BMW iX1 initial review: First drive thrills for this compact all-electric SUV - MrLiambi's blog


My tweets


Thursday, 8 December 2022

BMW iX1 initial review: First drive thrills for this compact all-electric SUV

BMW recently unveiled the BMW X1, a practical but reasonably compact SUV that comes available with an array of powertrain options. You can choose from two petrol models, two plug-in hybrids and there's even a diesel option. Something for everyone, especially now that there's this; the BMW iX1, which is an all-electric variation on the theme. 

In terms of trim levels, you can have it in xLine or as an M Sport model and it features the latest incarnation of BMW's eDrive Technology, while also offering a range of up to 270 miles. Anyone considering something with a distinctly 'European' air, like the Mercedes-Benz EQA or Volvo XC40 Recharge models, should certainly take a look at it. Not to mention the fact that the BMW iX1 xDrive30 is an awful lot of fun to drive... 

A smooth, harmonious design

If you've already set eyes on the non-EV editions of the BMW X1 and liked what you've seen, there's precious little that sets the all-electric BMW iX1 apart from its petrol or diesel counterparts. Not everyone is entirely smitten with some of the design decisions going on at BMW either, but in the case of the iX1, the styling works to good effect. Even the contentious grille looks okay and the overall smoothed-edge lines also contribute to better aerodynamics, which is everything if you're driving an EV.

The BMW iX1 xDrive30 we tried looked great with its low-key grey exterior, which actually accentuates the lines. Those design flourishes around the front end, where the air intakes are, work to great effect and this is a theme that is similarly successful at the back, where there's a roof spoiler up top and a diffuser at the bottom. Along the sides, there are flush-fit door handles and side air deflectors, with only the chunky door mirrors adding any kind of bulk to the styling. It all works in harmony and, crucially, the smoother design also aids the drag coefficient, with BMW quoting a figure as low as 0.26.

Luxurious practicality

The BMW iX1 xDrive30 also has a great interior, with a pretty luxurious feel on offer and plenty of family-friendly practicality too. Everything leaves you with the impression that it's been screwed together properly and, even where there's a predominance of plastic, the overall quality is premium rather than cheap and nasty. The floating central console, for example, is a really useful area, which not only houses the core controls for the automatic transmission by way of a toggle tab-type creation, but has storage underneath too.

collection: BMW iX7 interior

Another benefit of the smoother exterior lines of the BMW iX1 can be felt on the inside of the car, because it has allowed for a more compact battery pack. It feels perfectly suited to the everyday space requirements of an average family, although is also big enough to accommodate four adults in comfort too. The boot isn't bad either, with 490 litres on tap, which is slightly less than standard edition X1's due to the constraints of the twin-motor setup.

Another major success story with the BMW iX1 xDrive30 is its infotainment system, which revolves around the very cool curved display that combines a digital instrument display and central touchscreen. The resolution of both is commendable while the graphics and overall layout are crisp and well thought out. You do still need to take a little time familiarising yourself with controls for adjusting crucial things like the heating controls, as well as the massage seats. This is best done before you set off, but once you know the lie of the land, it's all very nicely executed.

collection: BMW iX7 technology

BMW has made much of its Hans Zimmer IconicSounds Electric soundscapes and these can be experienced in the BMW iX1 xDrive30 too. If you're particularly keen on what it has to offer there's also the capacity to dip into BMW's My Modes area of the infotainment system and customise the setup. In fact, My Modes is handy in that it allows you to tailor a lot of the interior arrangements to your liking, which is always bonus if you regularly share the car with your other half, who likes to change everything all the time.

For town and country

One thing that feels instantly impressive with the iX1 is the quality of the drive. Perhaps the most inspiring thing about the BMW iX1 is its size, which feels just right on a mix of the UK's interesting road makeup. It's got plenty of space on the inside, but the iX1 doesn't feel a burden if you've got to wind your way around twisting country lanes. 

After driving something like the updated and decidedly chunky BMW X7, the iX1 feels incredibly svelte for both town and country use. You can pick your way through tiny villages with ease, but there's still enough performance muscle on hand for when you hit the dual carriageway too. A lot of this is down to the twin electric motors, with one on each of the axles, making the all-wheel-drive power delivery smooth, dynamic and very nicely balanced out. As you'd expect, the BMW iX1 xDrive30 does feel a teensy bit gangly when you're dealing with the worst of the ruts and potholes found on British roads, especially those out in the sticks, but it's no worse than any number of comparably-sized SUVs.

The battery and twin electric motor arrangement also means performance is suitably zesty too, with 308bhp and a sizeable 494Nm of torque on tap when you need it. That can get you from 0 to 60mph in 5.7 seconds, which is more than acceptable and makes overtaking a very straightforward exercise and top speed is 112mph. Naturally, if you push the car, especially by tapping into the column-mounted 'Boost' paddle, which delivers a 10-second spurt of extra power, range will suffer. However, BMW claims the 64.7kWh usable power of the battery should return a range of between 257 and 272 miles. Rapid recharging can be done up to 130kW, so you can get the battery from 10% to 80% in a smidgen under thirty minutes, which isn't bad at all.

Incidentally, pull that Boost paddle towards you and the dials and head-up display switch to a more purposeful colour scheme as the countdown begins, which is neat. The driving experience is also supplemented by a range of in-car audio accompaniment as is the case in most new BMWs. The sounds vary depending on your driving style and how vigorously you're pushing down on the accelerator, but the synthesised accompaniment adds a bit of fun to proceedings, for sure. It may not be to all tastes, however.

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment