aboard the third generation SUV

BMW renews one of its stars, the X1. A change of continuity, despite some major changes including one under the hood with the electric iX1.

The second best-selling model of the brand in France after the 1 Series, the BMW X1 is undergoing a makeover and moving to the third generation, codenamed U11. The previous one, sold since 2015, has exceeded one million copies. BMW, therefore, has no margin for error and is therefore committed to profound changes, while retaining what has made it so successful.

Longer by 5 cm, the SUV reaches 4.50 m, for 1.85 m wide (+ 2 cm) and 1.64 m high (+ 4 cm). The wheelbase increases by 2 cm to reach 2.69 m, although the technical basis is always the same. It is a traction platform shared with the recent 2 Series Active Tourer and other BMW or Mini models. Note that xDrive 4-wheel drive is also available in some versions.

Exterior styling: change of continuity

The snout is quite similar to the older generation of the X1, but with a grille with enlarged vertical blades, a more grooved hood and refined headlights. Similar to the Series 2 Active Tourer, they have a signature double-hook LED lighting signature. The shields adopt adventurous attributes in this X Line finish : the gray aluminum protective plate in the center extends towards the air intakes with L-shaped inserts. In the M Sport finish, the bumpers incorporate expanded air intakes in the shape of a honeycomb.

In profile, we note that the design is quite simple with body panels without too much relief. However, there are two clearly visible lines of character: one that now passes over recessed handles, and the other at the bottom of the doors, just above the sill, included a gray aluminum non-slip plate in this X Line version. The rims range from 17 to 20 inches, and the wheel arches can be made of raw plastic or painted glossy black or the color of the body depending on the finish.

The change is more noticeable on the back. We find of new L-shaped LED optics, which benefits from a slight reduction that is not only aesthetic: it is also used for aerodynamics. A wide spoiler, standard in all versions, exceeds the relatively sloping rear window. The diffuser has the same theme as the front: aluminum gray inserts in the X Line versions and more open and aggressive shields in the M Sport version. But here there is no trace of an exhaust outlet, even on larger engines or M Sport finishes. Everything is well hidden under the right side of the bumper.

Cab: XL dual screen

On board the X1, we find the new double-curved screen inaugurated by the iX and i4 and gradually placed in the other models including the Series 2 Active Tourer and the redesigned Series 3. This set, which incorporates the new OS 8.0 as standard, is slightly smaller than the iX with 10.25 inches for the driver-facing counters and 10.7 inches for the multimedia system. The iDrive wheel is removed, as in the Series 2 minivan, and replaced by the touch screen system.

The finish looks smooth, with double stitched leather and linden wood, aluminum or glossy black inserts, for example. A large, easy-to-handle handle opens the front and rear doors. The center console is floating and two-level : The top serves as an armrest and includes the automatic transmission gear selector, the start button, the volume adjustment button, or the driving mode button. Below, a storage space for a small bag. Two cup holders and a vertical induction smartphone charger are integrated into the console. On the other hand, no trace of the physical controls of the air conditioning, which passes through the touch screen.

At the rear, the space is correct thanks to the fairly wide wheelbase and the relatively flat floor. The thermal versions have a small service tunnel that disappears in the electrified variants. The modularity is reinforced with a sliding bench more than 13 cm and foldable in 40/20/40. Thanks to the few inches gained, the X1 increases its trunk volume by 35 liters and offers 540 liters in the thermal model. The electric and hybrid versions increase to 490 liters. The folded seat, the X1 can carry up to 1600 liters.

Engines: thermal, hybrid and even electric!

At launch, the X1 will only have thermal engines, only associated with an automatic gearbox. On the unleaded side are offered two petrol engines, the three-cylinder 1.5 of 136 hp and the four-cylinder 2.0 of 218 hp. while the two 2.0 four-cylinder diesels offer 150 hp or 211 hp. The two largest blocks “23i” and “23d” have xDrive all-wheel drive as standard and 48 V microhybridization. Later, two plug-in hybrid variants 25e and 30e will be added to the catalog, image of the Series 2 Active Tourer. They offer 245 or 326 hp. The electric range could reach 89 km thanks to a 14.2 kWh battery according to initial estimates. Finally, a new electric variant of the X1 will also be offered, the iX1. It will offer 313 hp and a range of 438 km thanks to a 62.4 kWh battery.

A heavy bill at launch

Still produced in Regensburg, Germany, the X1 is now available to order. The range consists of the First Edition, First Edition Plus and First Edition Exclusive release versions that work as option packages for the classic X Line and M Sport versions. They are relatively well equipped despite the shortage of components. The ticket is therefore high, with € 42,750 for the 136 hp three-cylinder petrol engine, compared to € 32,800 for the ticket so far. Prices should go down later with the arrival of more traditional finishes. At launch, they rise to € 61,170 with the 211 hp xDrive 23d diesel. Rechargeable hybrid and electric motors, which will go on sale in the fall, should still surpass a milestone with a higher price. The first deliveries of the X1 will take place from September to October for the thermal models, and in early 2023 for the X1 PHEV and the electric iX1.

Images: BMW.

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