The X1 has never been an exciting model in the BMW range, but with crossovers being all the rage and it representing the entry point into the X family, it’s a hugely important product. Codenamed U11, the third generation has arrived with changes across the board. From size and design to powertrains and technology, the 2023 X1 is ready to compete in a hugely challenging segment.

Larger Than Outgoing X1

Bigger in every dimension compared to its predecessor, the revamped crossover now stretches at 177.2 inches long, 72.6 inches wide, and 64.6 inches tall. It’s therefore 1.7 inches longer, 0.9 inches wider, and 1.7 inches taller than the model it replaces while having the wheelbase elongated by 0.9 inches to 106 inches. For our metric-loving audience, the X1 is 4500 mm long, 1845 mm wide, and 1642 mm tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2692 mm. Cargo capacity varies from 540 liters with the rear seats in place to 1,600 liters once you fold the 40/20/40-split bench.

The jump in size and a thoroughly more modern design lend the X1 a sophisticated look for a crossover in the entry-level luxury class. We are happy to report the kidney grille has a normal size and is flanked by one-piece headlights rather than having the split layout of the X7 LCI and upcoming XM. Sharper-looking lights at the front and rear give the smallest X model the sense we’re dealing with a vehicle from a segment above.

The overhauled model adopts BMW’s latest flush door handles to replace the traditional setup used by the F48 generation for a more aerodynamic side profile. Speaking of which, the drag coefficient has been lowered to 0.27, partially achieved by installing active air flaps in the front grille, along with air curtains, and aero-optimized side mirror caps. Even the alloy wheels were perfected in the wind tunnel, along with the roof-mounted rear spoiler and the side air deflectors around the rear window. The underbody is nearly flush and hides the exhaust tips, while the diffuser also helps improve airflow.

Premium and Stylish Interior

As expected, the interior largely mirrors that of the latest 2 Series Active Tourer, so much so the dashboard design is nearly identical. The new X1 switches to the iDrive 8, thus bundling the 10.25-inch digital driver’s display with the 10.7-inch touchscreen into a single unit located behind a one-piece glass surface slightly tilted toward the driver.

Even though it’s the cheapest BMW money can buy, the X1 is brimming with tech. Relevant examples include a head-up display, navigation with augmented reality, digital key, adaptive M suspension, 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and even an interior camera. The latter is automatically turned on when the Remote Theft Recorder is triggered, but you can also use it to send images to your smartphone to see whether there are bags or other luggage in the car. Alternatively, the in-car camera can take photos while you’re on the go.

Gasoline, Diesel, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Options

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to engines. In the United States where the 2023 X1 will be sold exclusively with xDrive, the lineup only includes the xDrive28i for the time being. It uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline mill running on the Mille combustion cycle. It’s a newly developed engine with dual injection and it pushes out 241 hp between 4,500 to 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.

Available only with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, the X1 xDrive28i needs 6.2 seconds to complete the sprint from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h). Flat out, it will do 130 mph (209 km/h) with regular tires and 149 mph (240 km/h) with performance rubber. Go for the version equipped with the optional M Sport Package and you get shift paddles behind the steering wheel. In addition, BMW adds a Sport Boost function that tweaks settings for maximum performance if the driver pulls the left shift paddle for at least a second.

Over in Europe, the 2023 X1 lineup is impressively vast. It starts off with the front-wheel-drive sDrive28i powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine making 136 hp and 230 Nm (169 lb-ft) for a sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 129 mph (208 km/h).

Up next is the X1 xDrive23i with a larger four-cylinder 2.0-liter rated at 204 hp and 320 Nm (235 lb-ft). It completes the sprint in 7.1 seconds and maxes out at 145 mph (233 km/h).

On the diesel side, BMW will sell you the sDrive18d equipped with a 2.0-liter unit producing 150 hp and 360 Nm (265 lb-ft). The oil-burning X1 needs 8.9 seconds in the acceleration test and will do 130 mph (210 km/h).

There’s also a more potent diesel with AWD taking the shape of the X1 xDrive23d with 197 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) on tap. BMW claims the sprint is done in 7.4 seconds and the crossover can do 140 mph (225 km/h).

All four Euro models come exclusively with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission while the xDrive23i and xDrive23d receive a 48V mild-hybrid system. Two plug-in hybrids will join the range, likely with the same powertrains used by the 225e xDrive and 230e xDrive Active Tourer. For the first time ever, BMW is offering a fully electric iX1, which you can read about in our separate article.

BMW will have the new X1 on sale in Europe from October with standard 17-inch wheels, but you can upgrade to a 20-inch set representing a first for the compact crossover. Customers get to pick from xLine and M Sport models, along with two solid colors and ten metallic body paints, and even a frozen Individual hue making its debut on the X1.

No BMW iX1 in the United States

The US-spec xDrive28i is set to launch in Q4 2022 from $38,600 plus $995 destination. At an additional cost, there’s a panoramic sunroof with a glass surface of ten square feet and an electrically operated roller blind cover. Some of the confirmed paint choices are Blue Bay Lagoon, Cape York Green, Utah Orange, Space Silver, and BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey. The color palette also includes Alpine White (non-metallic), Jet Black (non-metallic), Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, Portimao Blue, Storm Bay, and San Remo Green.

Further down the line, an M Performance model with quad exhaust tips will hit the market as the X1 M35i with around 300 horsepower.

Source: BMW

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BMW X1 xDrive23i

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