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New BMW X1 Review

RRP from
average carwow saving
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Good to drive
  • Practical
  • Cheap to run
  • Expensive
  • Desirable extras are optional
  • Road noise at speed
47.1 - 61.4
CO2 emissions
120 - 136 g/km
First year road tax
£205 - £515
Safety rating

The BMW X1 is a high quality small SUV that’s spacious, comfortable and packed with technology. It’s just that most of the cool features are optional and overall the car is pricey

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Why not test drive the BMW X1 yourself at a dealer near you?

If you’re looking to upgrade from your BMW 1 Series or Audi A3 family hatchback to an SUV, the BMW X1 is a good choice – it’s still as easy to drive but you get more interior space and a better view of the road ahead.

You also get an exterior look that is premium but, ultimately, not as interesting as a Volvo XC40, for example. You can still add a touch of aggressive styling to the X1 if you go for the M Sport model.

M Sport models also get a slightly sportier interior with a different steering wheel, but even as standard, you’ll notice how the dashboard buttons are angled towards you, the driver. Build quality and material choice are also very good even if an Audi Q2 is even better in both regards.

What’s guaranteed in the BMW X1 is a good driving position that you can achieve fairly quickly thanks to the broad range of adjustment. You can get optional M Sport seats with bigger side bolsters and even more adjustment.

Moving onto the back seats, you’ll find there’s good space all round even if you can’t quite fit three adults back there. The boot is pretty big, at 505 litres, which is about one soft bag larger than the Mercedes GLA boot. The square, usable shape of the boot and the many load-securing solutions make the X1 a practical car.

The BMW X1 is perfect if you've outgrown your current premium small car and want an upgrade that’s enjoyable to drive

Mat Watson
carwow expert

If you do intend to fill the boot on every trip, it’s worth going for one of the diesel engines. Even the entry-level 18d is powerful enough for quick overtakes so go for the more powerful diesels only if extra performance is top priority. The petrol engines are best around town, but are also decently quiet on the motorway as well – they can’t match the fuel efficiency of the diesels, though.

No matter the engine you go for, you’ll enjoy driving the X1. The steering reacts sharply, but also accurately, letting you place the car on the road with confidence. The BMW X1 is actually the most fun to drive among alternatives and the rock-hard ride of the old X1 has been replaced by a more than decent set up, that’s still a tad on the firm side. You can spec up adaptive dampers that, in their softest setting, do a good job of ironing out bumps in the road.

The aforementioned adaptive dampers are just one of a myriad of features that improve the BMW X1, but they are optional. A highly recommended option is the head-up display which gives you lots of info such as the speed limit and sat nav directions right in front of you so you don’t even need to look down at the dials.

Picking all the desirable options does add to the price, but by using our BMW X1 deals, you can probably get a good part of them within budget. If you want to learn more about the X1, check out the following interior, practicality, driving and specification sections.

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