It’s hard to believe that the F48 BMW X1 has managed to soldier on without any major changes for nearly four years, but it’s finally time for it to go under the knife. This latest facelift, or Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) in BMW speak, introduces a rather modest raft of changes that are mostly cosmetic in nature, plus a plug-in hybrid variant that will be sold for the first time outside China.

On the outside, the compact SUV gets a new front fascia that is reminiscent of the one on the latest X3, with a larger double kidney grille (now joined in the middle, just like the new 1 Series), three-dimensional “corona ring” daytime running lights for the LED headlights and slimline LED fog lights that now fit within the reshaped corner air inlets. At the back, you get optional LED tail lights with L-shaped graphics.

Elsewhere, the tail pipes have been made larger, and all four-cylinder models now come with twin pipes. The colours for the rear bumper inserts have also been switched around, with the Sport Line also getting gloss black underbody protection. Options include the redesigned M Sport package (now with larger brakes), four new 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs and a lighting package that adds projected “X1” puddle lights.

Inside, the tweaks are minimal, limited to contrast stitching on the dashboard, new fabric and Sensatec faux leather upholstery options and the introduction of BMW’s sixth-generation (not the latest version as seen on the new 1 and 3 Series) iDrive infotainment system with its tiled interface. The centre display is now available in 10.25-inch form as a touchscreen for the first time.

At launch, the facelifted X1 is available with a choice of three engines, all of which are Euro 6d-compliant. The new base model is now the front-wheel drive sDrive16d that uses a 116 hp/270 Nm 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder diesel mill and is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. It delivers a combined fuel consumption figure of between 4.1 and 4.4 litres per 100 km.

The all-wheel drive xDrive25i petrol and xDrive25d diesel soldier on with the same 231 hp 2.0 litre four-pots as before, with torque outputs of 350 Nm and 450 Nm respectively. They are both only offered with the DCT and get from zero to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds for the petrol and 6.6 seconds for the diesel. Fuel consumption figures are 6.3 to 6.8 litres per 100 km for the xDrive25i and 4.9 to 5.2 litres per 100 km for the xDrive25d.

Starting next March, BMW will also offer an xDrive25e plug-in hybrid, bringing over the powertrain from the China-only xDrive25Le. This includes a 125 hp/220 Nm 1.5 litre petrol mill driving the front wheels, a 95 hp/165 Nm driving the rears and a 9.7 kWh lithium-ion battery delivering an all-electric range of over 50 km.