2023 BMW X1 Review: Bigger The Better?

With the new third-generation model of the BMW X1 that arrived on our shores earlier this year, a lot has changed. We get behind the wheel of its Diesel version in higher M Sport trim.

By Shams Raza Naqvi


7 mins read


Published on June 26, 2023

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  • The new X1 has come with both Petrol and Diesel engine options
  • The SUV is priced starting at Rs. 45.90 lakh, ex-showroom
  • This is the third generation model of the baby SUV from BMW


The BMW X1 is one of brand’s best selling cars globally and it has been quite popular in India too. With the new third-generation model that arrived on our shores earlier this year, a lot has changed. That includes design, the size of the car, its features and the way it drives. The long wait to drive the SUV ended recently as I got behind the wheel of its Diesel version in higher M Sport trim.



Design & Dimensions


The BMW X1 has grown in size when compared to earlier. 


The first thing that is quite evident on the new X1 are its dimensions. When compared to the previous generation it is longer (by 61 mm), wider (24 mm), taller (30 mm) and yes the wheelbase has also gone up by 22 mm. Because of this at first glance you can mistake the new X1 for an X3. In fact the journey from 1st gen to this third gen is quite a transformation when it comes to overall size of the car.  


Also Read: BMW X1 sDrive18i M Sport Launched In India; Priced At Rs. 48.90 Lakh

BMW X1 Detail Alloy Wheels

M Sport trim gets exclusive double spoke alloy wheels. 


There are two highlights on the face, first the almost square shaped portions of the kidney grille which looks well in proportion to the overall size of the car and second, the adaptive LED headlamps which are now standard on the X1. Both the trims get 18-inch alloys but on the M-sport you get a nicer looking double spoke style. It is from the rear that the SUV really appeals to you, everything from the spoiler on the top to the skid plates at the bottom add to its sporty appeal.


The LED tail lights too are now available as standard. 


The M Sport package brings with it satinated aluminium on the grille and black high gloss inserts on bumpers. In all there are six colour options but all not may be available on both the xLine as well as M Sport trims. That’s not the case though with the Space Silver option you see in the pictures.



BMW X1 Action 9

We drove the Diesel version which comes in M Sport trim.


The new X1 has come in both Petrol and Diesel versions and we don’t get to hear that too often now even in the premium segment. The Diesel we drove runs on a 1995 cc 4-cylinder engine that makes 148 bhp @ 3,750-4,000 rpm and delivers a peak torque figure of 360 Nm @ 1,500 - 2,500 rpm. The petrol runs on a smaller 3-cylinder 1499 cc mill that makes 135 bhp @ 4,400-6,500 rpm and 230 Nm @ 1,500 - 4,000 rpm. Both the engines are paired with a 7-speed Steptronic transmission. Diesel is also slightly quicker as it does 0-100 kmph in 8.9 secs while the Petrol takes 0.3 secs more.


Also Read: All-Electric BMW i7 Review: Is This The Best Flagship Luxury Sedan?

BMW X1 Action 6

Claimed fuel efficiency on Diesel X1 is more than 20 kmpl. 


On this new X1 with the Diesel engine specifically one figure that is worth mentioning is the fuel efficiency because here the ARAI claimed figure is 20.37 kmpl and that is really good looking at the segment this car comes in. A figure of 16.3 kmpl isn’t too bad either on Petrol however it remains to be seen what the real world figures are on the car.


Performance and Handling

BMW X1 Action 5

Peak torque kicks in at around 1500 rpm which aids in a sporty drive.


While on the move, the new X1 has solid road presence and impresses with its demeanour. You get a clear view of the road ahead and are never far away from that perfect driving position. On the Diesel, Power is decent but what really aids in a sporty drive is the fact that the peak torque kicks in at around 1500 rpm and that really enhances the overall driving experience of this car.


Also Read: BMW M2 Launched In India, Prices Start At Rs 98 Lakh

BMW X1 Interior steering wheel

Paddle shifts are reserved for the higher M Sport trim.


On the M Sport trim there’s one more way to enhance your driving pleasure and that is through paddle shifts because these are available only on this higher trim of the car. That’s not all, the Sport boost mode ensures that the responses from the drivetrain get even better during the drive. NVH levels are decent on this Diesel version but there’s certainly some scope for improvement. So at cruising speeds its quite good and the engine is relatively silent but the moment you press the throttle hard, it really announces itself and tells you that you’re driving a diesel car.  

BMW X1 Action 3

Engine control and brake interventions during cornering are non-intrusive.


A whole lot of tech has been put on the X1 to ensure that it handles in a good way. If you take it out on the empty roads or on fast corners it gives you good confidence and you can play around with it at decent speeds. Engine control and brake interventions during cornering are non-intrusive and features like Dynamic Stability Control including Dynamic Traction Control and Cornering Brake Control come in handy specially looking at the proportions of the car. The steering provides good feedback and you enjoy playing with it on some winding roads.

BMW X1 Action 8

The new X1 gets various drive modes which alter its character. 


Suspension is as expected is a bit on the stiffer side but you can alter the drive modes and choose the desired settings when it comes to ride quality. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that the new X1 has got the handling character of the first gen and ride comfort of the previous gen.



BMW X1 Detail X1 Badge

The new X1 gets ADAS tech as well.


The new X1 also gets Driver Assistance Systems like Lane Departure Warning, Dynamic Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Protection. You also get six airbags, Tyre Pressure Indicator, ISOFIX child seat mounts and the very useful Parking assistant with Reversing assistant.


Also Read: Actor Yami Gautam Adds New BMW X7 To Garage

BMW X1 Interior full dashboard

The SUV feels big on the inside too. 


It is an ergonomic cabin with many storage spaces which are nicely laid out so as a driver or as a passenger you like that. A lot of stuff can be stored below the centre console as well which is a good touch and I also liked the way the wireless charger has been designed, it holds the phone vertically so the charging doesn’t stop.

BMW X1 Interior front seats

Massage front seats are reserved for M Sport.


The BMW curved display finds a place in the X1 as well that really makes the car look more premium. There are some features that are exclusive only to this M sport version of the car which includes massage function on front seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system with 12 speakers.

BMW X1 Detail boot

The new X1 gets a boot space of 476 litres which is a tad lesser than before.


You also get Ambient Lighting, 2-zone climate control, a digital Key and a panoramic sunroof. A whole lot of connectivity features are on offer too. For upholstery you can choose between Sensatec Perforated Mocha and Sensatec Perforated Oyster on both the trims. 

BMW X1 Interior rear seats 2

You can slide forward the second row seats on M Sport.


The second row is quite decent on space specially when it comes to headroom and knee room or leg room. However the under thigh support can be a bit better and so can be the shoulder room specially when three people are sitting here more so because the middle passenger will be slightly troubled by the big transmission tunnel right in between. This M sport trim gets an exclusive feature where you can slide forward the second row seats to create more boot space which just adds to the practicality.

Price and Variants


The new X1 seems to justify its price tag.


While the Petrol model is available in both the trims the Diesel can be bought only with the higher feature loaded M Sport. Taking on the BMW X1 in the market are a slew of small Premium SUVs. These include the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC 40.


Prices (ex-showroom)PetrolDiesel 
2023 BMW X1Rs. 45.90 lakh - Rs. 48.90 lakhRs. 47.90 lakh
Mercedes-Benz GLARs. 48.50 lakh

Rs. 50 lakh - Rs. 52.70 lakh


Audi Q3Rs. 45.65 -       Rs. 51.24 lakhNA
Volvo XC 40Rs. 46.40 lakhNA

The SUV has adapted well to today’s times.  


The new X1 is a new generation model in true sense. Everything from design and dimensions to features and drivability has changed on the car and it does seem to justify its price tag looking at how the rivals are priced. It comes across as a worthy option in this competitive segment one that has adapted well to today’s times.  


Last Updated on June 26, 2023

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