The BMW X1 is just about spacious enough for five adults, has a big boot and makes fitting a child seat easy, but backache sufferers will be unhappy that lumbar adjustment is optional
You’ll be able to get comfy behind the wheel of the BMW X1 no matter how tall or short you are, thanks to a driver’s seat and steering wheel with a full range of adjustment. The BMW’s dashboard points towards the driver, so everything is really easy to operate, and the pedals in the X1 aren’t offset like they are in other BMW models.
Heated seats are fitted as standard to xLine and M Sport cars but are a £295 option on the rest of the range, while lumbar support is an annoying £195 option on all models. Both options are worth considering if you’re susceptible to back ache on long drives.
The electric front seats with driver memory are also worth buying if you share the car with another driver. Aside from having electric adjustment that’s less fiddly than doing it manually, their memory function means the seat can return back to your exact driving position at the press of a button.
There’s no electrical adjustment on the back seats but they’re still really practical. Adults will be fine in there and the BMW has more head and legroom than you get in the Mercedes GLA or Audi Q3. The seat even reclines a few degrees to let you relax on a long journey and it slides forwards and backwards on runners so you can choose between having more rear legroom or extra boot space.
The BMW X1 also copes admirably with three in the back. The middle seat is a little narrow, but a third passenger will be comfy enough, and the hump in the floor isn’t an issue because the footwells are big enough to share.
Even fitting a child seats is easy. The X1’s SUV-style raised ride height means you don’t have to bend your back when fitting the seat, plus the Isofix points are clearly marked and the doors open wide.
The vast amount of storage space the BMW X1 offers cements its status as a great family car. All the door pockets can carry more than one bottle of water at a time, the glovebox is huge enough to take a large and a smaller bottle of water at the same time, and there’s a hidden cubby under the front centre armrest complete with a USB plug to charge your phone.
That’s not all. The BMW X1 comes with an Extended Storage pack fitted as standard, which throws in map holders on the backs of the front seats, a rear centre armrest with two cupholders and a phone tray, a 12V socket for the rear seats and the boot, and a height adjustable cargo net.
The BMW X1 proves an SUV can be fun to drive and very practical – no other car this size walks that tightrope quite so well
The BMW X1 boot has a 505-litre capacity that’s bigger than you get in the Mercedes GLA (481 litres) and the Audi Q3 (420 litres).
It also loaded with features with various cubbies and tethers to keep the boot tidy and your luggage secure, a 12V socket that’s handy for a portable vacuum, and huge underfloor storage that’ll swallow a small suitcase.
The general design is also well thought out. There’s no load lip so you can slide in heavy luggage without having to lift it in and the floor remains flat when you fold the rear seats away. The only annoyance is the two-piece rear parcel shelf that is a pain to remove and replace.
With the back seats up, the BMW X1 has no problem carrying a baby stroller or a set of golf clubs and its outright capacity means it is better able for carrying suitcases than the likes of the Audi Q3 or the Mercedes GLA.
Fold the back seats down and space leaps to 1,550 litres, which means the BMW X1 has room for a bike without you having to take its wheels off, and even with a full complement of cardboard boxes there’s space left over for a suitcase and soft bags.
All models come with handy 40:20:40 splitting rear seats that mean you can carry a maximum of two people in the rear with something long poking through from the boot.