The third-generation BMW X1 has been under development since June 2020 or at least we saw the crossover testing on public roads for the first time exactly two years ago. This lengthy process culminates with the full and official debut of the 2023 X1, which arrives in the United States with a fresh new look, more technologies, and standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission mated to an xDrive all-wheel drive. We’ll get to the mechanicals in just a minute, but let’s see how the new X1 looks from the outside first.
The 2023 model retains the basic proportions of its predecessor but combines them with a bolder front fascia featuring slightly larger, almost square, radiator grilles and a pair of more prominent headlights. Full LED lights are standard on all four corners with the taillights getting a new L-shaped profile. At the back, the narrower rear window gives the X1 a more rugged appearance, while the flared wheel arches create a slightly wider visual effect. As a side note, we expect similar design solutions to be found on the XM range-topping SUV from Bavaria.
As is the case with most new cars, the new X1 is slightly bigger than its predecessor. The length has grown by 1.7 inches to 177.2 in, while 0.9 in has been added to the width of 72.6 in. The new X1 is also 1.7 in higher at 64.6 in with the increased dimensions providing more room in the cabin and creating a slightly more square overall look, though the drag coefficient is just 0.27. The track widths have also increased by 0.8 in front and rear.
The cabin still offers room for five passengers but BMW says the increased width results in noticeable more shoulder and elbow room for both the driver and front passenger. However, no doubt the biggest news in the interior is the upgrade to BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment software, which comes with a pair of screens – a 10.25-in instrument cluster and a 10.7-in navigation display – housed under a single glass piece. Below it, there’s a large air vent and space for two cup holders and a smartphone tray with a wireless charging pad.
Standard across all trim levels are four USB-C ports, a 12-volt power socket in both the center console and the cargo area, and a Bluetooth interface. Optionally available is a 205-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system with 12 speakers and tweeters integrated into the door trim. There’s also an interior-facing camera that allows the owner to have photos from the interior sent to their smartphone and also check on the inside of the car via the My BMW App’s remote function.
Just a single engine option is available in the United States for the 2023 X1 and it is a revised 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo. The mill incorporates a Miller combustion cycle and a new dual direct and port injection system for a peak output of 241 horsepower (177 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. The turbocharged unit is mated as standard to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an xDrive AWD system. This setup is good for a 0-60 miles per hour (0-96 kilometers per hour) acceleration in 6.2 seconds.
Vehicles equipped with the M Sport Package come fitted with steering wheel gearshift paddles for “extremely rapid manual gear changes.” The shift paddles also enable the so-called Sport Boost function which is activated when the driver pulls the left-hand shift paddle for at least a second. If enabled, the function unlocks the full potential of the powertrain and chassis by altering their settings for the most immediate acceleration possible.
BMW says almost all components of the single-joint spring strut front axle have been entirely reengineered compared to the outgoing model. For the first time, an optional adaptive M suspension is available lowering the ride height by 0.6 in. The more advanced suspension system comes as standard with modified steering featuring a more direct rack ratio.
The 2023 BMW X1 goes on sale in the United States in the fourth quarter of this year in xDrive28i guise with a starting price of $38,600 plus $995 destination.