BMW X1 Review 2023

BMW X1 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
BMW's smallest SUV is better than ever, thanks to a new platform, fresh technology and a strong engine line-up. The only real question mark is whether you can justify the high price tag.

+Spacious and upmarket cabin with excellent new infotainment system. Comfortable yet fun to drive. Impressive electric range from PHEVs.

-The most desirable models are pretty expensive. You could pick up a bigger, mainstream alternative for less. Diesel engines are a bit noisy.

The new BMW X1 is one of the poshest little SUVs you can buy. Now in its third generation, it's better than ever, thanks to a roomier cabin, impressive infotainment and an expansive engine line-up.

Of course, the BMW X1 needs to be pretty good to make a splash against rivals like the Volvo XC40, Lexus NX, Mercedes GLA and Audi Q3 - not to mention the stylish new Alfa Romeo Tonale and ever-popular Range Rover Evoque. Mainstream competitors like the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage are edging further into premium SUV territory, too.

So how does it stand out? For a start, BMW's shifted the X1 onto the same platform as the 2 Series Active Tourer. That means it's an extremely family-friendly small SUV - with neat touches like a floating centre console and a sliding rear bench adding to the overall feeling of spaciousness.

It's also got one of the biggest boots in its class, while the new platform means even adults should be comfortable in the rear seats.

There are various BMW X1 trim levels to choose from, ranging from the entry-level X1 Sport to the mid-spec xLine and range-topping M Sport. Obviously, the BMW X1 M Sport is ultra-desirable, but it soon starts to get quite expensive and doesn't really add any essential kit. Be careful with the option packs, too, as the BMW X1 can soon start to cost quite a lot of money.

There's also a wide range of engines available in the BMW X1, including petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and even pure-electric power. The latter is badged the BMW iX1 (hit the link to read our review), while the plug-in hybrids ought to be very cheap to run thanks to their impressive electric range. The most powerful petrols and diesels are offered with mild-hybrid tech, too, boosting both efficiency and performance.

Whichever engine you go for, the BMW X1 should be pretty good to drive. No, it's not quite as sporty as low-slung BMW models like the 3 Series, but it feels more agile than a Volvo XC40. A slick automatic gearbox is standard across the range, while you can choose between standard passive suspension or the adaptable M Sport setup. There's a long list of standard driver-assistance tech, too, including an autonomous emergency braking system which can detect other vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists.

Prices for the new BMW X1 start from around £34,000 but you can soon start to spend upwards of £40,000 on an X1 - particularly if you're looking for a plug-in hybrid. The BMW badge should help residual values, though, and relatively low running costs will also make it easier to justify.

Looking for the old model? You'll want our BMW X1 (2015-2022) review.

What does a BMW X1 cost?