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BMW iX1 is a premium, all-electric, compact-SUV

But first, let’s dispel the doubt around the meaning of ‘SAV’. Used exclusively by BMW, the acronym means ‘Sports Activity Vehicle.’ BMW claim that the difference between a SAV and an SUV, is that SUVs tend to have underwhelming powertrains and are generally incapable off-road. The SAV line-up supposedly remedies this issue. Retaining the space and practicality of a traditional SUV, a SAV packs a higher-performing powertrain, maximising torque and performance.

Anyway, onto the BMW iX1.

BMW iX1 static hero

How big is the BMW iX1?

The new model is slightly bigger than the previous iteration, with the exact dimension as follows: 4,500mm (L) x 1,845mm (W) x 1,642mm (H) and a towing capacity of 1,200kg.

What’s the BMW iX1 like on the inside?

As would be expected from a premium SUV, the cockpit of the iX1 is generally a nice place to be.

The Large Curved Display wraps across a portion of the dashboard and is comprised of two screens: a 10.25-inch infotainment screen displays the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functions and playback options for the 100-watt six-speaker audio-system. It’s also home to BMW Maps. The in-house navigation system implements quality of life features designed to improve the driving experience. For example, once a destination is set, a route will be automatically configured to include charging points if the current range is insufficient to complete the journey.

The 10.7-inch control display behind the steering wheel acts as a digital instrument cluster, displaying vital driver information.

Ambient lighting adds to the luxurious feel, with the ‘floating’ armrest housing integral controls for volume control, parking brake and gear selection (R-N-D-P).

BMW iX1 Interior

BMW iX1 Powertrain & Charging

The BMW iX1 has two motors: one on the front axle and another at the rear. Combined power for both axles is 313hp with an overall torque figure of 494Nm, resulting in an AWD drivetrain that should be able to handle rugged terrain. Fancy adaptive M suspension comes as standard, too. Exclusively benefitting the electric model is increased body rigidity as well, increasing positive steering feedback and a tighter turn-in response.

All of which should translate into a steady-footed 4x4 - smoothing out rough stuff and creating a supple ride on tarmac.

In regards to performance, the BMW iX1 eDrive30 is the fastest accelerating of all X1 variants. Going from 0-62mph takes just 5.7s and tops out at 112mph.

Battery wise, the iX1 ‘SAV’ comes fitted with a 64.7kWh battery pack. According to WLTP figures, a single charge should grant the BMW a range of 257-272 miles. However, expect the ‘real world range’ to hover around the 200 mile mark depending on the weather.

Once the battery is flat, filling it back up is quick and easy. 11kW home-charging via single or three-phase AC will see the battery to full in only 6 hours 30 mins. Head to a 130kW rapid charger out on the road though, and the battery can charge from 10-80% in less than 30 minutes. Or if you’re in a rush, 75 miles of range can be attained in just 10 minutes.

Clever battery preheating can be started manually on the approach to a rapid charger, significantly reducing the charge time compared to EVs without the tech. The My BMW App allows drivers to remotely control charging of the battery, check charge level and start/halt charging.

Planet SAV-ing

The BMW iX1 scratches a premium itch for eco-friendly compact-SUVs. With a plethora of great features and innovative German engineering, the iX1 is likely to pick up a large market-share of the ever-increasing green EV market.