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New BMW iX1 electric SUV starts from £51,350

The Mercedes EQA and Volvo XC40 Recharge rival offers 272 miles’ range and 130kW rapid charging; sales start in November

The all-new BMW iX1 will start from £51,350 when it goes on sale in November. The pure-electric version of the German marque’s small SUV will be offered in xLine and M Sport trims, and has a dual-motor setup for all-wheel drive and over 300bhp.

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The iX1 will serve as BMW’s answer to the Mercedes EQAAudi Q4 e-tron and Volvo XC40 Recharge. Like the i4 saloon and i7 flagship limousine, the iX1 will be sold alongside the car’s petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid X1 siblings, all of which sit on the same basic platform.

BMW iX1 range, performance and charging

The iX1 xDrive30e uses BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology, with a single motor on each axle for all-wheel drive. Every model gets a 64.7kWh battery, which BMW claims is good for between 257 and 272 miles on a charge, depending on specification and wheel size.

Charging at up to 130kW is possible, with BMW suggesting a 10-80% top up will take 29 minutes via an appropriate rapid charger. An 11kW on-board AC charger comes as standard, with customers able to specify a 22kW charger as an option. The latter can charge the iX1’s battery to full in three hours and 45 minutes; BMW hasn’t released times for a standard 7kW home wallbox, but we expect this to take around nine hours.

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Combined, the iX1’s two motors produce 309bhp, with 494Nm of torque – more than the larger iX3. This allows the iX1 to sprint from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 112mph.

Previous teaser images issued by BMW showed the iX1 undergoing winter testing in the Arctic Circle. According to the manufacturer, testing in sub-zero temperatures has "subjected the electric motors, electric all-wheel-drive technology, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology to a particularly exacting examination" – ensuring, BMW claims, that the car's range and charging times won't be excessively hampered in cold conditions.

BMW X1 PHEV

BMW is also launching a pair of X1 plug-in hybrids: the X1 xDrive25e and the X1 xDrive30e. Both use the same 14.2kWh battery for a zero-emissions driving range of between 48 and 55 miles – again, depending on exact specification. With a new 7.4kW on-board charger, both cars can recharge from 0-100% in two and a half hours.

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Like the iX1, both PHEV models are all-wheel drive, and both use a three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electric motor. The xDrive25e has a combined (engine and electric motor) output of 242bhp, making it capable of 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds. The more powerful xDrive30e gets 322bhp and a faster 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds – the same as the EV.

Styling, interior and practicality

The new X1 and iX1 are longer (+53mm), wider (+24mm) and taller (+44mm) than the previous-generation model, with an extra 22mm in the wheelbase. While we’ll need to wait until we’ve had a chance to sit inside, this should translate to a more spacious cabin – both in the front and the rear. The iX1 (and X1 PHEV) gets a 490-litre boot with the seats in place, expanding to 1,495 litres with the rear bench folded down.

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Styling-wise, the new X1 is a less divisive-looking car than many recent BMWs, including the iX and i7 flagship models. The designers have taken an evolutionary approach to the X1’s shape, with a larger grille and slimmer headlights compared with its predecessor. The wraparound tail-lights are full-LED and help give the impression of a taller rear end.

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The iX1 can be picked out from its petrol, diesel and hybrid siblings thanks to its model-specific ‘BMW i Blue’ accents, but otherwise it looks very similar to the standard car – something that can’t be said of the EQA when compared with the petrol GLA SUV.

Inside, the iX1 features a pair of screens: a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, flanked by a 10.7-inch infotainment system, both housed in a single curved display panel. As well as the dual-screen set-up, all models get BMW’s new iDrive8 software from the i4 and iX, which can be operated via touch or voice. Sadly, BMW has ditched the conventional click wheel on the centre console for the new X1 line-up.

Pricing and equipment

Full UK prices and specs for the iX1 haven’t been confirmed yet, but do know the compact electric SUV will be offered in xLine and M Sport trim, and is set to start from £51,350. That’s notably more expensive than the starting price for the BMW’s key rivals from Volvo, Mercedes and Audi, but it is on par with the price tags of their all-wheel drive variants.

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As well as the dual-motor setup and all-wheel drive, every iX1 comes with alloy wheels (between 18 and 20 inches), the dual-screen infotainment setup we mentioned earlier, wireless smartphone charging, LED headlights, a powered tailgate and a reversing camera, plus a host of safety features including front-collision warning and Parking Assistant. 

BMW says there are 12 exterior colours to choose from for the new X1 – including a Frozen paint option from BMW Individual for the first time – though it’s not clear whether all of these will be offered on the iX1. Meanwhile, optional extras available include a panoramic glass roof, a Harman Kardon sound system and ambient lighting. 

UK pricing for the X1 PHEV has also yet to be revealed, but we expect it’ll start from around £45,000. Like the iX1, the new plug-in hybrid X1 goes on sale in November 2022.

Last year, BMW announced it had delivered one million electrified cars – a figure it wants to double by the end of 2025. The maker is now targeting 50% of global deliveries to be pure electric by the end of the decade. The iX1 is BMW’s second EV revealed so far in 2022, following the i7 luxury electric limousine, while a zero-emissions version of the next-generation 5 Series is expected to break cover by the end of the year.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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