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Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Entry-level BMW SUV is worthy of the badge

BMW X1 SUV (15 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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PROS

  • Sharp, sporty handling
  • High levels practicality
  • Interior quality a strong point
  • Punchy engine range

CONS

  • Firmer ride than many rivals
  • No Android Auto functionality
  • Higher performance versions not for UK
  • Plenty of desirable kit is optional

At a glance

New price £28,795 - £41,595
Lease from new From £333 per month
Used price £11,420 - £34,160
Used monthly cost £282 - £843
Miles per pound 5.9 - 9.5 mpp
Fuel economy 44 - 65 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £465
Insurance group 22 - 34 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Sharp, sporty handling
  • High levels practicality
  • Interior quality a strong point
  • Punchy engine range

CONS

  • Firmer ride than many rivals
  • No Android Auto functionality
  • Higher performance versions not for UK
  • Plenty of desirable kit is optional

BMW X1 SUV rivals

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

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 announces across its entire range. A mid-life facelift was introduced towards the end of 2019 to inject a fresh wave of interest in this strong-selling model.

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 and Volvo XC40, as well as the slightly smaller Mercedes-Benz GLA. 

Sharp, sporty drive 

Many buyers still value the traditionally sharper 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. 

Blue 2019 BMW X1 SUV side elevation driving

The steering, body control and outright traction levels all go beyond what you’d traditionally 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 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.

Petrol and diesel versions are available - although the UK misses out on the punchier 25d and 25i models - but the range will be expanded in 2020 with the arrival of the xDrive25e plug-in hybrid version.

High quality interior

Just because the X1 is the baby SUV in the BMW range doesn’t mean its 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 is still up there with the best in class.

2019 BMW X1 left-hand drive dashboard

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. 

2019 BMW X1 rear seats in black leather trim

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.

Five-star safety rating, but there's still plenty of optional tech

The X1 was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating back in 2015, with the assessment praising the car’s adult and child occupant protection. However, browsing the options list reveals how much of the crash-prevention technology is optional. That such potentially lifesaving technology isn't standard on a fairly expensive rage of cars is disappointing.

Is this the premium SUV to go for? Read on for the full BMW X1 SUV review and find out

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: