The BMW X1’s interior feels expensive and its dashboard is intuitively laid out. Pricey M Sport cars get lovely Alcantara suede seats, but the top-of-range infotainment is optional even in these models
SE cars are the cheapest in the BMW X1 range, so they do without leather upholstery as standard although the black fabric you get instead feels quite expensive and hides stains. Even in the entry-level model the plastics are soft touch and the Oxide Silver dashboard trims look nice – there’s a real underlying sense of quality.
Sport models are next in line. They still don’t have leather upholstery, but you do get shiny black plastic trims, contrast stitching on the instrument panel and sports seats that make Sport models look and feel a tiny bit nicer than the basic car.
That said, xLine models are quite a bit more luxurious. They have real leather seats, BMW-branded kickplates in the door openings and shiny black-plastic trim with metallic highlights that feel reassuringly cold-to-the-touch.
If you want to go full bling though, you’ll need to go for an M Sport cars. These come with Alcantara leather upholstery, contrast stitching on the centre console, Aluminium Hexagon trim pieces with Estoril Blue highlights and M Sport kick plates in the door openings.
Swapping the basic 6.5-inch infotainment screen for the 10.25-inch BMW Navigation Plus version is a bit like trading in your old HD TV for a huge LCD with 4K picture quality
The BMW X1 comes fitted as standard with a 6.5-inch sat-nav display that has all the basics and is easier to use than the systems in the Mercedes GLA and Audi Q3. It comes with a wireless Bluetooth phone connection and a USB plug. The X1 has a scroll wheel between the two front seats that makes navigating the menus easy even when you’re on the move.
Although the basic system’s actually pretty good, if you want the best in tech you’ll need to have the BMW Navigation Plus system. It has a larger 8.8-inch screen and a quicker processor that makes it slicker to operate. It gets the same scroll knob as basic models, but adds a touch sensitive pad. It means you can write in postcodes with your finger, although it’s a little bit pointless because it’s quicker to manually select characters with the scroll knob.
The upgraded sat-nav comes as part of a £1,370 Navigation Plus Package that includes a head-up display that projects your speed and upcoming sat-nav directions onto the inside of the windscreen – great for helping you keep your eyes on the road.
If you’re a fan of your music it’s also worth upgrading the standard stereo – which is decent, but not spectacular – to the Harman Kardon system. It has 360W output and 12 speakers (including two subwoofers) that give brilliant detail and thumping power when you want it.