Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Should you buy a BMW X1?

Yes, if you want an SUV and you enjoy driving. BMW’s X1 may not be getting any younger, but it’s still competitive against the newer Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace, Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40, while its recent facelift has given it a dash more visual appeal. Overall practicality and build quality score well, plus there’s plenty of tech on offer if you’re willing to pay. 

The sporty driving characteristics will no doubt attract buyers who wish their BMW was a sports car rather than an SUV, too. It’s not perfect, however. The omission of some useful safety features and the lack of Android Auto count against it, as might the firmer-than-average ride for some customers. 

We’d recommend searching for either an xLine or M Sport X1 if you’re buying new. The latter has the most visual clout of all the trims levels plus retains its value best, while the former boasts a similar amount of standard equipment yet takes a subtler approach in the looks department.

’A big improvement over its predecessor and as sharp handling as you’d expect from a BMW crossover.'

James Dennison

If you’re desperate to spend more cash, then desirable options include the BMW Navigation Plus package (including a head-up display, 10.25-inch central screen and traffic jam avoidance tech) and Technology package (featuring keyless entry, a reversing camera and a Harman-Kardon premium sound system).

Those who do big miles will benefit from the xDrive20d’s combination of pace and fuel efficiency far more than drivers who don’t spend much time on the road. This also applies if you’re buying the X1 as a company car, but the sweetest spot in the range remains the xDrive20i. Its performance allows the X1’s sharp handling to be enjoyed more.

However, if you value comfort, and you can't stomach the X1's challenging front-end styling, we'd heartily recommend an approved used Range Rover Evoque or new Volvo XC40 instead.

 

Further reading

>> The Parkers guide to SUVs

>> Read our BMW X2 review

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained