If you wanted the smallest crossover from BMW, you would be looking at the X1. The tiniest “Sports Activity Vehicle” slots just under the X3, and offers most of the driving thrills and luxuries you’d come to expect from the Bavarian automaker.
The outgoing model, the F48, has been on the market since 2015, which is essentially an eternity despite the updates and the refreshes made to the vehicle.
This is why for its third generation, BMW put electrification first with several electrified powertrains and the introduction of the iX1, the newest model in its family of electric cars.
Unlike its bigger siblings, the X1 proves that BMW’s designers still can show restraint and pull off some handsome designs. The kidney grilles are larger and squared off, with an X-like motif found in its front bumper and lower air intake.
The side profile has also been sculpted further with more hard lines and square wheel arches, and that extends to the rear lights with new 3D-effect lenses. Plus, the wheel sizes range from 17 inches all the way up to 20 inches, which is a first for the X1.
The interior also gets the new BMW Curved Display with iDrive 8 that combines a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.7-inch infotainment screen.
The redesigned cabin has a focus on simplicity, which is why there is a floating armrest (without the rotary commander dial) and a phone tray underneath it.
You have your pick of Sensatec or Vernasca leather upholstery, and four USB-C ports; wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; automatic headlights; and driver-assistance systems as standard.
But the biggest changes are with the powertrains, one of which is a full-electric model. They will feature 48V mild-hybrid technology integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission.
At launch, engine choices include a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-banger with 136hp; a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 218hp; and a 2.0-liter in-line-four turbodiesel engine with 211hp.
Finally, sitting at the top is the iX1 xDrive30, which uses two electric motors for 313hp and 494Nm, and an estimated range of 430km.
The X1 will be launched in October 2022, with the four gasoline and diesel variants coming out first. Then the iX1 will follow, with a pair of plug-in hybrid models and two more ICE-powered variants with 48V mild-hybrid tech.