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BMW iX1 xDrive30 review: The smallest E-SUV from Bavaria review

BMW iX1 xDrive30 featured image
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2023 TechnikNews)

With the iX1 xDrive30 BMW is launching its smallest electric SUV to date. Can it convince despite the lack of an e-platform? We were able to test the large xDrive30 variant for you and tell you our impressions here.

Like with that one iX3, which we also tested, the iX1 does not offer its own platform, but rather shares it with the combustion engine and hybrid models of the X1 series. We'll take a closer look at whether this is also reflected in consumption and range.

tl; dr

With the iX1 xDrive30, BMW is bringing a solid electric SUV that lacks almost nothing. It can deliver enough power and, thanks to the M sports suspension, drives quite lively. Otherwise, the iX1 can also glide along in a relaxed and comfortable manner with an average consumption of 19-20 kWh/100 km. Due to its size, you won't have to desperately look for parking spaces here, as is the case with, for example BMW iX xDrive50 the case is. It is quite clear and offers plenty of space for people and luggage. Even when it comes to range, you don't have to make many compromises. 350 kilometers should be enough for most people. In addition, with its 130 kW, it also charges quite quickly, which means that charging stops are relatively short.

The only place BMW needs to improve is the parking assistant. This one really didn't work well. Otherwise you can almost let the iX1 drive itself with the steering assistant. We also hope that BMW will bring back the iDrive controller. This was very practical and comfortable to use. If you ignore that, you get a good overall package for a starting price of €55.000 (including 19% VAT). If that's too much for you, you can take a look at the smaller engine variant of the iX1, the xDrive20. This is priced at around €47.900 (including 19% VAT).

Design: Very similar to the combustion engine

Visually, the iX1 fits wonderfully into the existing portfolio of combustion engines. Since the car is based on the combustion engine platform, we get the typical BMW kidney design and the tapered LED headlights, which are set high up and give the car a certain aggressiveness. The headlights offer good illumination at night and good automatic high beam. The shape is beautifully emphasized with silver accents, which stand out very clearly right up to the rear of the vehicle. I really liked the two-tone side mirrors, which exude a certain specialness. In keeping with this, the iX1 has 20 inch light alloy wheels in ““Frozen midnight gray”. Visually, it looks a bit more compact than its big brothers iX3 and iX xDrive50. In terms of space, he hardly needs to hide.

Interior: iX1 as a space miracle?

If you look at the older iX1, a lot has changed inside the iX3. Everything seems very tidy, with just a few buttons. The driver and front passenger get electric leather seats with seat heating and ventilation. These are a bit tight and unfortunately the seat bolsters are not adjustable, as is the case with the iX3. Passengers in the back seat can be happy because despite the vehicle length of only 4,50 meters and a width of 1,84 meters, the iX1 offers a lot of space compared to other vehicles in its class. There is plenty of head and legroom in the front and rear seats. In addition, the rear seat bench can be divided into three parts and the inclination can be adjusted differently. We counted six different angles of inclination. This way everyone can find the right position. Well thought out, BMW. The trunk also offers a lot of space. With a volume of 490 liters and 1.495 liters with the rear seat folded down, you definitely have enough storage space for most errands or trips.

Infotainment: Modern and complicated

The iX1 has a 10,7 inch (approx. 27 cm) touch display, which runs with the same software that we have already tested in other BMW models. This can be adjusted to suit your own needs. It could just be a little clearer. The system offers options for connecting your phone to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which also works reliably. However, due to the new design in the interior, many buttons underneath the infotainment had to be replaced, which is why many things can only be controlled via the display. The very practical iDrive controller was also omitted, with which you could navigate the system relatively quickly and easily while driving. Now it must be controlled via the display or voice control.

Eliminating the buttons below the infotainment doesn't bring many advantages either. For example, if you want to switch on the seat heating while driving at full speed, you first have to go to the climate settings in the menu and then choose the right one between the many symbols. This can take a while and definitely takes your attention away from the road for longer than if you had a quick function for something like this. Of course, this can also be done via voice input, although errors occasionally occur or the input is disturbed by background noise. It would definitely be better if not all buttons had to be replaced by modernization. Especially without the buttons and iDrive controller, the user interface makes little sense.

Driving behavior: Sporty on the go with the iX1

It should be clear to everyone that the iX1 is not a sports car, but it still cuts a sporty figure review. Our test car comes with the M Sport package, which gives us a fairly hard and precise sports suspension. Thanks to the weight of the battery on the floor of the vehicle, the car drives through curves like it's on rails, without the slightest sign of being spongy. “Body roll” or similar phenomena are hardly noticeable. The only thing that makes the difference here is that you sit significantly higher than in an i4, for example. It can also shine when it comes to acceleration. Thanks to the 230 kW (313 hp) electric motors, the car, which weighs almost 2 tons, accelerates to 5,6 km/h in 100 seconds.

However, anyone who drives the iX1 in the city rather than on the race track will not be disappointed either. Even in the city, the chassis handles bumps on the road relatively well. Finding a parking space won't be a frustrating experience either, as its length allows it to fit into most gaps. In addition, it can be easily dosed One pedal-Fashion very relaxed driving. Only its turning circle is a bit large at 11,9 meters, but this is due to the platform.

assistance systems

As we are used to from other BMW models, the steering assistant, lane keeper and cruise control work perfectly here. There's nothing to complain about there. But where there is something is with the parking assistant. He doesn't manage to park in most attempts. Why parking doesn't work here, but with the bigger brothers iX3 and iX M60, is a mystery to us. In only a few cases did parking with the assistant work well. There is definitely room for improvement here.

BMW iX1 xDrive30 charging station

Picture: TechnikNews

Charging performance and range: Not bad for a combustion engine platform

According to BMW, the BMW iX1 with its 66,5 kWh battery should have a range of 439 km (WLTP). In the test we covered around 350 km, most of the time traveling outside of town. We had a consumption of around 19 to 20 kWh/100 km, which is not too far away from the advertised 18,1 kWh/100 km. The car can also achieve the specified maximum charging power of 130 kW. Between 30 and 80 SoC ProThe car charges most of the time with over 100 kW. It then charges with 22 kW via AC. On warm and cold days, the car charges with almost the same charging capacity thanks to the built-in heat pump.

Thanks to BMW Germany for providing the iX1 for this review.

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