BMW iX1 2023 long-term test

Our M Sport iX1 looks more aggressive than the lower-spec xLine model. It gains adaptive headlights, 20in wheels, sports seats, an M Sport steering wheel, M adaptive suspension and quite a bit more besides. Add the £1575 M Sport Pro Pack featured on our vehicle and you also get gloss black exterior trim, a premium Harman Kardon surround sound audio system and sun protection glass.

The cabin is a really nice place to be, helped in no small part by the £1100 panoramic sunroof, through which light floods into an otherwise dark interior. Having an extra source of fresh air will be welcome over the summer, too. The seats are comfortable, but the ride will take some getting used to. Even with the adaptive M suspension, the going is always very firm and borderline uncomfortable on some B-roads.

Space in the rear is impressive. There’s room for three passengers in the back, giving the iX1 an edge over rivals such as the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Behind the seats, which collapse into a useful 40/20/40 split, there’s a 490-litre boot, which isn’t far off that of the larger iX3. It is, however, dwarfed by the 854-litre boot of the Tesla Model Y, but the same can be said of most other family SUVs.

BMW’s entry-level EV has all the technology you could need or wish for. It also really does feel like a solid machine, as well as a premium one (my previous test car was a Ssangyong Korando E-Motion). I’ll have plenty of time over the next few months to get to grips with its autonomous driving capabilities, revamped iDrive and, at the risk of upsetting our road testers, the Hans Zimmer-curated IconicSounds system. And that sunroof? Glorious.

Second Opinion

I was impressed by the iX1’s interior, and if you want an electric SUV with performance and sharp looks, it could be for you. But it will be interesting to see how Jack handles the M Sport’s 20in alloys day to day. The months to come could reveal if the entry xLine is the better bet.

Jonathan Bryce

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