2023 BMW X1 Aces IIHS Passenger-Side Small Overlap Front Crash Test

As opposed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety takes crash testing more seriously. The nonprofit organization's overlap tests are very demanding, yet the smallest crossover in BMW's lineup aced the passenger-side test like a champ, thus earning the highest safety accolade.
2023 BMW X1 crash test 13 photos
Photo: IIHS / edited
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In the passenger-side small overlap front crash test, a given vehicle impacts a rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour). The IIHS requires 25 percent of the vehicle's width to overlap the barrier. Depending on the damage, ratings ranging from poor to good are awarded. The X1 further aced the driver-side test, as well as the moderate overlap front and updated side crash tests. To earn the top rating, a vehicle also needs good headlights and superior front crash prevention.

Not surprising anyone, BMW did its homework. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety didn't like the seat belt reminders, though, due to the warning system's low volume. Pictured in white, the vehicle in the video below is an xDrive-equipped 28i. That's BMW vernacular for all-wheel drive and 2.0-liter turbo, with all X1s now featuring a seven-speed transmission of the dual-clutch variety produced by Getrag.

That wasn't always the case, you see. For the previous generation, BMW also offered torque-converter automatics and a six-speed manual. The first-ever X1 was different in bigger ways, boasting a rear-biased platform as opposed to the front-biased platforms of the second and third generations.

Internally referred to as U11, the 2023 model has a long-wheelbase sibling – the U12 – in the People's Republic of China. Over in the United States, the X1 comes exclusively as the xDrive28i with a price tag of $39,100 (sans destination).

That's more than $40,000 with taxes and options, which may seem like a lot for a C-segment crossover. Then again, the X1 is nicely equipped from the outset in this part of the world. The list begins with full-LED headlights, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the aforementioned xDrive system.

Its four-cylinder turbo produces a respectable 241 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm), which is more than enough for a premium-oriented vehicle of this footprint and weight. Combined city/highway gas mileage is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km).

Available with xLine and M Sport visual packages, the X1 comes in 12 exterior colors, of which the pictured Alpine White and Jet Black are no-cost finishes. Direct rivals of the small Bimmer include the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo XC40, as well as the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3.

There are no plans to bring the full-electric iX1 stateside, though. The zero-emission alternative promises up to 439 kilometers (273 miles) under WLTP in Europe for the xDrive30 version, which needs only 5.6 seconds to reach 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour). This acceleration wouldn't have been possible without its dual-motor setup, which belts out 230 kW (308 hp) and 494 Nm (364 lb-ft).

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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