Review: BMW X1 xDrive20i – Explore The City and Beyond


When it comes to city exploration and beyond, a reliable and versatile vehicle is an essential companion. While many options are on the market, one standout option is the BMW X1. This compact luxury SUV combines the best of BMW’s current design, performance, and technology, making it an ideal partner for taming the city and weekend getaways. So, let’s delve into the various aspects that make the BMW X1 xDrive20i the perfect choice to explore the city and beyond.

The BMW X1 xDrive20i finished in M Portimao Blue metallic paint.

Introduction to the BMW X1

This is not our first review of the 2023 BMW X1 Range. We reviewed this model’s little brother (the X1 sDrive18i) earlier in the year and loved it.

The BMW X1 is a compact luxury SUV that first hit the Australian market in 2009. Since then, it has undergone various upgrades and redesigns (some good, some not so good), with the latest generation (called U11) offering even more features and improvements. Being part of the esteemed BMW family, the X1 now stands out with its sleek design, impressive performance, and advanced technology. The X1’s versatility and capability make it an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy the best of both worlds: the dynamic driving experience of a sedan and the practicality of an SUV.

Simple things like good ground clearance mean little chance of scraping your bumper on a kerb.

The BMW X1 is available in three different models, depending on your preference and budget. You can choose from two 4-cylinder petrol engines or the all-electric iX1 xDrive30, which has just launched.

No matter which configuration you choose, you can expect a smooth, enjoyable, and connected drive with the BMW X1.

Key features of the BMW X1

BMW X1: A sleek and stylish design

One of the first things to catch your eye about the BMW X1 is the much-improved sleek and stylish design. The X1 boasts a modern and athletic appearance, with its signature kidney grille, sharp lines, and expressive LED headlights. The X1’s exterior design makes it an eye-catching vehicle on the road and contributes to its aerodynamic efficiency, benefiting its performance and fuel efficiency.

The interior of the BMW X1 is equally impressive, offering a sophisticated and luxurious cabin that is both comfortable and functional. This particular X1 has the M Sport pack added which adds a number of interior enhancements such as M Leather steering wheel, sport seats for the driver and front passenger, and Aluminium Hexacube trim accents. My X1 xDrive20i is finished in stunning M Portimao Blue metallic paint, and BMW had kindly optioned the 20″ M light alloy Multi-spoke wheels with Continental EcoContact tyres.

High-quality, sustainable materials and meticulous craftsmanship are evident throughout the X1’s interior, with features such as leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and a panoramic moonroof available to enhance your driving experience. The X1 also offers ample accommodation for 5 passengers and up to 1,600 litres of cargo space, making it a practical choice for city exploration and beyond.

Performance and fuel efficiency

When it comes to performance, the BMW X1 does not disappoint. The X1 has a 2.0-litre Turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving all four wheels, which delivers 150kW of power and 300Nm of torque. This engine balances power and efficiency, allowing the X1 to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 7.4 seconds while achieving an ADR-estimated fuel economy of 7.2L/100km.

The beating heart of the BMW X1 xDrive20i – the B48 four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine.

As I mentioned earlier, the BMW iX1 xDrive30 EV has just arrived and its vital statistics by comparison are very impressive. 230kW of power, 494Nm of torque, and 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds. We’ll get behind the wheel of this eagerly anticipated all-electric BMW in the next few months and report back.

Regardless of the engine option you choose, the BMW X1 offers a fun and engaging driving experience, with agile handling and a responsive suspension that can handle various road conditions with ease.

Comfort and convenience in the BMW X1

The BMW X1 offers a wide array of comfort and convenience features, making it an excellent choice for city exploration and beyond. The X1’s cabin is designed to keep you comfortable during long drives, with power-adjustable heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an M leather steering wheel.

The all-in-one Instrument Display and Infotainment System in the BMW X1 xDrive20i.

In addition to its comfortable interior, the BMW X1 also offers a range of advanced technology features that make driving more enjoyable and convenient. The X1 comes standard with the latest BMW ConnectedDrive and BMW Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system. Featuring a 10.25” instrument display and 10.7” high-resolution that combine in a single curved widescreen control running BMW Operating System 8. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are also standard equipment.

Our test car also featured the ‘Enhancement’ package: that comes with Metallic paint, Panorama Glass sunroof, and a fantastic Harman/Kardon Hi-Fi system. Other available technology features include a head-up display, wireless charging, and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.

The BMW X1 is also very smart. I woke one day to be greeted by this notification from the My BMW App.

The X1 had been upgraded to the latest version of software, bringing a number of enhancements and upgrades.

BMW X1 safety technology

When it comes to safety, the BMW X1 xDrive20i offers a variety of advanced features designed to protect you and your passengers. The X1 has a 360° 3D camera with Surround View and Panorama View. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and Active Park Distance Control front & rear are also standard. My absolute favourite feature on the BMW X1 xDrive20i is the Reversing Assistant mode which will retrace your steps perfectly if you’ve driven into a tough parking spot or down a narrow driveway.

The BMW X1 also comes with the Driving Assistant Professional Package, which includes features such as Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Blind spot monitoring, Lane departure warning, Lane change warning, and Front collision warning with brake intervention. These advanced safety technologies can help you stay safe and alert on the road, making the X1 an excellent choice for city exploration and beyond.

Exploring the city and beyond with the BMW X1

The BMW X1 is ideal for city driving and weekend getaways. Its compact size and agile handling make navigating tight city streets and crowded parking lots easy. At the same time, its spacious interior and versatile cargo area offers plenty of room for passengers and luggage. The X1’s advanced technology features keep you connected and entertained while on the road, and its impressive safety features provide peace of mind during your journeys.

For those who enjoy outdoor adventures, the BMW X1 is also equipped to handle non-urban terrain, thanks to its xDrive all-wheel-drive system. This intelligent system can distribute power to the wheels with the most traction, helping to optimise performance and stability in various driving conditions. With the BMW X1, you can easily tackle city streets, winding highways, and gravel roads.

BMW X1 price and value for money

The BMW X1 pricing starts at $62,900 for the base sDrive18i model, with the xDrive20i starting at $73,215. The more powerful iX1 xDrive30 has a starting price of $88,146; drive away before you’ve added any options. This represents significantly better value than most of the X1’s competition.

The BMW X1 – ready to explore the city and beyond.

In addition to its impressive list of standard and available features, the BMW X1 also offers a solid resale value, thanks to its reputation for quality and reliability. Overall, the BMW X1 provides an excellent value for your money, making it a top choice for those in the market for a compact luxury SUV.

Conclusion: The BMW X1 as your ultimate city exploration companion

Having now sampled two of the three BMW X1 range, I’m still of the view that it is an outstanding choice for those seeking a versatile, stylish, and capable vehicle for the city and beyond. The X1 combines the best of BMW’s design, performance, and technology, offering a driving experience that is both enjoyable and practical. With its sleek design, powerful engine options, advanced technology features, and impressive safety systems, the BMW X1 is the perfect companion for all your urban adventures and weekend getaways.

Whether you’re navigating crowded city streets, taking a scenic drive along the coast, or exploring off-road trails, the BMW X1 has you covered. Its combination of performance, luxury, and value make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a compact luxury SUV. So, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle that can handle all your city exploration needs and beyond, be sure to consider the BMW X1 as your ultimate companion.

As reviewed, the BMW X1 xDrive20i pricing is $90,364 (drive away). More details and local pricing are available at

About Author
Mike is the Australian editor of with a lifelong passion for cars, technology and engineering. He reviews and writes about all kinds of motoring and tech products for our readers. Follow Mike on Instagram or send him an email:
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