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BMWs new-look X1 breaks cover. Image by BMW.

BMWs new-look X1 breaks cover
The BMW X1 is getting on a bit, so BMW has created this shiny new one with a fresh design, more kit and a new electric version.
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What's all this about?

This is the new BMW X1, the compact SUV designed to rival the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The outgoing model has been around since 2015, and the game has moved on since then, so its high time BMW brought out something fresh. Not only does the latest version come with a fresh new look, but theres more equipment as standard, updated technology and even an all-electric iX1 model.

An electric X1?

Yup. Its called the iX1 xDrive30, and it has an all-wheel-drive, two-motor electric powertrain fed by a lithium-ion battery that offers between 257 and 272 miles of range. With up to 313hp on tap, itll probably be quite fast, too, and BMW is expecting 0-62mph to take just 5.7 seconds. As with so many electric SUVs, however, the top speed is less impressive, at 112mph.

So how do I know which one is electric?

Unless youre a bit of an anorak, youll probably have to check the badge on the back. Subtle differences can be seen if you look closely the grille is blanked off permanently, for example, and it gets some blue trim but it still looks more or less identical to the standard X1. Both come with a surprisingly restrained kidney grille at the front, plus wraparound headlights and a chiselled rear end. Considering the design of cars BMW has built in recent years, the new X1 is a remarkably attractive thing.

What about the inside?

There arent many surprises here. The X1 comes with a big two-screen touch-sensitive display similar to that of the latest-generation 2 Series Active Tourer, with which it shares much. The screen in front of the driver acts as a digital instrument display, while the central screen houses pretty much everything else. Climate control, vehicle settings and media controls are all hidden away in there, along with the usual navigation system. Although it lacks the rotary control that helps set BMWs infotainment apart, experience tells us itll work better than most touchscreen systems.

As you might expect, standard equipment is plentiful, with satellite navigation, two-zone climate control and automatic windscreen wipers all included across the range. It also comes with two USB-C ports, automatic headlights and more driver assistance technology than the old car.

And if I don't want an electric X1?

The X3 range is quite sizeable, so theres plenty of choice. Things kick off with the sDrive18i, a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol version with 136hp, all of which is sent to the front wheels. That performs adequately on the road, with a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds, but it wont have much off-road capability.

Alternatively, you can have the 2.0-litre xDrive23i model with four-wheel-drive and mild-hybrid technology. That engine produces 218hp and drags the X1 from a standstill to 62mph in a more competitive 7.1 seconds. Were expecting this to be one of the choice models in the line-up.

If, however, you fancy a diesel X1, theres always the sDrive18d, which has a 2.0-litre diesel engine that sends 150hp to the front wheels. Or, those who want more power and all-wheel drive can have the xDrive23d with 197hp and mild-hybrid tech. Every engine, petrol- or diesel-powered, comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Then theres the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid, which will arrive in November (along with the iX1) and combines a three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor to provide 326hp and a 48-55-mile electric range.

So how much do they want?

Prices start from 35,130, which pays for the cheapest of five trim levels. The petrol and diesel models are available to order now, but buyers wanting the iX1 or the plug-in hybrid will have to hold on until later in the year.

James Fossdyke - 1 Jun 2022

2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.

2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.2023 BMW X1. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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