BMW X1 - The small crossover SUV with big expectations

The BMW X1 is a small crossover SUV which promises to deliver and exceed all expectations. The X1 combines the practicality of an SUV, with the performance and drivability we've become accustomed to, along with a premium interior.

The BMW X1 was first released in 2009, sharing the same platform as the BMW 3 Series, and offered buyers a more affordable option to get onto the luxury SUV ladder. The X1 is a five-door, five-seater, subcompact SUV with a surprising amount of space and comfort. In 2015, BMW released an updated 2nd generation version of the X1, giving it a more attractive and sporty body to keep it ahead of the chasing pack.

The BMW X1 is now available with a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, along with front-wheel and all-wheel-drive systems. With an array of premium rivals to fend off, such as the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque, the BMW X1 needs to continue to push and develop. To help achieve this, BMW has made a few updates for its mid-life facelift models to help maintain its dominance in the small luxury SUV market.


There are four basic trim levels to choose from when selecting a BMW X1; SE, xLine, Sport and M Sport and an array of economical petrol and diesel engines along with a new plug-in hybrid model badged the xDrive25e.

Continue reading the yoauto review to help you decide if the BMW X1 is the right car for you. If the X1 doesn't tick all of your boxes, then don't forget to visit our Used Car buying page, where you will find thousands of cars available across the UK at excellent prices.

Engines, Power and Performance

The BMW X1 engine line up consists of just two petrol, two diesel and one plug-in petrol hybrid offering a wide selection of power, performance and efficiency levels. Depending on the engine selected, the engines are available with either a six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed sport DCT automatic or the new eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission - all of which work tremendously with the accompanying engine.

The petrol line-up kicks off with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, which develops 140hp and 220Nm of torque capable of getting from 0-62mph in 9.7secs.

The other petrol engine is a new BMW TwinPower Turbo, 2-litre, four-cylinder unit developing 192hp and 280Nm of torque. It is available with front-wheel-drive (sDrive) or all-wheel-drive (xDrive) with the sDrive capable of getting from 0-62mph in 7.7secs and the xDrive 7.4secs.


The diesel option is a 2-litre, four-cylinder engine which has two different power outputs. The entry-level diesel has 150hp and 350Nm of torque. It is available in sDrive or xDrive, both of which enable the X1 to get from 0-62mph, in 9.4secs.

The higher-powered diesel engine has 190hp and 400Nm of torque and is fitted with BMW's all-wheel-drive (xDrive) system. It is capable of racing from 0-62mph in 7.8secs, making it nearly as fast as its petrol alternative.

Finally, there is the new plug-in hybrid model badged the xDrive25e which pairs the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, which combine to develop 217hp and 385Nm of torque. It is the most powerful BMW X1 available and is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in just 6.9secs and has a claimed electric-only range of 32miles (WLTP combined).

Interior Quality and Technology

BMW interiors are well known for being well made, using premium materials and with a build quality second to none. The new BMW X1 is no different. It sits above most of its main rivals, such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3. The interior is plush and luxurious with plenty of soft-touch plastics and quality fabrics throughout.


Each BMW X1 comes with a generous amount of equipment as standard, including an 8.8-inch colour touchscreen supporting the impressive BMW iDrive infotainment system. Other standard features include BMW Navigation, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay preparation and automatic air conditioning.

Some of the optional extras include a larger 10.25-inch central colour touchscreen, a 5.7-inch colour digital driver display cluster and a crisp and clear head-up display (HUD). Some of these options are available as part of the Technology Pack 2 at a cost of £1,250 or included in higher trim models.


Space, Practicality and Safety

The new BMW X1 is more spacious and practical than its predecessor, making it much more family-friendly. A big part of the extra space gained is due to BMW changing to a transverse engine layout.

In the front of the X1, you will find as much room as you could possibly want, no matter how tall you are, headroom and legroom are a big plus. The front seats both have a generous amount of adjustment, as does the steering wheel, so the driver should have little issue finding the right driving position.


As you move into the rear, again you will find great levels of space, much better than that found in the previous generation model. A couple of 6ft+ adults will have little to complain about when it comes to headroom and legroom. Three adults could squeeze in the back, but ideally only for short journeys, as is the same for all small SUV of this ilk.

There are various storage cubbies throughout the cabin including a couple of cupholders in the front, generous door pockets and a useful and spacious cubby under the central armrest.

The boot of the new BMW X1 has grown significantly over its predecessor and now has a capacity of 505-litres, capable of rising to 1550-litres with the rear seats folded down. This trumps both the Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 whose boots have a capacity of 472/1156-litres and 460/1336-litres respectively.


The BMW X1 was awarded a 5-star rating by Euro NCAP in 2015 when it was last safety tested. The latest BMW X1 benefits from added safety technology and assists as standard, such as cruise control with brake function, multiple airbags and Active Guard. Active Guard is a safety pack consisting of various safety features such as City Collision Mitigation, Forward vehicle collision warning, and Speed Limit Information.

As you move up the trim levels, more safety assists and features are included as standard, as well as BMW offering various optional safety packages.

The new BMW X1 is a marked improvement over the outgoing model and is once again the class leader when it comes to the luxury subcompact SUV market. If you are interested in a BMW X1 or any other car, please visit the yoauto website where you will find 1000s of quality used cars from around the UK.

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Stuart Porro

Stuart is a nationally and internationally recognised automotive content creator. Reviewing cars for some of the biggest names in the four wheeled world, you can catch him right here on Yoauto.
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