The BMW X1 is the cheapest of the X-range, so does this mean you’re short changed of the BMW experience?
You can pick between two engines. The 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 240hp and can be hand in either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive and the top of the range 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder producing 300hp can only be had with all-wheel-drive. Our money goes to the xDrive28i which makes the most sense financially.
On the road the X1 is quite easy to drive thanks to its compact dimensions. Steering feels direct and offers plenty of feedback and the ride overall is good but could be better. Our biggest complaint is the stop/start system which sends shutters through the entire car when the engine reactivates. For a luxury brand this is just downright disappointing. The four-cylinder at idle sounds like a diesel engine with way too much clatter noise than we’d like.
In the cabin there is plenty of room for four, adding a fifth person is pushing it. The large transmission tunnel makes life for the middleman uncomfortable. Plus there really isn’t a lot of legroom in the back compared to some indirect competitors which offer more space. The dashboard is the typical minimalistic design. We however were disappointed with the overall quality of the materials used. Much of the plastics felt cheap and below the standards we’ve come to expect of BMW. The boot offers decent space but it’s far from class leading.
Automatic climate control, rain sensing windshield wipers and integrated roof rails come standard. You’ll have to step up to the top of the range to get xenon headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels and Bluetooth connectivity.
If you have to have a compact crossover with a BMW badge the X1 is for you. Otherwise we highly suggest looking at its indirect competition which offers a more compelling package.
Likes: Turbo engines offer plenty of pep when needed. Starting price is attractive too. Overall comfortable crossover that is classy thanks to the BMW badge.
Dislikes: Start/stop technology sends shutters through the cabin when engine reactivates. Typical BMW stingy with the standard features, the options can sky rocket price quickly too.
Xdrive28i is the pick of the range. If you stay clear of the options list and turn off the stop/start system it really isn’t a bad choice. However it isn’t great either.