Review - 2023 BMW X1

By Alexi Falson on 16 Oct 2023
image for Review - 2023 BMW X1
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Comfortable base model, super-exciting flagship
  • Generous safety equipment list for base model
  • Large 540L boot
  • Dual-clutch transmission can lurch at low speeds
  • Lacklustre base engine performance
  • Infotainment system takes some time to get acquainted
    • 61L
    • 164
    • 4400 / 1500
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
BMW’s baby of the SUV range, the X1, looks to be a great option for buyers in the market for a premium compact SUV here in Australia.

With a total of four variants on offer, BMW offers a healthy number of options for price-conscious buyers and those looking for an exciting performance SUV in the case of the range-topping M35i xDrive.

Just how good is the latest BMW X1, then, and how does the baby of the range uphold BMW’s reputation? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

BMW X1 Competition


Audi Q3
Mercedes-Benz GLA
Volvo XC40

Starting Price: $60,400

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

BMW’s X1 range kicks off from $60,400 for the entry-level X1 sDrive18i, with prices rising up to $70,400 for the xDrive20i and up to $73,400 for the xDrive20i M Sport.

From here, prices for the range-topping M35i xDrive move to $90,990.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport grille

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save money by getting one of OnlineAuto’s car buying agents to assist you in finding the greatest value model for you.

BMW X1 (xDRIVE20i) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make BMW
Model X1
Series U11
Variant xDRIVE20i
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive AWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1998
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 4400 / 1500
Cylinders T4
Torque 300
KW 150
Fuel tank size 61.0
Fuel usage specs 7.2 / 0
CO2 164
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the BMW X1 Have?

BMW’s entry-level X1 sDrive18i comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloys, and receives adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry & start, leatherette upholstery, sports seats, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the xDrive20i adds a set of 19-inch alloys, power-adjustable and heated front seats and BMW’s Driving Assistant Professional, while the xDrive20i M Sport picks up some styling upgrades for the exterior and cabin.

The range-topping M35i xDrive comes riding on 20-inch alloys and receives an upgraded M Sport brake package, quad exhaust pipes, a panoramic sunroof, M Sport leather steering wheel, sports seats and an upgraded 12-speaker sound system.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport interior

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport parking cameras

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport curved display

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport touchscreen

Range Features:

  • 18-inch alloys 

  • Adaptive LED headlights 

  • Sports seats 

  • Head-up display 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Leatherette upholstery 

  • 10.25-inch instrument cluster 

  • 10.7-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • 19-inch alloys (xDrive20i) 

  • Heated, power-adjustable front seats (xDrive20i) 

  • 20-inch alloys (M35i xDrive)

  • M Sport brake package (M35i xDrive)

  • Panoramic sunroof (M35i xDrive)

  • Sport seats with M Sport leather steering wheel (M35i xDrive)

Is the BMW X1 Comfortable to Drive?

With four main variants on offer, the driving experience from the base model to the flagship X1 changes dramatically.

The entry-level sDrive18i is a great option for those looking for a comfortable and refined small SUV package, while the mid-range xDrive20i offers a healthy blend of performance and comfort.

The base model comes powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine pushing out 115kW of power and 230Nm of torque, while the xDrive20i picks up a more potent 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 150kW of power and 300Nm of torque.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport doors

The driving experience in both the base and mid-range X1 is particularly smooth thanks to their seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and accommodating suspension platform, which feel surprisingly at home on a mix of Australian roads, while the added four-paw stability of the xDrive system makes the upgrade worth it in terms of driving confidence.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport rear suspension

They’re also super user-friendly around town thanks to the lightweight steering systems and the compact wheelbase, making the X1 a perfect little urban commuter.

For those looking for a fire-breathing compact SUV, though, you’ll want to upgrade to the M35i xDrive, which throws 233kW of power and 400Nm of torque to all four wheels, making it super lively and a completely different beast from its lesser siblings.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport individual wheels

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Fuel economy figures for the X1 lineup range from impressive in the base model to quite thirsty in the case of the performance-focussed X1 M35i xDrive.

The X1 sDrive18i returns combined fuel cycle figures of 6.5L/100km, making it the most fuel efficient of the range, while the mid-range xDrive20i returns fuel economy figures of 7.4L/100km.

Finally, the fire-breathing X1 M35i returns fuel economy figures of 8.5L/100km on a combined cycle.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport engine

Is it Practical and Spacious?

While it might be the smallest member of BMW’s SUV lineup, the X1 has quite a lot going for itself when it comes to interior space and practicality.

Up front, the design is super sleek and filled with technology, with even the base model picking up a pair of digital displays for the infotainment system and instrument cluster.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport seats

This has allowed a more bespoke design that frees up some real estate in the front of the cabin, with the X1 offering more than enough head room and width for tall drivers to get comfortable.

The driver and front passenger are separated by a bulky centre console that houses a very generous storage area at the base of the dash, a pair of cup holders and an elevated arm rest incorporating drive modes and the gear selector, with added storage underneath.

It’s a clever design that means the X1 makes great use of its limited space in the front of the cabin.

Move to the second row of the cabin and things are surprisingly spacious, with the X1 boasting more legroom than a number of its key rivals, making for a genuinely family-friendly little SUV.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport rear seats

With no major issues for head or legroom, the X1’s rear cabin is generous, with a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts hiding back there, too.

Finally, the X1 has boot space figures totalling a very healthy 540L, rivalling figures of some midsize SUV packages that make it a super practical little SUV.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport boot

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport back

Is it Safe?

The BMW X1 has picked up a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and offers buyers a generous list of active safety features, even in the base model.

As standard, the entry-level X1 picks up all the bells and whistles that BMW has to offer, including AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view monitor with parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

Our Verdict: Is The BMW X1 Worth it?

BMW’s update for the X1 has resulted in one of the most practical compact SUVs on the market, with a healthy range of powertrains to meet the needs of different buyers.

The base sDrive20i is a smooth and comfortable daily driver, while the mid-range xDrive20i adds some spice to the mix, and the range-topping M35i xDrive makes for a seriously exciting package to drive.

With a healthy range of options for buyers here in Australia, we highly recommend you add the X1 to your shortlist if you’re in the market for a compact SUV.

2023 bmw x1 xdrive20i m sport headlights

On that note, if you’re tossing up your best options, be sure to reach out to one of our automotive specialists who can help find you the best possible price on your next car.

2023 BMW X1 xDrive20i & sDrive18i videos review from PerformanceDrive

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. Three engine options available 

  3. 540L boot space 

  4. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  5. 6.5 - 8.5L/100km fuel economy figures 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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