2023 BMW X1 bulks up its looks, features and engine

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Genteel lines for the BMW X1 are out. Bold, chunky lines for the all-new third-generation 2023 BMW X1 are in. Dimensions are up just a touch, length and height extended by 1.7 inches to 177.2 inches and 64.6 inches, respectively, while width grows by less than an inch to 72.6 inches. Track and wheelbase also expand by less than an inch, with the track now 62.3 inches front and back, and the wheelbase out to 106 inches. The brawnier lines exaggerate those minor measurements, though. The Munich carmaker's latest subcompact crossover looks designed to do tougher things, leading off with a larger, squared kidney grille between full-LED headlights with redesigned DRLs and cornering lights. Along the flanks, the door handles are now flush, and in back, new bumper trim complements the reworked front. Designers also decided the X1 didn't need to flaunt its tailpipes, tucking them under the bodywork.

The xLine and M Sport Packages carry over to the new generation, the former bundle mixing Satin Aluminum accents with Glacier Silver instead of Matte Chrome, and available 20-inch wheels, a first for the X1. The color palette counts 13 choices, five of them new: Blue Bay Lagoon, Cape York Green, Space Silver, Utah Orange, and BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey. The holdovers are the non-metallic Alpine White and Jet Black, Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, Portimao Blue, Storm Bay, and San Remo Green.

Inside, front passengers enjoy more head and shoulder room, and look upon a reworked instrument panel supporting BMW's Curved Display. The gauge cluster measure 10.7 inches; the infotainment screen 10.25 inches. The move to iDrive 8 enables an optional Augmented View function for navigation, which is able to place helpful graphics like arrows on a real-time video of the road ahead that points out the proper turn. We've seen such tech before, specifically with Mercedes.

Between the front seats, a floating armrest holds a control panel at its leading edge, just across from a pair of cupholders and an inclined wireless charging pad that keeps the phone screen in clear view. The old shift lever gives way to a new toggle, and new controls include a My Modes button, which can cycle through three interior ambience settings that change everything from steering feel to display design and colors. New seats have been sculpted for increased comfort, and the screen for the optional panoramic roof is now electrically operated.

The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder now makes 241 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, upgrades of 13 horses and 37 pound-feet over the outgoing model thanks to changes that include a new dual injection system and redrawn combustion chamber geometry. Output gets to the axles through a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that replaces the eight-speed automatic. The 0-60 mph time only comes down from 6.3 seconds to 6.2, but a wider gear spread and adaptive shift strategies should give better returns at the fuel pump. Opting for the M Sport Package puts the driver in closer control of ratios with shift paddles behind the steering wheel. A new function integrated into the left-side paddle automatically calls up the sportiest settings when the paddle is pulled and held for at least one second.

A suspension rework shaves about 6 pounds and is said to provide more agile turn-in and steering feel, improved straight-line stability, less torque steer and less body movement. The adaptive M suspension that comes with a more direct steering rack and that lowers the body height by 0.6 inches joins the options list for the first time on the X1, too.

The option Driving Assistant Professional adaptive cruise control system with lane-centering steering assist and stop-and-go functionality gets a functionality upgrade, while the optional Park Distance Control can now get into and out of parallel and perpendicular spots using the curb as a guide instead of other parked cars. It can also back up as much as 150 feet on its own, reversing the line the X1 drove forward. And as part of that camera suite, a Joy Recorder can capture up to 60 seconds of driving footage in high-def video, while an interior camera can be used to check on the interior of the vehicle through the BMW app when away from the car, or snag photos of occupants.

The price for the X1 xDrive28i starts at $39,595, including the $995 destination fee, which is a $1,200 rise over the 2022 model. Pricing for the front-wheel drive X1 sDrive28i hasn't been announced yet.

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