2023 BMW X1 is Overhauled, Digitalized and Energized

The BMW X1 is completely redesigned and improved for 2023 in a bid to catch the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40 at the top of the small luxury SUV segment.

Physically, the 2023 BMW X1 sports a boxier shape especially up front. This includes the double-kidney grille, too. The bumpers and lighting elements have a sharp new look, with the latter being part of a “Welcome Scenario” that greets drivers upon approaching the vehicle.

New 18-inch wheels are fitted as standard, but you can order some in a size of up to 20 inches—a first for the X1. Five body colours join the existing palette, one of which is Utah Orange pictured here. For an even sportier look, the optional M Sport package is always a good idea.

Photo: BMW

Distinctive trim at the lower edge of the body accentuates the vehicle’s rugged stance. Speaking of which, the X1 is 43mm longer, 24mm wider and 44mm taller. The wheelbase has grown 22mm and the tracks are wider, as well. On the flip side, the narrow rear window suggests visibility is still compromised.

iDrive 8 Taking Centre Stage

Inside, BMW says the driver and front passenger benefit from a noticeable increase in shoulder and elbow room. The rear seats, meanwhile, are configured in a very convenient 40/20/40 split.

Photo: BMW

The main highlight is the combination of a 10.25-inch instrument cluster with a 10.7-inch centre touchscreen. The screens merge into a single unit behind a continuous glass surface that curves towards the driver. They’re powered by the eighth generation of iDrive, complete with a BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant that understands naturally formulated spoken instructions. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included, and the system refreshes automatically with OTA updates.

The centre console has been totally redesigned and is now floating above a handy storage compartment. Just ahead, phones can be placed upright (secured by a movable clasp) and visible to the driver and front passenger while being charged wirelessly. Also, the conventional shifter has been replaced by a new toggle-style gear selector.

Photo: BMW

Standard ambient lighting and optional panoramic roof add a cool dimension to the cabin. The seats are redesigned for improved comfort, while many safety and driver assistance features have been enhanced. Other gadgets worth pointing out include an on-board camera allowing owners to monitor the interior from the My BMW app, and augmented reality enabling highly accurate navigational guidance.

More Power FTW

Once again, the only model available in Canada will be the X1 xDrive28i. However, the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine now generates 241 hp (+13) and 295 lb-ft. of torque (+37). Mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of an eight-speed automatic, it delivers 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 6.4 seconds.

Photo: BMW

As always, BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is part of the equation, but the suspension has been extensively upgraded to improve long-distance comfort, the company claims. For the first time on the X1, an adaptive M suspension is available and can lower the ride height by 15mm for superior handling. It even comes with a sport steering system.

The 2023 BMW X1 will go on sale in Canada this fall with a base MSRP of $44,990, an increase of about $2,500 from the outgoing model.

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