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2023 BMW X1 Arrives With More Technology, Starts Under $40,000

BMW's smallest SUV gets a number of new features for its third generation.

2023 BMW X1 parked on a dirt road beside a rocky hill
The updated styling looks great.
BMW

BMW unveiled the third generation of its X1 subcompact crossover on Tuesday. While the smallest SUV in the company's lineup got a slight refresh in 2020, this 2023 model promises more power and tech with a revised interior and a starting price under $40,000.

The new X1 is 1.7 inches longer than its predecessor with a wheelbase that's longer by nearly 1 inch. Overall width increases by 0.9 inches and it's 1.7 inches taller, too. That translates to more interior space and a stronger presence on the road. I like the new front end with the revised, almost squared-off kidney grille. Praise be that the X1 hasn't adopted the buck-toothed look of the new 4 Series.

Standard equipment includes LED lighting all around and 18-inch wheels, but you can kick it up a notch with the X-Line package for larger wheels (up to 20 inches) and some silver and chrome exterior trim bits. If you want a bit more, the M Sport pack adds larger air intakes and a revised rear bumper and a diffuser. 

Inside, drivers are treated to a new gear selector and pushbutton controls for functions like volume control and driving modes. You'll get four USB-C ports and a 12-volt power supply in the center console and the cargo area. What's really dope, however, is the optional wireless charging station. Instead of horizontal, the charging pad is upright so the phone's screen is visible. Sure, if you're running Apple CarPlay or Android Auto it might not be necessary, but I have some apps on my phone that don't translate to the larger screen. It's great to have visual access when it's safe to do so.

Technically inclined folks will love the new curved display running iDrive 8. Sure, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are here, including access to WhatsApp, but this new interface looks to be the business. The 10.3-inch gauge cluster and 10.7-inch center screen are covered with a single piece of glass that curves towards the driver. An optional new augmented reality function in the embedded navigation system displays a live video feed with animated arrows and other information that can help at confusing intersections. I love this tech in Mercedes-Benz vehicles and welcome it in BMWs. It's enough to get me away from my beloved Google Maps.

An updated version of front-collision warning is standard, and it can now warn the driver if they're about to turn right in front of a pedestrian or cyclist. An exit warning also chimes if a passenger is about to open a door into a cyclist. Similarly, the front-collision warning can help drivers turn left at intersections by sounding off visual and acoustical warnings and applying the brakes if need be. Other standard driver-assistance features include blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning.

The good stuff, of course, is optional. BWM's Driving Assistant Professional is available for the first time on the X1, keeping the car in its lane and at a set distance behind the car in front during long drives. The Extended Traffic Jam Assistant allows for hands-free driving at speeds up to 40 mph on limited access highways. Also optional is Park Distance Control and a Back-Up Assistant that can drive the car in its exact reverse path for 150 feet to help get you out of a tight parking space. The latest Parking Assistant Plus can help drivers get in and out of parking spaces, and the system now looks at the curb as well as other vehicles for parking placement. In other words, if the yahoos nearby are parked 2 feet away from the curb, the X1 won't make the same mistake.

The updated interior has BMW's new curved infotainment display.

BMW

There are a few cool smartphone features available in the new X1, as well. You can use an iPhone as a key and can take a look at the 360-degree camera when the car is parked from any phone. You can even send a picture of the inside of the car to your phone. Did you forget your kid? Now you'll know for sure.

The 2023 X1 still uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but it's been updated to produce 241 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That's up 13 hp and 37 lb-ft. When combined with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and standard all-wheel drive, the X1 can scoot to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

BMW's Adaptive M suspension is available on the 2023 X1. Checking this box results in a 0.6-inch lower ride height and sport steering with a more direct ratio. Vehicles with the M Sport package get paddle shifters with a Sport Boost function, putting the car in its most aggressive setting for a brief time for passing, or for hard launches, if you need that sort of thing.

Expect the 2023 BMW X1 to reach dealerships at the end of 2022 with a starting price of $39,595 including $995 for destination.