Premium compact SUV passes the 3rd best seller in the future! –

The best-selling brand since its launch in 2009, the BMW X1 has been transformed for its third generation. A more muscular look, a sleeker and more technological interior. In short, a deep overhaul, up to the challenge. And for good reason, compact SUVs represent nearly one in five of the German company’s sales. Therefore, mistakes are not allowed in segments where competition is fierce (Mercedes GLA/EQA, Volvo XC40, Lexus UX250, etc.) and where each manufacturer is trying to assert its strengths.

BMW, for its part, enjoys a reputation where dynamism and driving pleasure come first. From the side view, no doubt, the BMW X1 (U11) is no less dynamic, especially in finishing this M Sport. On the program, a visor with a sportier look with enlarged air intakes, a 15 mm lowered chassis, 19-inch (950 €) rims and elements that abandoned chrome in favor of glossy black. However, even with the more discreet choice of xLine finishes, the new X1 sports a dynamic style with sharp edges and almost precise angles. Especially at the rear with its impressive spoiler and 3D lights.

A pleasing look in the end, keeping in line with the propeller brand’s recent productions but without reaching the highpoint of iX or 7 Series styling. No, the X1 is more consensual. Not enough to believe a few “behemists” flashed by during our tests we were always hesitant if not harsh in the face of the advantages of this massive grille. Impossible to miss, it’s true. However, like other brand productions, this perception is reinforced by photos. In front of you, the harmony of the lines is more work. There is still a subjective part that everyone will interpret according to their sensibilities, but let’s get to know this third generation X1, a beautiful presence, with small air X3 or even X5 in a more modest size (4.50 × 1.84 × 1, 54m) . Helpful images that can make a difference to potential buyers.

Let’s take a flush hand to move up to X1. Back to basics, a nod to the 1990-2000 BM, conducive to aerodynamics. The X1 also boasts one of the best CXs out there for a compact SUV (0.26). Parenthesis closed, let’s go back inside this X1 where the feeling of space prevails.

Taken broadly from the 2 Series Active Tourer, which is inspired by the BMW iX, minimalism dominates. Few if no buttons, except for those dedicated to defrosting and essential driving ones located on the center console. It’s now open-ended for a more airy, almost floating feel. Interesting style concept, especially to be used when stacking several small accessories that are actually found in plain sight. On the other hand, a royal position for the gear selector and the few buttons that accompany it.

Already seen in other Munich productions, the Curve Display was standard first-tier equipment in the 3rd generation X1. Actually consisting of two screens (10.25 and 10.7 inches), the left one is devoted to driving information while the right handles the infotainment system and some settings. The interface, based on the internal OS in version 8.0, prompts you to take a stand and then be complete and well thought out, even if at the risk of sounding like a “boomer”, nothing beats the good old buttons for adjusting the AC without taking your eyes off the road. The younger generation will respond that the voice assistant works just as well, if not better. That’s right. You still have to have reflexes to “dialogue” with your car…

Talking about technology, your smartphone has a place of choice with a vertical induction charger equipped with a smart hold system. Indispensable to take advantage of CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly and thus no longer complain about those unsightly cables. The good point is that its large dimensions make it compatible with all models on the market, even the largest ones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And even if the iPhone 15 is on steroids, that shouldn’t be much of a concern.

Your family will be pleased to find two USB-C ports on the back. Apart from these details, the most important thing is the acceptance and comfort provided to passengers using the new X1. The seat back reclines a few degrees, ample headroom or even the bench seat slides out by more than 13 cm (€310 – not available on the plug-in hybrid). Handy for getting a few cubic decimetres in the trunk, even if the latter already offers very good base volume (540l).

Calm family, X1 is still a BM. Admittedly, the power is still modest (3 and 4 cylinders from 136 to 218 hp) awaiting the arrival of the 245 (xDrive25e) and 326 hp (xDrive30e) plug-in hybrid version but the compact SUV hasn’t skimped on it. ride. accelerated. Quite the opposite with great agility even for an SUV weighing nearly 7 tonnes Sport Mode lets you take advantage of the engine’s livelier response and firmer direction but is still less communicative when it comes to lift. SelectDrive suspension whose hardness is adapted to road conditions and driving style is even more convincing. Stable at low speeds on broken roads, feeling tends to fade beyond 50 km/h. Associated with our X1 xDrive23d all-wheel drive, this behavior is meant to be reassuring and predictable even on the fast sequences typical of the Chevreuse valley backroads, however greasy this fall period may be.

Advanced wrap-around seats, a wide-rim M steering wheel, paddles and Boost mode (allowing you to take advantage of the internal combustion engine’s maximum torque and 19 hp electric motor for about ten seconds) accentuate the sportiness. character though in practice, 211 hp (400 Nm) doesn’t panic lap times with 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. On the other hand, we applaud the soundproofing work done, the 4-cylinder 2l diesel is inconspicuous neither on the highway nor in the city where the 48V system proves to be a valuable ally for a smooth start, feeling no jolt of Start & Stop. Micro-hybridization whose main goal remains to reduce CO2 emissions and consumption (6.5l/100 during our tests).

At the end of several days spent in his company, the third X1 made a strong impression. Useful images, friendly interior compatible with family life and technology which is among the most mastered in the market. Present but never as intrusive as a color head-up display or a navigation system with augmented reality. Not to forget our favourite, Park Assist Plus with perfect 360 vision and Auto-Reverse mode that’s so handy in everyday life (records the last 50 meters traveled to exit backwards without touching the steering wheel). At least on condition of digging options. Enough to increase the very “premium” bill (€64,000 for the model tested) although paradoxically, the base X1 features quite a favorable price / equipment ratio with a starting price of €39,990 for the X1 sDrive 18i.

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