The X1 is the lowest priced model in the BMW SUV lineup – or as the company calls it, the Sports Activity Vehicle lineup. Originally launched in 2009, the 2023 BMW X1 represents the third generation of this compact SAV, featuring an updated exterior, standard all-wheel drive and a high-tech interior influenced by the brand’s advanced electric model, the iX. With a starting price below $40,000, the X1 is an appropriate entry point to owning a BMW.
This third generation 2023 BMW X1 is larger than its predecessor in almost every dimension. The new model is 1.7-inches longer, 1.7 inches taller and almost an inch wider. The wheelbase has grown by .9 inches and the track is slightly wider, with both contributing to improved driving performance and comfort.
With its iconic BMW kidney grille up front, there will be no mistaking the new X1 with any other brand. For 2023 the grille is larger and squared off with bright trim that gives the front end a bold look. LED headlights are standard equipment, and the entire front end has a sculpted, powerful look. This sculpting continues into the hood, playing off the headlight placement.
Designers gave the 2023 X1 a sleeker look with a roofline that slopes towards the rear, finishing off at the end of the rear spoiler. Doors have deep sculpting to make the 2023 BMW X1 more visually interesting. The overall look gets completed by strong wheel arches surrounding the standard 18-inch alloy wheels, or even more so with the optional 20-inch wheels shod with performance tires.
The narrow rear window and unique LED taillights that stretch inward toward the middle of the rear hatch give the 2023 BMW X1 a wide stance.
BMW has gone to great lengths to improve aerodynamics of the X1. Aero improvements include air curtains on either side of the front fascia, flush-fitting door handles, redesigned mirrors, a large diffuser in the lower rear bumper and a nearly flush underbody. An active air flap system in the grille opens and closes depending on airflow needed for cooling the engine.
The X1 may be at the entry point in the BMW lineup, but it has a premium, high tech vibe inside. Front and center is the new BMW Curved Display, made up of a 10.25-inch driver display and 10.7-inch central infotainment screen. The screens are presented behind a single glass surface that curves toward the driver. The large screen seems to float above the simplified dashboard, which only features two physical buttons for front and rear defrost.
BMW takes advantage of the drive-by-wire system with a simple transmission shifter on the center console. The space is also used for drive mode selection and volume control. The floating design frees up considerable space below for additional storage. Ahead of the console are cupholders and an innovative wireless charging pad that allows the phone to sit upright and still visible to the driver while charging.
The newly developed seats of the 2023 X1 are designed to improve comfort while adding premium styling to the cabin. The optional sport seats get more prominent upper and lower bolsters for better support. The only seat material available is perforated SensaTec 2.0 — BMW’s leather alternative material.
BMW will equip the 2023 X1 with the latest version of its user interface system, iDrive 8. With this latest iteration, the driver’s interaction with the vehicle is primarily via the touchscreen, multifunction buttons on the steering wheel or voice control. The system is designed to provide easy and intuitive access to navigation, infotainment, communication and other vehicle functions.
The 2023 X1 will be offered with BMW’s advanced adaptive cruise control called Driving Assistant Professional. This system uses the camera and radar to maintain speed behind another vehicle up to and including a complete stop while keeping the vehicle in the lane using corrective steering inputs. The Extended Traffic Jam Assistant takes things a step further, allowing hands-free driving at speeds up to 40 mph on limited-access highways, which translates to a considerably less stressful experience while sitting in traffic.
When it initially arrives, the 2023 BMW X1 will be powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine that uses the Miller combustion cycle with a new dual-injection system to produce 241 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine gets teamed with a new 7-speed dual clutch gearbox designed for quick and smooth gear changes. The X1 can be equipped with paddle shifters (with the M Sport Package) for better driver engagement. Like other new BMW models, the transmission automatically shifts into Park when the engine is turned off.
All BMW X1 variants will come with X1 all-wheel drive as standard equipment. Torque gets split between the front and rear wheels via a dual-section propeller shaft and rear axle differential with an electro-hydraulically controlled hang-on clutch. In normal driving situations power is sent to the front wheels; when the system detects adverse road conditions or a need for additional traction, power then shifts to the rear wheels.
The 2023 BMW X1 is scheduled to arrive in showrooms this fall with a starting price of $38,600 for the X1 xDrive 28i. We anticipate BMW will announce more powerful variants of the X1 in the coming months.