Is this BMW's best electric SUV? BMW iX1 Full Review

Watch Vicki Butler-Henderson give her verdict on the new BMW iX1.

Welcome back to DriverReviews with another car review from Vicki Butler-Henderson. This time we are looking at BMW’s most popular family car, the X1. Now on the third generation of this model, BMW have ensured that all driving needs have been taken care of from a fuel perspective as the X1 now comes in diesel, petrol, or hybrid engines.

The model on display in the video is the electric version – so named the iX1 – which indirectly replaced the i3 and can be considered BMW’s entry level EV. If you are in the market for an EV which will transport you and the family, this particular model starts at £46,000 and goes up to approximately £57,000 depending on specification.

Specification Checklist

BMW iX1 xDrive30
• 313hp
• 0-62 mph happens in 5.6s
• 259.1 – 272.2 miles of range
• 0-80% charge from 25 minutes


Design & Exterior

Starting with the front of the car, we are met with the striking ‘i Kidney grille’. BMW describe it as almost square which has been redesigned as a statement piece. Sat in the middle of the grille is a radar sensor which could easily be missed due to the stealth-like design. The purpose of a radar sensor is to detect objects, i.e. other vehicles, or pedestrians, and measure their distance to the vehicle, and their relative speeds.

As technology advances, BMW remain at the forefront of innovation with their adaptive LED headlights which aid the driver by calibrating and dispersing light during various driving conditions. Other drivers and pedestrians have been considered in this round of development with BMW’s High-beam Assistant which prevents others from being dazzled. The adaptive LED headlights are not a standard feature though, they are available as part of the Technology and Technology Plus Packs.

Reinforcing its place as a popular choice for a family car, the iX1 comes with roof rails which act as the base for BMW approved storage accessories.

Charging & Battery Performance

The iX1 will get you around 300 miles on a full charge, and as Vicki rightly mentions, this isn’t range topping, but you might not need it to be. When it comes to charging the car, if you use a powerful public charger, you can expect to top up by 62 miles in approximately 8 minutes.

BMW have thought about what it might be like to live with this car and have provided a practical light situated close to the charging socket in the event you need to charge up in the dark. Paired with this, there is a very practical storage section under the boot floor to tuck the charging cables away.

Boot Storage

Above the charging cable storage is a rather spacious boot which has a minimum of 490l capacity which is 50l larger than the Golf’s, but this is less than the internal combustion engine variants of the X1. If you require more storage than this, you can treble the capacity by folding the rear seats.


Wheels & Tyre Talk

There are a range of options available when designing your own iX1. With alloy wheels ranging from 18” up to 20”, there’s choices for different tastes. The model in Vicki’s review is sat on a set of 19” rims which are wrapped with Hankook’s Ventus S1 evo3 tyres.

The tyre has been reviewed by over a thousand drivers who have given the Ventus S1 evo3 an average rating of 4.5 / 5. With such a strong rating, it’s no surprise that Hankook picked up the best tyre award for small SUVs in the 2023 DriverReviews Customer Choice Awards here.
Interior Design & Features

Front and centre of the iX1 is a curved touchscreen display that can be interacted with by voice as well as touch. Vicki demonstrates that there are no physical buttons for the quick interactions we are used to such as changing the internal temperature. However, BMW have kept a physical button (it is actually a ‘roller’) for the volume!

The iX1 boasts plenty of luxury interior features, starting with the floating armrest which houses specific controls such as the start/stop function, gear lever switch, and the electromechanical hand brake among other functions. In the video, Vicki mentions that there is actually room underneath the armrest for personal belongings which is a very practical feature to maximise room elsewhere. Vicki does point out though that the armrest opens the wrong way from the driver’s point of view (with a left-hand driving position bias) which could make accessing the storage compartment within the armrest tricky.

Vicki does state that the interior of the iX1 has a premium feel to it, but parts of the interior do come at a cost, a money saving cost. The main feature which falls under this category are the door bins which are made from what is described as “scratchy plastic” and they are not carpeted so if you were to put something in the door bins, it would slide around. Perhaps less of a cost saving exercise and potentially an oversight is the depth that the glove box door opens to. Vicki demonstrates that when fully open, it is likely to touch the knees of the passenger.

Overall, the interior of the iX1 is a pleasant place to sit, with other features contributing to the experience such as a panoramic roof to allow additional light into the cabin, sports seats with backrest bolsters offering optimum lateral support, and an array of technology including Android and Apple CarPlay for the driver’s convenience.

Vicki’s Verdict

“The iX1 is on the pricey side and it doesn’t have a class-leading range, but it does have a class-leading badge and strong kerb appeal and that might be just enough to tempt you and your family”.

All in all, Vicki seems to be impressed with the iX1 (especially when driving it in sport mode and using the boost feature!). There are some points which let the car down in her opinion which include the door bins, and a ‘thicker than average’ steering wheel which could become uncomfortable on longer drives. Nonetheless, the iX1 does have the kerb appeal Vicki mentions with a sporty rear diffuser and spoiler combination which paired with the mostly luxurious feel of the interior makes the iX1 a strong contender against the other options in this segment.

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