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
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At a glance

New price £30,555 - £43,715
Lease from new From £425 p/m View lease deals
Used price £11,705 - £41,585
Used monthly cost From £292 per month
Fuel Economy 34.4 - 156.9 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £490
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

Volkswagen
Tiguan
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Written by Lawrence Cheung 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.

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, 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 cabin

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 rivals.

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.

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.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto is offering the BMW X1 for £425 per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.

View deal

BMW X1 SUV rivals

Volkswagen
Tiguan
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Other BMW X1 models: