The BMW X1 is a stylish, sporty, fuel-efficient compact crossover – The Oakland Press
With the respect BMW has earned over nearly a century in the auto industry, it’s no surprise that many luxury car buyers would want to get behind the wheel of one of their current offerings.
But as a luxury ride, price is often a major barrier to access, prompting potential buyers to explore some of BMW’s smaller offerings as a potential entry into the brand.
One such vehicle is the BMW X1, the brand’s smallest crossover SUV, which gets a complete redesign for 2023 that carries over into the 2024 lineup.
This little ride packs a lot of features into a small package – including strong overall design, an upscale interior, a performance boost over previous models, and updates to safety and technology features.
I recently tested the 2023 BMW
For your information
- Vehicle: BMW X1
- Price as tested: $47,895 (starts around $39,000)
- Best feature: BMW’s uniquely smooth ride quality and great gas mileage
- Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
- Who will want this car?: Car buyers who want to enter the luxury segment and have an all-around powerful car without spending a lot of money
For the 2023 and 2024 I like the design, but I can see why some would disagree.
The X1’s new look features unique headlight shapes, sharp wheel designs and a sleek overall design. It’s an excellent redesign overall, and all materials used are top-notch and meet BMW standards, both inside and outside the car. The exterior design clearly models itself after some of BMW’s larger SUV offerings.
Changes have been made to the front and rear of the car for the new design, and the overall dimensions (length, height and width) have increased slightly compared to the previous generation to enhance spaciousness.
Among the exterior features of the X1: roof rails, shiny aluminum exterior trim, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and LED headlights when cornering.
The optional M Sport package includes: 19-inch two-tone wheels, adaptive suspension, sports seats, anthracite headliner, and more. Wheels on the base model start at 18 inches.
Moving on to the X1, the interior is upscale throughout and class-leading, with high-quality seats and materials used throughout. It features a sleek metal dashboard, and a huge rectangular frame that houses both the central screen and the digital driver information screen as one continuous unit. The sunroof will be a welcome feature in warm weather, and the car offers some unique storage settings.
The only downside to the X1 is its small size, as it is BMW’s smallest SUV. The front seats are comfortable, but the back seats are cramped for adults. To be fair, this is not just the case for the X1, but for all of its competitors.
If you have a large family and excess luggage to carry and like BMW’s style, I’d recommend upgrading to a larger SUV (their X line ranges all the way from the X1 to the X7, so there are plenty of options).
The X1’s available cargo space reaches 57 cubic feet with the second row down, and 26 cubic feet with the rear seats up. These are respectable stock numbers for the class.
Other interior features included: SensaTech (faux leather) upholstery, three-spoke leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, multi-zone climate control, and ambient interior lighting.
How is the trip?
BMW has upped the ante starting with the 2023 models, which are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine rated at 241 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission.
This is an impressive boost over the previous version, which offered 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. The new models also come standard with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
If you want to get off the line quickly, the That’s partly down to the redesigned suspension.
You’ll love driving the X1. It presents multiple personalities depending on the situation. It can be fast and sporty, or smooth and comfortable. Brakes immediately in question. It is very agile and controllable on winding roads due to its small size, plus the smaller size means it is easy to park anywhere.
It’s also worth noting that with the 2024 X1 lineup, BMW has added an M model (M35i) that is more powerful and sportier than the 2023 model I tested.
Technology and safety
The BMW X1 features the iDrive 8 infotainment system, a powerful all-round system that works particularly well when using voice commands. Almost all controls are linked to the sharp-looking, rectangular 10.7-inch central touchscreen and is coupled with a 10.3-inch digital information display in front of the driver to form a long, curved unit.
One disappointing area of the technology setup is that only touch controls are used for the climate system, making it more complicated to control than was the case with traditional physical buttons or onboard dials. Even the center console has been stripped down to a few buttons and limited controls. The reliable center control knob that has always featured in BMW models is no longer included, which some people won’t like.
With almost everything on the touchscreen, there’s a lot to discover in the menus, so it definitely takes some time to master.
All X1 models come with navigation, as well as compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for phone mirroring. You also get satellite radio (with a one-year subscription), and an optional wireless smartphone charger. Other options include a head-up display, a booming Harman/Kardon stereo system, and a 360-degree camera system.
Other tech features include the Connected Package Pro, which features real-time traffic, on-street parking information in select cities, and BMW Telematics Services.
The BMW X1 features a large number of useful safety systems, and most of them work very effectively. However, I found the lane departure warning system to be overly sensitive at times.
Other safety features include:
- Parking assistant and backup assistant
- Side airbags installed on the front seat
- Forward collision warning
- Active blind spot detection
- Controlling the front and rear parking distance
- LED headlights with cornering lights
- Automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection
One optional feature is adaptive cruise control with lane centering, a useful feature that I was surprised to find wasn’t standard on the X1.
Overall, the X1 was named a 2023 Top Safety Pick.
The official fuel mileage figures for the BMW X1 are 25 city/34 highway/28 combined, and these numbers have been confirmed in my testing. These numbers are very impressive considering how strong the X1’s performance is.
They’re also some of the best mileage numbers you’ll find in a class filled with strong entries from luxury competitors like Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, Lexus, and Jaguar.
The BMW X1 I tested was priced just under $48,000; The base price starts at about $39,000.
There’s only one trim level for 2023 models, the xDrive28i, and the base price is at or below the same level as many competitors in the segment. But once you start adding options, the price quickly rises, so be careful about what you choose to include.
BMW X1 warranties include:
- 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty
- 4-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty
- 4-Year/Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance Program
You’ll also get free scheduled maintenance for the first 3 years/36,000 miles, which is a nice plus.
The BMW X1 is small in size, but sophisticated and powerful at the same time. It’s a solid choice if you want a luxurious ride with advanced tech features and acceptable ride quality, but are willing to sacrifice some space.
Across the board, it competes very well with other small luxury SUVs, and is worth a test drive.
Matt Myftiu’s previous reviews can be found online at autotechreviews.com. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews.