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BMW X1: Are you sitting comfortably?

  • Our X1 makes a great motorway car
  • Shame it’s hard work to adjust the seat
  • Lever-adjust back rest is reluctant to move

Recently the X1 has been mostly subjected to lengthy motorway journeys and that’s a role it plays very well. A great stereo and plenty of top-end power makes the X1 20d an adept (and surprisingly quiet) high-speed cruiser.

Its heated leather seats are becoming a welcome feature too now that winter is taking hold. Unfortunately getting the driver’s seat into a comfortable driving position is proving a more difficult task than it should be.

As we’ve mentioned before, ‘our’ X1 is loaded to the gunnels with optional extras (and we’ll go through which ones are worth selecting if you’re considering an X1 yourself in a future update) but an electrically adjustable driver’s seat isn’t one of them.

The manually adjustable seat has a reasonably broad range of movement, including a small pull-out section at the front seat base for extra under-leg support on long journeys. Both the seat height and the back rest angle are adjusted by lift-up levers on the side of the seat base, and this is where things become hard work.

BMW X1 seat

The height adjustable element is controlled by the driver’s own weight – lift the lever and the seat sinks downwards as you sit on it, or rises if you lift yourself upwards, usually by grabbing the steering wheel for support.

It’s actually an elegant solution but rather tricky in practice as you need to lift yourself a long way out of the seat to allow it to raise.

That’s a very minor niggle, though. My main gripe is the fact that the back rest in our car doesn’t seem very keen to move if you want to change to a more upright position – you lift the lever and it generally stays put. I sometimes find myself needing to use one hand to lift the lever and the other to move the seat back itself into the desired position – not ideal if the car is in motion.

Seating issues aside, though, the BMW and I are getting along pretty well. It’s proving to be a quick, well-appointed and easy to drive long-distance companion.

Do you drive a BMW X1? Why not let us know your thoughts in the Parkers owners’ reviews section?

Total mileage: 5,282 miles

Average fuel economy: 38.0mpg