2023 BMW X1 Review: Dynamic Downfalls

The new X1 has a punchy 241-horsepower engine and the excellent iDrive 8, but those improvements come at a cost.

2023 BMW X1 Review: Dynamic Downfalls


7.5 / 10

Design | Comfort | Tech | Performance | Safety | Fuel Economy | Pricing | FAQs

The 2023 BMW X1 is bigger, bolder, and better equipped than the version it replaces. Now it comes with standard all-wheel drive – as opposed to its predecessor’s front- or all-wheel layout – and a punchier turbocharged engine under the hood.

But the X1 still has its own set of issues. The “sporty” dynamics lead to some problems with the ride quality, standard features are scarce, and things do get pretty pricey when you start adding on relatively basic options. Even though it starts at a reasonable $40,095 (with destination), the X1 pretty quickly heads north of $50,000 with a few simple clicks.

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Quick Stats 2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-Liter I4
Output: 241 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet
Fuel Economy: 25 City / 34 Highway / 28 Combined
Base Price: $39,100 + $995 Destination
As-Tested Price: $48,695


⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 6/10 Exterior Color: Portimao Blue Interior Color: Black Wheel Size: 19 Inches

The X1 ain’t flashy, but it looks good. The downturned headlights and edgy bumper details make it look aggressive, while the optional 19-inch M wheels as part of the $2,300 M Sport package keep the theme going. The upturned taillights at the rear look good, too, and draw comparisons to the larger X7.

Large swathes of premium materials and appealing textures cover the cabin, with neat aluminum detailing on the door pull handle, speaker grilles, and steering wheel. Just don’t tug too hard on any of those fixtures; while everything looks premium, the handle and silvery center console feel pretty flimsy once you get your hands on them.

BMW's X Marks The Spot:

2023 BMW XM First Drive Review: The Fantastic Future Of M
2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e Review: A Peachy-Keen Plug-In


⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 6/10 Seating Capacity: 5 Seating Configuration: 2 / 3 Cargo Capacity: ​​25.7 / 57.2 Cubic Feet

Nothing stands out about the X1 in terms of comfort. The black faux leather sport seats (both real leather and non-sport seats are available) look nice and offer excellent bolstering, but they’re borderline too firm. They come standard as part of the M Sport package, which also adds an M Sport steering wheel, some M-specific design cues, and an adaptive M Sport suspension that, when ticked over into Sport mode, makes the already stiff ride even stiffer.

Sound deadening isn’t great, either. At highway speeds the X1 lets too much wind and tire noise enter its cabin. But at least the cabin is spacious; the X1 has the best headroom in the class, huge amounts of legroom in the second row, and among the most spacious cargo holds.

Interior Dimensions: Headroom, Front/Rear: Legroom, Front/Rear: Cargo Volume:
BMW X1 42.1 / 39.3 Inches 40.4 / 39.3 Inches 25.7 / 57.2 Cubic Feet
Audi Q3 39.6 / 37.6 Inches 40.0 / 36.1 Inches 23.7 / 48.0 Cubic Feet
Jaguar E-Pace 38.4 / 38.3 Inches 40.1 / 34.3 Inches 22.4 / 49.5 Cubic Feet
Lexus UX 37.3 / 36.3 Inches 42.0 / 33.1 Inches 17.1 Cubic Feet
Mercedes-Benz GLB 40.7 / 39.3 Inches 41.1 / 38.1 Inches 12.4 / 62.0 Cubic Feet

Technology & Connectivity

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 9/10 Center Display: 10.7-Inch Touchscreen Instrument Cluster Display: 10.3 Inches Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes/Yes

Even the base X1 gets BMW’s new iDrive 8 interface standard as part of the 2023 facelift. That includes a 10.7-inch central touchscreen display and a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Per usual, iDrive 8 is beautiful, clean, and easy to use, while also offering wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at no extra cost.

You will have to pay extra, though, for the full Live Cockpit Pro if you want the head-up display, augmented-reality navigation, and the Harman/Kardon premium audio system with 12 speakers. It’s part of the $4,200 Premium package, but it’s worth it for the crisp audio system and cutting-edge navigation.

Performance & Handling

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 6/10 Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-Liter I4 Output: 241 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet Transmission: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch

The X1 actually has decent acceleration versus a competitive set that’s pretty sluggish otherwise. Even with a touch of turbo lag off the line, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gives the X1 a 60 time of 6.2 seconds and ample shove once you’re up and running.

All-wheel drive is now standard throughout the X1 range, while a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox replaces last year’s eight-speed automatic for even crisper shifts. The suspension is tuned for sportier driving, which means the X1 will zip around corners pretty aggressively while body moments remain in check.

But the steering is too light, with the tiller never really weighting up as cornering loads increase. At the same time, the wheel gives little indication that it's even connected to the front wheels, so changes to the pavement and grip levels are hard to spot – not that most sub-compact luxury crossover shoppers will really care about such things.


⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 5/10 Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 1 (Hands-On) NHTSA Rating: Not Rated IIHS Rating: Not Rated

There are only a few standard active safety features on the X1, like automatic emergency braking and a lane-departure warning. You will have to pay extra for adaptive cruise control and lane-centering as part of the $1,700 Active Driving Assistant Pro package, which was not equipped on this tester.

This X1, though, did have that aforementioned $4,200 Premium package, which adds an overhead 360-degree camera and Parking Assistant Plus automatic parking feature.

Fuel Economy

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 5/10 City: 25 MPG Highway: 34 MPG Combined: 28 MPG
Efficiency: City: Highway: Combined:
BMW X1 xDrive28i 25 MPG 34 MPG 28 MPG
Audi Q3 45 TFSI AWD 22 MPG 29 MPG 25 MPG
Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic SE AWD 20 MPG 26 MPG 23 MPG
Lexus UX 250h AWD 41 MPG 38 MPG 39 MPG
Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4Matic 22 MPG 30 MPG 25 MPG


⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 5/10 Base Price: $39,100 + $995 Destination Trim Base Price: $40,095 As-Tested Price: $48,695

The X1 is on the more affordable side of the segment with a starting price of $40,095 – only the Lexus UX is cheaper out of the box. But the price quickly swells when you start adding on the packages and options mentioned here. The vehicle I tested cost $48,695.

If you don’t mind black or white – the only two no-cost paint options – forgo the $650 Portimao Blue paint. The $300 Shadowline package doesn’t add much in the way of visual upgrades either, and the $2,300 M Sport package feels like overkill for such a small SUV.

Pricing: Base Price: Competitive Spec:
BMW X1 xDrive28i $39,100 + $995 Destination $48,695
Audi Q3 45 TFSI Premium $39,200 + $1,195 Destination $44,090
Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic SE $49,500 + $1,195 Destination $56,225
Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Design $35,340 + $1,190 Destination $43,090
Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 $39,800 + $1,150 Destination $51,900

X1 Competitor Reviews:

Audi Q3: Not Rated Jaguar E-Pace: Not Rated Lexus UX: Not Rated Mercedes-Benz GLB: Not Rated


Does The BMW X1 Have All-Wheel Drive?

Yes, the BMW X1 comes with standard all-wheel drive for 2023 as opposed to the previous model, which offered front-wheel drive as standard.

What Standard Safety Features Does The X1 Have?

The BMW X1 does not have many standard safety features. No-cost safety features include blind-spot monitoring, a lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and low-speed collision assist. Adaptive cruise control is optional.

Is The BMW X1 Good On Gas?

The X1 offers middling fuel economy ratings with 25 miles per gallon in the city, 34 highway, and 28 combined. BMW also recommends premium fuel for the X1.

2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i
EngineTurbocharged 2.0-Liter I4
Output241 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet
TransmissionSeven-Speed Dual-Clutch
Drive TypeAll-Wheel Drive
Speed 0-60 MPH6.2 Seconds
Efficiency25 City / 34 Highway / 28 Combined
Weight3,750 Pounds
Seating Capacity5
Cargo Volume25.7 / 57.2 Cubic Feet
Base Price$39,100 + $995 Destination
Trim Base Price$40,095
As-Tested Price$48,695

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