BMW iX1 (2022) Review
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
A recent trip to the UK afforded us the opportunity to spend some time with the new fully electric BMW iX1. This is what BMW class as a SAV and not an SUV. Before we go any further, we must explain! SAV or Sports Activity Vehicle is an exclusive term used only by BMW for the X models. The SAV differs from the standard SUV in the sense that the Sports Activity Vehicle was designed to focus on the overall power, space, and towing capabilities that the vehicle has to offer. The best way to think of a SAV vehicle is as an SUV that can go off-road with sports car performance. There are currently seven BMW models that are classed as SAV models: the BMW X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7. Each BMW has incredible horsepower where some manufacturers only produce SUV’s with meager power outputs. With the SAV X models, you are also able to choose optional diesel and eDrive engines. Now that we have that cleared up lets focus on the new iX1.
First things first, how good looking and grown up is the new iX1? Now in its third generation the vehicle has grown in size considerably and the styling looks fantastic! The new car has a wheelbase of 2,692 millimeters, 22 millimeters longer than that of its predecessor. Track widths have increased by 31 millimeters to 1,592 millimeters at the front axle and 1,593 millimeters at the rear axle, which makes for not just better handling but also more interior space. BMW have come in for some flack in recent years as the designers over complicated and over designed some recent models with the huge kidney grills and lackluster styling but thankfully they appear to have gotten it just right with the iX1. Inside the trim lines kick off with the entry Sport Premier with 17-inch alloys followed by xLine Premier and M Sport Premier. The specific design elements of xLine give you a more rugged yet also sophisticated compact SAV with features including exclusive 18-inch light-alloy wheels, dark grey body edging, BMW Individual Exterior Line Satin Aluminium and exterior mirror caps in Glacier Silver. For those that like a more sportier and aggressive look, the M Sport Premier with 20-inch wheels, sports bumpers and a slightly lower stance might just fit the bill.
BMW’s iX1 xDrive30 is powered by one electric motor at the front axle and a second to the rear, each combined with power electronics and transmission in a single, compact housing. These drive units deliver a combined power output of 313hp with a whopping 494Nm or torque. The 64.7kWh high-voltage battery is positioned flat within the vehicle’s underbody and allows you to achieve a combined power consumption of 18.4 – 17.3kWh per 100km (WLTP) with a driving range of 413 – 438 Kms. The Combined Charging Unit in the BMW iX1 xDrive30 enables single and three-phase AC charging up to 11kW, optionally increased to 22kW (three-phase AC). This allows the battery to be fully recharged from empty in 6.5 hours as standard and just 3 hours 45 minutes as an option. DC recharging at up to 130kW makes it possible to quick charge the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 29 minutes, or increase range by 120kms in just 10 minutes.
The iX1 has yet to take on a dedicated test with Euro NCAP but the combustion powered X1 received a five-star rating. This rating was also validated to cover the iX1 even though the battery-powered vehicle would be considerably heavier. With that said, the iX1 has energy-absorbing outer longitudinal profiles which have particularly stiff cross struts to keep the collision forces away from the battery cells. Add to this Dual frontal, side chest, side head-protecting (curtain) and driver knee airbags are standard. Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and a lane departure warning (LDW) system are also standard and the safety software has received numerous upgrades since the initial X1 test.
Pricing for the new BMW iX1 kicks off at €63,995. Production is now in full swing and Irish dealers expect more stock throughout 2023. If electric doesn’t suit your needs the regular X1 starts at a shade over €48k for the new sDrive18d with the more powerful X1 xDrive23d diesel priced from €57,800. A petrol xDrive23i variant is also available from €62,210. Plug-in hybrid pricing is due to be announced in the coming months.
Our drive of the new iX1 was short and sweet as we were only in the UK for a single day with various BMW models to drive. On the road the iX1 felt surefooted and engaging to drive through the bends masking the weight of the rather large battery. We suppose in many ways it drives as a BMW or any car at this price point should but what impresses us most about the iX1 was its technology and in particular the adaptive recuperation system. There is a second 48V battery located under the luggage compartment, which is charged by adaptive recuperation in overrun and braking. As well as the electric motor, it also supplies the car’s 12V electrical system via a voltage transformer. The system uses data from the navigation system even when route guidance is not in use to harvest energy coming into corners or on that daily dissent that car is expecting to do. Using this adaptive recuperation to recover kinetic energy during a journey and feed it into the high-voltage battery you can actually recuperate up to 120kW of power via the brake pedal. We are aware lots of electric vehicles use regenerative braking but this little iX1 takes that technology to the next level and ultimately allows for more efficient main battery usage. We enjoyed our time with the new iX1 Sports Activity Vehicle and you can view our full video review via the link below. Hopefully one will hit the press fleet soon where we can try living with it for seven days! Book your test drive today if interested.
Gets pricey with spec!
To see our full video review of the new BMW iX1, please click here.
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