important new design elements are those likely only for Europe.
While the X1 xDrive28i will get a big bump in power, Europe will get a host of new engines and an all-new all-electric version, the iX1. BMW doesn’t plan to offer this new variation in the US, but it continues Munich’s recent practice of offering battery-only versions of its new models.
Although not a huge seller like its bigger X3 and X5 siblings, the German-made X1 has proven to be an important entry point for younger buyers to the rest of BMW’s large range of cars. (The larger X3 is manufactured by X7 in South Carolina.)
The automaker also offers the smaller X2, a pint-size coupe-crossover that rides on the same platform (shared with much of the Mini lineup), but the X1 is a much more popular pool- and marina-side car than the true X-Line. , but where X1 leads X2 will eventually follow.
Bigger and more luxurious, but not much more
BMW hasn’t announced a replacement for the current base X1 front-wheel-drive model (sDrive28i), but the new AWD xDrive28i will start at $39,595, including a $995 destination fee, which is just a $1,200 increase over its 2022 predecessor. For this, buyers get the machine It has grown in size and substance.
Like most things, the BMW X1 has grown with the complete generation change, and now measures 177.2 inches in length. This is more than two inches longer than before and less than two inches smaller than about the original 2003 X3.
It also has a longer wheelbase, from 0.9 inches to 106 inches overall, and is wider (72.6 inches) and longer (64.7 inches) as well. Even the track width puts the tires 1.2 inches apart. 18, 19 and 20 inch wheels will be available to fill those big wheel wells.
With sharper lines draped over this slightly longer body, it looks more mature, and faintly like a giant X7 from a distance.
Bigger, more modern cabin
Like the pillars, the interior is all-new, with a 10.3-inch digital instrument panel integrated behind a screen curved to meet the 10.7-inch infotainment screen in the center of the dashboard.
This amazing design was first seen on the i4 and iX, and will gradually be carried over to other BMWs. The curved display is nice, but there aren’t many strict controls, which may not please everyone.
The setup powers the iDrive 8, the latest and greatest version of BMW’s infotainment system, also first seen on new EV models. Nav, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. Over-the-air updates will allow the system to stay current for a long time to come and may enable new features in the future.
Dual-zone climate control air conditioning is standard, and the wiper rain sensor now automatically activates the headlights as well. Even the standard versions will have four USB-C ports, two 12-volt ports, and a suite of driver assistance systems.
As before, BMW will bundle some of the most coveted equipment (adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, traffic jam assist and active lane keeping) into the driver assistance package. Automatic Forward 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 the X1, and it also includes a 40/20/40 split-folding arrangement. BMW didn’t provide any confirmed numbers for US cargo volume, but European X1s grew 3% to 5% indoors.
The outgoing X1 was a fairly fast and lightweight machine and the new one should be more than that. The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is lightly massaged to deliver 248 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, 13 hp and 37 lb-ft more than the old model.
Fortunately, the new X1 xDrive28 weighs only about 25 pounds more than its predecessor, which is a tiny amount given its greater size and power.
That extra power is transmitted through a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), and the car manufacturer says the combination is good for sprinting from zero to 60 in 6.2 seconds, down about 0.2 from previously. Models equipped with the M Sport package get paddle shifters for lightning-fast gear changes.
The M Sport models also got other aesthetic and mechanical modifications, including adaptive suspension, an M steering wheel and sport seats that are sure to be more comfortable for people who love track days. With optional 20-inch wheels and performance tires in the M Sport package, the X1 will hit 149 mph. The X1 will have a ground clearance of 8.1 inches, but as before, we expect it to be biased more toward off-road performance than off-road power.
iX1 and plug-ins
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 powertrains (PHEVs) in other markets.
None of those are due to come to the US, but the previous X1 design lasted seven typical years and by 2030 BMW expects half of its global sales to be battery powered.
There are big claims about the BMW iX1 xDrive30’s efficiency, including a best-in-class efficiency of 17.3 kWh/100 km on the European WLTP test cycle. It’s also the fastest X1 ever, with 310 horsepower and 364 pound-feet of instant torque via two electric motors. The AWD iX1 will sprint at 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.7 seconds, even faster than the Hot Rod X2 M35i.
BMW doesn’t confirm the iX1’s battery pack size, but it’s between 257 and 272 miles on the WLTP cycle, which would return it to between 75 kWh and 80 kWh. On the EPA’s slightly different test cycle, this would translate to between 229 and 243 miles. A second, smaller (and cheaper) battery pack is expected at a later date.
There are also diesels and PHEV X1s for Europe, including the xDrive30e plug-in, with up to 321 horsepower and 351 lb-ft of torque. For now, it’s unlikely BMW will bring any of these models, but the iX1 would be a very compelling alternative to the Volvo C40 Recharge Truck.
When can I get one?
BMW estimates that the new X1 xDrive28i will reach dealerships in the fourth quarter. As before, there will be plenty of opportunities for buyers to gild the tulips, with the Design xLine, Convenience and Premium packages adding interior features from panoramic sunroofs to open-pore wood.
The first package also allows buyers to fit larger tires and performance tires from the M-Sport range but with different profiles and precise interior designations. Well-equipped X1s should cost around $45,000, and we’ll have more details on final specifications and pricing as they become available.