3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Entry-level BMW SUV is great to drive and looks sharp

BMW X1 SUV (15 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
Enlarge 153 photos

At a glance

New price £29,455 - £42,795
Lease from new From £347 p/m View lease deals
Used price £11,220 - £31,245
Used monthly cost £280 - £780
Fuel Economy 34.4 - 166.0 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £475
Insurance group 22 - 34 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Sharp, sporty handling
  • High levels of practicality
  • Interior quality a strong point
  • Recommended for driving and image

CONS

  • Firmer ride than many rivals
  • No Android Auto functionality
  • Too much equipment is optional
  • For most people, a used Evoque is a more desirable choice

BMW X1 SUV rivals

Audi
Q3
4 out of 5 4.0
Volkswagen
Tiguan
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Now in its second generation, the BMW X1 is the German manufacturer’s entry-level SUV. It’s designed to offer the kudos of a premium badge with the convenience and practicality of a smaller-sized SUV, not to mention the driving pleasure that BMW proudly touts across its entire range. A facelift was introduced for 2020 to bring this strong-selling model back up to date.

>> We rate the best hybrid SUVs for 2020

The X1 isn’t alone in its sector, however, with numerous rivals all claiming to offer a premium SUV package at prices that shouldn’t break the bank. Chief among which is the Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace, Range Rover Evoque, DS 7 Crossback and Volvo XC40, as well as the slightly smaller Mercedes-Benz GLA. 

Still the ultimate driving machine?

Many buyers still value the traditionally sharp handling of BMW cars and the X1, despite its SUV bodystyle, doesn’t disappoint on that front. The handling isn’t up there with the lower, lower, sportier 3 Series, yet there’s still an appreciable difference between the way the X1 drives when compared with most if its rivals. 

The steering, body control and outright traction levels all go beyond what you’d expect from an SUV, meaning there’s fun to be had behind the wheel of an X1 if you go searching for it.

Such dynamic prowess isn’t without its caveats, however, the X1 delivering a firmer ride than many rivals, regardless of whether or not you spec the optional adaptive dampers. While the X1 is available with xDrive four-wheel drive, many versions are badged sDrive - in those instances, only the front - not the rear - wheels are driven.

High quality interior

BMW X1 (2020) interior view

Just because the X1 is the baby SUV in the BMW range doesn’t mean it's treated to anything less than the usual high-quality, logically laid out interior. Sure, it might be beginning to look a touch dated, but the materials used and intuitiveness are still up there with the best in class.

That 2019 facelift introduced a newer iteration of BMW's iDrive multimedia system, together with trim enhancements to make the cabin feel even more inviting, including double-stitching on the dashboard and door panels, with contrast-colour lower mouldings with certain interior hues.

Excellent practicality

Both the X1’s rear-seat space and luggage capacity are impressive. The former is competitive, in part, due to the standard-fit sliding second row of seats that allow users to create less or more legroom depending on how much bootspace is needed. Even in its most forward position, however, there’s still enough room for two adults (three at a squeeze if necessary), plus headroom is also generous. 

Round at the back, there’s a more than competitive amount of bootspace complemented by a standard-fit electric tailgate and 40:20:40 split folding rear seats. What’s more, said seats fold completely flat at the touch of a lever – handy if you’ve got your hands full with luggage.

Wide range of extra-cost options to choose from

If delving into an options list and picking out clever tech or handy extras is something you enjoy, then the X1 – like many BMWs – will be well suited to you. Gadgets include adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, a Harman Kardon sound system and keyless entry.

The downside to this is that standard kit levels aren’t perhaps as generous as they should be. Most of the essentials are included, but there’s no getting away from the fact that rival manufacturers offer more standard equipment. And the lack of Android Auto – either as an option or as standard – is still an annoyance.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the BMW X1 including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

BMW X1 (2020) rear view

BMW X1 SUV rivals

Audi
Q3
4 out of 5 4.0
Volkswagen
Tiguan
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Other BMW X1 models: