We had the chance to spend some quality time with the new X1 once again and BMW gave us the opportunity to get better acquainted with a gasoline model. In fact, the xDrive23i is the most powerful variant upon launch among ICE models and will be dethroned next year by the first-ever M Performance version (X1 M35i).
The crossover we sampled was painted in Utah Orange, which is a new color introduced by BMW with the U11 model. While the regular alloy wheels are up to 20 inches in size – a first for the X1 – this set from the M Performance Parts catalog is even larger, measuring a stately 21 inches. Yes, you can now have BMW’s smallest crossover with 21-inch wheels straight from the factory. Surprisingly, they’re not overly large, partially because the crossover has grown with the third generation.
You have probably noticed by now this X1 lacks the M Sport Package and yet it looks fancier than the base version. That’s because it portrays the midrange xLine with silver and glossy black accents throughout the exterior. From the BMW Accessories portfolio is the roof box if the 540-liter cargo capacity doesn’t suffice.
Folding the rear seats increase volume to 1,600 liters. Compared to the previous-gen model, these numbers represent an increase of 35 and 50 liters, respectively. The cargo box might come in hand especially in the case of the plug-in hybrid and purely electric X1 since these have a smaller trunk capacity of 490 liters with the seats up and 1,495 liters after you fold them. Also in the back, there’s a nifty organizer with velcro to secure items.
As for the interior, the 2023 BMW X1 has been configured with the optional oyster Vernasca leather. One of the more interesting extras is the BMW Drive Recorder allowing owners to film their surroundings, which might be useful to document dangerous driving situations. In the back, there are a couple of BMW Accessories – a smartphone holder behind the driver’s seat and a folding table with an integrated cup holder behind the front passenger’s seat.
This well-equipped X1 goes to show how much BMW’s entry-level has evolved since its inception in 2009. It did lose its rear-wheel-drive layout when it transitioned from the E84 to F48 generation in 2015, but let’s be real here and say few people shopping for an X1 care where the power goes. The X1 M35i will cater to enthusiasts by featuring an updated B48 engine with 315 horsepower.