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BMW PH launches the all-new X1

The smallest SAV gets its biggest update yet for P3.89 million

BMW's latest iteration of its smallest SAV finally lands on our shores. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

BMW Philippines is set to have one hectic year this 2023. After launching the iX3 and the face-lifted G20 3-Series, it’s finally the turn of the baby SAV of the range, the BMW X1, to get its much-needed update.

Meet the third-generation U11 model, which is a total revamp in every way over the previous-generation F48. How so? Well, it prioritizes electrification, with most of the powertrains offering some electric motor or mild-hybrid assist. It even comes with its own dedicated EV model called the iX1.

For a more in-depth look at the vehicle, you can check out our drive article of the car as we drove it around Germany during its international media launch.

The X1 gets chiseled edges and 3D lighting for the latest generation. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The Philippine-spec X1 comes in the rugged xLine design pack, which further accentuates its boxy yet aerodynamic styling and square wheel arches. It’s completed by the redesigned adaptive LED headlights and 3D-shaped taillights, the box-shaped grille, and the 18-inch star-spoke style wheels.

BMW's Operating System 8 gives the X1 a big tech upgrade. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The interior has been revamped completely, featuring an angular BMW Curved Display running OS 8 on a pair of 10.25- and 10.7-inch screens. There’s a wireless charging dock underneath, and the new iDrive operating system focuses more on voice control with the Intelligent Voice Assistant, which explains the reduction of physical controls and the loss of the iDrive controller.

The third generation's cabin is just as roomy as the X3’s. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The electronically adjustable (with memory) sports seats are upholstered in black perforated Sensatec synthetic leather, complete with improved passive safety thanks to a new airbag found in between the front seats.

The rear row offers more legroom and headroom for passengers at the back compared to the previous generation, and the 540L of cargo capacity for the trunk can be expanded to 1,600L when you fold down the 40:20:40 split backrests.

BMW's tried-and-tested B47 turbodiesel still lives under the hood of the X1. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Thankfully, fans of the previous X1’s diesel engine can rest easy as it retains the B47, a 2.0-liter in-line-four turbodiesel with 150hp and 350Nm, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Do you want BMW Philippines to bring in its electric sibling? PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The X1’s safety suite is more feature-packed, including automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers, cruise control with braking, a front-collision warning system that’s capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists when turning right, and the Parking Assistant with Reversing Assist.

The BMW X1 sDrive18d xLine costs P3.89 million, and comes with a comprehensive five-year factory warranty. Fingers crossed that BMW Philippines introduces the iX1 soon, as it is slated to launch several more vehicles within the year. But for now, the subcompact luxury crossover segment just got a little more interesting.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.