BMW iX1 Review & Prices

The BMW iX1 is a small family EV but is more than practical enough for most. It’s on the expensive end of the market though

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RRP £46,205 - £61,835 Avg. Carwow saving £4,283 off RRP
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Reviewed by Paul Barker after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Decent efficiency
  • Touchscreen is responsive and clear
  • Cabin nicely designed with good quality materials

What's not so good

  • Smaller battery harms overall range
  • Not the most comfortable car over bumpy roads
  • Charging speed could be faster

Find out more about the BMW iX1

Is the BMW iX1 a good car?

The BMW iX1 is the German brand’s all-electric version of the ever-popular X1 SUV. The iX1 takes inspiration from the bulkier BMW iX flagship, while being the most compact family option of BMW's electric SUVs. It’s like getting the latest phone that’s one step down from the most advanced version but still on trend.

Coming with the same exterior design as the latest X1, there are some blue tweaks alongside the kidney grille and angular headlights to mark out the electric version, but it's all very subtle. Sportier models also come with a more aggressive design. You get angular rear lights too with a 3D effect, plus a large rear window and sporty elements, such as the roof spoiler and low-end diffuser.

Inside, there are few buttons cluttering the cabin – although that does mean you get fiddly infotainment and climate controls thanks to too many switches being removed. There’s also no iDrive control dial, which means you have to do all major functions through the touchscreen. The design is pleasing on the whole though, with soft materials used up high and on all the main touch points.

In the back there’s a decent amount of space, with good head and knee room. Although quality on the whole is fine, it takes a step down from the front part of the cabin. That being said, it still feels like a top product.

Practicality-wise, the iX1 also holds its own, with an impressive 490-litre boot – only 10 litres less than the flagship iX. That being said, the boot is marginally smaller than that of the Audi Q4 e-tron, though larger than that of the Volvo XC40 Recharge.

With iX-style driving dynamics, the iX1 is well-balanced and has a premium feel. xLine has more than enough equipment for everything you need

The iX1 comes with a pair of model options, both powered by the same 65kWh motor. The more powerful is the 313hp all-wheel drive xDrive30 complete with two electric motors, with one mounted on each axle for all-wheel drive. You get an official range of up to 270 miles, with the top M Sport having a slightly reduced max range of 267 miles. Then there's the front-wheel drive 204hp eDrive20 with a range of up to 294 miles.

When you’re driving, it’s odd how much the iX1 feels like driving the much larger iX. The overall experience is refined and quiet, with little disruption from the outside world in terms of noise. It’s comfortable while cruising, but weighing over two tonnes contributes to the fact that you will feel some bumps through the cabin.

Around town is where the iX1 impresses most, as it is super quiet and with great visibility all round, you shouldn’t get caught out. The steering is light for easy manoeuvring, while it also doesn’t feel too big. The 'B' drive mode increases brake regen but doesn’t provide full one-pedal drive.

Twistier roads do show up the weight again, as there's some lean through the bends if you’re going at higher speeds. But the steering, although lacking feel, is direct and you have plenty of grip.

The iX1 feels remarkably composed and capable, and should be the benchmark if you’re in the market for an electric family SUV. It’s a shame that it’s rather expensive though.

You'll want to check out the latest BMW iX1 deals on Carwow, then, to see how much you could save. There are also great deals on used iX1s, as well as other used BMWs. If you’re also interested in changing your car altogether, you can sell your car through Carwow, with dealers bidding on your car so you can get the best price.

How much is the BMW iX1?

The BMW iX1 has a RRP range of £46,205 to £61,835. However, with Carwow you can save on average £4,283. Prices start at £42,581 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £461. The price of a used BMW iX1 on Carwow starts at £37,420.

Our most popular versions of the BMW iX1 are:

Model version Carwow price from
150kW eDrive20 Sport 65kWh 5dr Auto £42,581 Compare offers

The iX1 is competitively priced when you compare it with small electric SUVs from the likes of Audi, Volvo and Mercedes, although there’s a bit of divergence in terms of performance and battery size. For example, the Volvo XC40 Recharge is a touch more expensive at the top end of the model line-ups, but offers both more power and a larger battery so therefore longer range. Whereas the Mercedes EQA 350 AMG Line is slightly more expensive, but less powerful and has a smaller battery.

It pays to check the specs if you’re looking for a small premium electric SUV and make sure the car you’re going for ticks your range and performance boxes, as well as style, practicality and badge appeal. Unless you want a Tesla, as the Model Y has plenty of space and an excellent official range figure for a price that undercuts the premium brands mentioned here.

It’s a jump of almost £6,000 to go from the two-wheel drive eDrive20 model up to the all-wheel drive xDrive30 iX1, which adds another 83hp but knocks in the region of 20 miles off the official range figure, depending on specification. The step from Sport to X Line spec on the two-wheel drive car is £2,000, mainly bringing large-scale cosmetic upgrades that make the car look less plain, while the jump to the M Sport range-topper is slightly more and adds sports seats and nicer alloy wheels among other goodies.

Performance and drive comfort

The iX1 is quiet and refined on the motorway, but around town you feel every bump in the road

In town

Electric vehicles tend to be at their best in town, where silent relaxed progress can be made, and the stop-start nature of driving helps the efficiency. The iX1 has those relaxed silent round-town qualities, and is an easy car to pilot around crowded streets. The only hindrance to good all-round visibility is a thick rear pillar.

But the BMW struggles a little with a road that’s not smooth, particularly broken surfaces where it makes sure you know about every bump. It’s certainly not a car designed to cushion and cosset its occupants. It doesn’t thump horribly over bumps, just alerts you to every surface change or hole in the road.

It’s also a shame that there aren’t more stages to the brake energy regeneration system. While some EVs are able to come to a complete halt without needing to use the brake pedal, the iX1 has a milder and less intrusive version. Some may prefer that but it’s a shame the maximum setting isn’t stronger.

On the motorway

The iX1 is impressively quiet and refined on the motorway. Electric cars’ road and wind noise can sometimes be amplified by the lack of engine rumble, but that’s not the case here, bar a minimal amount of tyre noise. At higher speeds, a lot of that bumpy around-town feeling seems to smooth out too.

Efficiency drops as the speed rises, as with all EVs, but it’s a capable and happy long-distance companion - allowing for charging stops. But when you are public charging, the iX1’s maximum charge speed is 130kW, which isn’t particularly fast. Volvo and Tesla in particular are well ahead for maximum charge speed.

On a twisty road

All BMWs feel more at home than the average EV SUV when the road goes twisty, but you can feel the additional weight in what isn’t a big car when you try and push the speed up on a country road. It just doesn’t feel as nimble as smaller BMWs are supposed to be. But it’s nothing serious, and if you’re not an enthusiastic driver then it’s unlikely to be a big deal. Flick to the sport setting and you get slightly heavier steering and improved throttle response making it a bit more lively. But it’s still nowhere near as much fun as you’d have in a BMW 1 Series hatchback.

Space and practicality

Decent boot space, but the back seats aren’t the most accommodating for adults

Up-front, the comfortable and supportive seats have a good range of adjustment, including BMW’s hallmark cushion that pops out for more under-thigh support.

You get a pair of USB-C sockets and a 12V power supply, and there’s a big open stowage area at floor level. There’s an odd storage spot under the armrest though, it’s too small for a smartphone and opens towards the passenger so you’ll have to reach over the top from the driver’s seat. The armrest itself is also fixed rather than adjustable.

The door bins are deep but not lined so anything small you put in there will slide around noisily, and the pair of cupholders are rubber-bottomed so help keep cans or bottles stable. There’s also a decent amount of space in the glovebox.

The optional wireless charging pad almost acts as a phone display case, angling the screen up towards the driver. Whether that’s good or bad, we’ll leave you to decide for yourself, as you can see the screen rather than it being tucked away flat like most charging pads.

Space in the back seats

If the front passengers are reasonably tall you’ll find yourself a little light on legroom in the back, not helped by the hard seat backs that aren’t particularly pleasant to rub your knees against. Headroom is good enough though, thanks to the iX1’s SUV shape, and you’ll also find a pair of USB-C sockets and some chunky door bins in the rear as well as a netted area in the back of each front seat.

The middle of the rear seats isn’t the place to be though; a slight rise between the two outer ones means you’re on a rounded cushion, and despite being an EV, there’s no flat floor in the back - there’s a plastic moulding to straddle that means that middle passenger will have to stick a foot either side. But you can at least get your feet under the front seats.

Boot space

The BMW iX1 has a decent amount of boot space at 490 litres, rising to 1,495 when you drop the rear seats. That’s favourable compared with the Mercedes EQA (340 litres) and Volvo XC40 Recharge (452 litres), but throw the Audi Q4 e-tron into the mix, and its 520 litres looks good. Until you add the Tesla Model Y and its enormous 854-litre boot space, of course.

The iX1 boot offers some nice practical touches, including four bag hooks, a little recessed area for smaller items and a 12V socket. The boot floor is nice and flat to the sill, so it’s easy to slide things in and out.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Nice interior quality and style, but although the touchscreen is responsive, it’s a shame BMW has taken out the rotary controller

The cabin materials and overall appearance emphasise that the iX1 is still a premium product despite its smaller dimensions, with a good mix of materials and colours brightening things up where BMWs can sometimes be a little dark. There are some harder plastics at knee level, but further up, the bits you see and touch are all nice.

Even though it’s a decent size at 10.7 inches, the touchscreen doesn’t dominate the cabin like some cars do, such as the Tesla Model Y or Ford Mustang Mach-e. But it is very responsive to the touch, and it’s still one of the more user-friendly systems, despite BMW sacrificing the handy rotary controller between the front seats at the altar of tidying up the cabin.

Gadget-wise, the iX1 enforces BMW’s reputation for liking you to tick an options box or two, with tech such as keyless entry, wireless phone charging, adaptive LED headlamps and a head-up display all on the extras list.

Electric range, charging and tax

There are two power options for the BMW iX1. You can either have it in 204hp front-wheel drive eDrive 20 form, or add another motor to the rear wheels and you end up with the 313hp xDrive model.

The 0-62mph acceleration time drops by a hefty three seconds with the all-wheel drive car, although the range is down from a maximum of 294 miles on the cheaper and less powerful model to a best of 270 miles on the xDrive. That’s not great when you look at Tesla and Volvo being able to offer cars with bigger batteries and therefore both over 330 miles on the official test, while Audi’s Q4 e-tron is also above 300 miles in comparable ‘50’-badged form.

Efficiency also drops from up to 4.0 miles per kWh, depending on specification, to a best of 3.7 mi/kWh when you go for the extra power. But that’s still a good result, being slightly more efficient than the 3.5 of the Audi Q4 e-tron or 3.4 of Mercedes’ EQA, although Tesla’s Model Y Long Range matches it at 3.7 miles/kWh.

Charging speed is another area where the iX1 fails to lead the pack, with a best speed of 130kW, which is up on the Mercedes EQA’s poor 100kW, but the Audi Q4 e-tron can take it slightly faster at 135kW, and then there’s a big jump to Volvo’s 200kW and Tesla’s 250kW.

But, like all electric vehicles, there are cost savings in terms of vastly reduced road tax, and company car drivers will save a fortune compared to a plug-in hybrid or especially a petrol X1 model.

Safety and security

The latest iX1 and X1 models haven’t been tested by safety expert Euro NCAP as yet, but all cars get a driver attentiveness assistant and lane assist, as well as front and rear parking sensors and a parking camera. Clever tech like a head-up display and adaptive cruise control are pricey options.

Reliability and problems

BMW’s reliability record isn’t up with the absolute best in the industry, but neither is it down near the bottom, and with EVs’ reduced moving parts, you should hopefully find minimal problems with your iX1.

BMW’s regular three-year warranty with unlimited mileage restriction is alive and well here - it’s not as much as Kia or Hyundai offer (or Lexus with annual servicing at its dealer network), but at least it’s beyond the three-year/60,000-mile bare minimum.

The EV battery warranty runs to eight years or 100,000 miles, at which time BMW guarantees 66.5% of capacity.

Buy or lease the BMW iX1 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £46,205 - £61,835 Avg. Carwow saving £4,283 off RRP
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