2023 BMW X1 M35i Review – Entry-Level M Performance

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The next third generation BMW X1 is a car that interests us surprisingly. Typically the X1 is a mom / dad mobile, designed to take the kids to school, then take mum / dad to work, rinse and repeat. However, the second-gen X1 is a better car to drive than you might think, with surprisingly good steering and chassis dynamics for a front-wheel drive crossover. It’s not a canyon carver but it’s a fun thing to drive. And that will only get better with the addition of an M Performance model, which is why these new spy photos are intriguing. (We don’t have the photos but you can see them here)

I still remember driving the second generation X1 for the first time and being pleasantly surprised. This new model, therefore, with its improved chassis dynamics, better engines, a nicer interior and a brand new M Performance version.

The third generation BMW X1 will have its own M35i variant, similar to the X2 and the 2 Series Gran Coupé. If its engine is to be the same as the other two, which we assume it will be, the X1 M35i will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 301 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. It will almost certainly be paired with BMW’s Aisin eight-speed car and a Haldex-based all-wheel drive system.

2022 bmw x1 sav 02 830x830
Image by @wilcoblok on Instagram

In these photos the BMW X1 M35i looks pretty cool. It’s a little bigger than the two previous generations; with the first looking like a mutated wagon and the second looking like a generic crossover; but it looks better too. The roofline is a bit sportier than before, its overhangs are shorter than you might imagine from a front-wheel-drive crossover, and its lights seem to look cool. The most interesting design feature, however, is its quadruple exhaust.

For centuries, proper BMW M cars have been visually separated from their standard counterparts with quadruple exhausts. Since the late 90s, only suitable M-Division vehicles had four pipes at the rear. Now, however, BMW is migrating that design to its M Performance cars and a crossover. While this certainly makes the X1 M35i cool, it will upset the M loyalists, who will feel like it dilutes the M-brand design.

Exhaust heresy aside, the BMW X1 M35i is likely to be a cool little car. There are a lot of BMW enthusiasts out there who need the extra space but also want something premium and fuel efficient. The BMW X1, while not an enthusiast’s car per se, fits this bill perfectly.

[Source: Car Scoops]

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