The X1 was a bit of an oddball when it was first launched. It wasn’t that much cheaper than an X3 and the interior didn’t even live up to the standards that BMW had set. Fast forward to the newest generation of the X1 and you will either love it or loathe it. In simpler times it’s no longer rear wheel drive. Has BMW sold its soul?The sole 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers plenty of flexibility thanks to high torque at low revs. You won’t feel short changed on power either, but those seeking more power will have to venture to the Mercedes GLA AMG. We feel that this engine is enough for this car. It doesn’t feel underpowered and it certainly is quick on its toes when you need it to be. We love how the combination of comfort and sport translates well around town and on the highway. You will love driving the X1 in tight corners and bends, as it handles them well. You’ll almost forget that the X1 uses a front wheel drive Mini Platform. The engine is also used in the JCW tuned Minis. Steering feedback is generally responsive and well sorted and the ride comfort on some surfaces is a little firm, this highly depends if you stick with the standard alloys and don’t option for the larger 19-inch alloys like our tester car has.
The front seats offer plenty of support and adjustment while there’s plenty of headroom and legroom. Those in the rear seat will also find that comfort and space is generous. The boot space is actually quite good considering that the X1 size. The infotainment screen is easy to navigate through, with all the controls and dials within reach of the driver’s hand. We love the minimalistic approach the interior but some could easily say that it’s a bit boring looking compared to rivals from Audi and Mercedes. We can say that it is easier to navigate through and the materials do feel just as classy.
Our tester car came kitted with electronic stability control, dual zone climate control, rain sensing windshield wipers and split folding rear seat. Optional extras included a business navigation system, cold weather package along with driving assistance package. We wish that our tester car came with the optional LED headlights because the standard halogen headlamps are weak in comparison and are not up to BMW Standards.
You won’t feel shortchanged with the X1 until you look at indirect rivals for similar money. Badge snobs won’t care because it’s a BMW and that’s all that matters.
Likes: It’s the cheapest of the BMW crossover range. The turbo engine is smooth and has low running costs. We love this one more than the previous generation X1.
Dislikes: Front-wheel-drive platform may scare off BMW Purists. We would love to see an M-tuned version.