BMW X1 grows for 2023, adds more power

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BMW’s most petite crossover is getting a plus-size upgrade.

The redesigned X1 is roomier and features updated technology and a beefier powertrain.

The 2023 BMW X1 arrives at U.S. stores in the fourth quarter. Pricing starts at $39,595, including shipping.

Launched in 2009, the entry-level crossover opened the door to a new vehicle category in the premium segment. Last year, BMW sold 18,253 X1 models. It was last redesigned in 2016.

Previously among the smallest in the class, the larger X1 will be better positioned against the competition, which includes the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo XC40.

BMW’s focus has always been the pleasure of driving, and the X1 is the brand’s chance to lure young buyers into the family, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.

“While most vehicles provide transportation, BMW wants buyers looking to be entertained by the vehicle,” Fiorani said. “Updating the drivetrain and suspension makes the X1 more entertaining than the previous generation and gives it a leg up on the competition.”

The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine is revised for 2023. It makes 241 hp, and the X1 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

The engine is mated to a new seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, which BMW said features a widened gear ratio spread and greater efficiency. The transmission automatically shifts into park when the engine turns off, and sensors can detect when the vehicle is parked on a slope and automatically engage the parking brake.

The M Sport package features gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel that enable the Sport Boost function. BMW said that when the driver pulls the left-hand shift paddle for at least a second, the powertrain and chassis settings are primed for the quickest acceleration possible.

The X1 adopts a more rugged look, even though it’s unlikely to be driven off city streets.

Compared with its predecessor, the crossover is 1.7 inches longer, 0.9 inch wider and 1.7 inches higher. The wheelbase, meanwhile, is extended 0.9 inch.

BMW said track widths have increased 0.8 inch for improved handling and on-road agility.

The X1’s new front features BMW’s large, almost square kidney grille bookended by standard LED headlights with cornering lights.

Active air flap control systems for the kidney grille and lower intake adapters open and close depending on the need for cooling air.

At the rear, the narrow rear window and flared wheel arches emphasize the body’s width. Full LED taillights provide an updated interpretation of the L shape classically sported by BMW X models.

A long roofline flows into a spoiler extending far over the rear glass.

BMW said the new design helps the X1 achieve a “segment-leading” drag coefficient of 0.27.

Airflow is guided by air curtains in the outer sections of the front apron, flush-fitting door handles, aerodynamic exterior mirrors, side air deflectors around the rear window, and a nearly flush underbody.

The BMW X1’s suspension and damping systems received an extensive upgrade to improve comfort.

The front axle is equipped with extra lift-related damping using an additional sleeve on the dampers, reducing body movement when driving over small bumps.

The adaptive M suspension, available as an option for the first time on the X1 xDrive28i, delivers agility and long-distance comfort thanks to mechanically controlled adjustable dampers. The damper system lowers ride height 0.6 inch.

The X1 bristles with the latest driving assistance and infotainment technology.

The cockpit is anchored by a curved display, pairing a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch central information display.

The display is powered by BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system with the automaker’s newest operating system. The BMW Operating System 8 processes twice the number of information signals and 20 times more data volume than before.

The optional Driving Assistant Professional, available for the first time on the X1, is a camera- and radar-based system that includes a suite of technologies including steering and lane-control assistance, active cruise control and hands-free driving at speeds up to 40 mph on highways.

The BMW Drive Recorder, part of the Parking Assistant Plus feature, uses the cameras of the driver-assistance systems to record video all around the vehicle. The saved video files can be viewed on the center control display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port.

The Crash Recorder feature automatically records up to one minute of footage in case of an accident. For scenic drives and “spirited driving sessions,” the Joy Recorder feature captures 60 seconds of high-definition footage.

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