The X1 is a five-door, five-seater with a clear resemblance to the larger X3 and X5 SUVs. Both four-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive variants will be offered, badged xDrive and sDrive respectively.
No petrol models will be offered in the UK, but there will be a choice of three diesels.
The engines – all 2.0-litre - feature BMW's Efficient Dynamics fuel-saving technology, including stop-start and brake energy regeneration, and a gearchange indicator.
BMW X1: What do you get?
Stability, traction and cornering brake control are standard, along with side and curtain airbags, run-flat tyres, and daytime running lights; high-performance brakes, xenon and adaptive headlights, and high-beam assist are optional.
The X1 gets the latest version of the iDrive control system. BMW says the cabin 'three full-sized seats at the rear'. The rear seat backrest can be tilted, and folded in a 40/20/20 split; there's a 420-litre boot and up to 1350 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seats folded.
The X1 will come to the UK in SE specification only, at least at first, with options including a Design pack (oyster-coloured leather, wood trim and anthracite headlining), sat-nav, stereo upgrades and a panoramic glass roof.
UK sales of most versions start in October, with the sDrive18d and xDrive18d following in December. Pricing is from £22,660 (sDrive18d SE); four-wheel-drive models start from £23,940 (xDrive18d SE) and the top-end xDrive23d SE is £29,055.