- Excellent interior
- Class-leading space
- Good range of diesel engines
- No real petrol options
- Ride could be too stiff for some
- Poor first year depreciation
BMW’s latest crossover SUV is a serious contender
The BMW X1 is a relatively new addition to the BMW range. First introduced in 2010 as a rear, or four-wheel drive crossover SUV, the initial model was a reasonable success for BMW. Competing with the Audi Q3, and the Mercedes GLA, in the luxury SUV market, the BMW sets itself out to be as much of a driver’s car, as it is a family car.
Since its update in 2015, the chassis has been turned on its head, with only front-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive options available. Improved looks, expanded storage space, and a newly designed interior, make the latest X1 one of the best crossover vehicles out there.
Good build quality and infotainment
The interior of the X1 is exactly as you’d expect from a BMW. With exceptional build quality and impressive materials adding a touch of luxury that you don’t often see in the family crossover market.
The dashboard of the X1 is a beautifully constructed place to be. Whilst the old X1 felt a little bit on the cheap side, constructed with cheap plastics, the new model uses soft-touch materials to add that little bit of pazzaz. Surfaces are well finished, and there’s some lovely chrome touches sprinkled across the cabin. All in all there’s a feeling of genuine quality, and it’s offers a great driving environment.
One area in which the new X1 really excels is its storage capacity. With 505 litres of boot space, it beats just about every car in its class, with even more room than the spacious Nissan Qashqai. It’s quite a wide boot, so there’s plenty of room for large buggies or a couple of suitcases. There’s also quite a few cubby holes dotted about, which makes storing bits and pieces a doddle.
Equipment levels on even the most basic of X1 trims are pretty impressive. The entry-level SE trim comes as standard with rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, and a fantastic infotainment system. This system controls the sat-nav, DAB radio, CD player, and USB connections, through the BMW’s intuitive iDrive system. The screen, at 6.5”, may be a little on the small side, but an upgrade to the Navigation Plus package increases this to 8”, and is worth considering.
The interior of the X1 ticks all of the boxes for the family buyer. There’s plenty of room, there’s a good level of kit, and there’s a feeling of quality that you could only get in a BMW.
Stiff suspension makes for a sporty ride
If there’s one thing that should shine through in a BMW, its its road presence. The X1 is no different. Whilst the old X1 was widely criticised for being overly-stiff, the new model is much more comfortable. It manages this without being overtly wishy-washy however, so the ride quality is sporty without being bone-juddering. It might still be a little stiff for some, and it’s certainly stiffer than most competitors, but it corresponds with the driving ethos of BMW.
Handling is also surprisingly good. Most models in the range come as standard with four-wheel drive, with only the cheapest coming with two-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive system is undoubtedly better, giving a sharp, precise steering experience. Where the two-wheel drive comes amiss, is through the corners. There’s quite a bit of understeer at times, and it’s hard to place where the wheels are through steering wheel feedback.
Gearbox options on the X1 come in two guises, a 6-speed manual, and an 8-speed Steptronic automatic. The latter is definitely the more impressive of the two, but the manual is also pretty decent, and you’re certainly not going to be disappointed with it.
Only one petrol option, but diesels impress
When it comes to choosing how you want to power your X1, you’ve got the usual two candidates: petrol, and diesel. Unusually for such a car, there’s only one petrol-powered option, the 20i xDrive, but diesels are impressive enough to more than make up for this lack of choice.
If power is your main concern when choosing which X1 to go for, the diesel-powered 25d xDrive xLine is the one to go for. With 231bhp, and a 0-62mph time of just 6.6 seconds, this model is genuinely rapid. For a family car, you are more than likely not going to need anything quicker than this, and it’s enough to keep up with some hot hatches.
For the eco-friendly buyer, the standout model in the range is the sDrive 18d SE. Whilst it might not be the most environmentally friendly car on the market today, with 114g/km of C02 emissions, it’s not going to cost you too much when it comes to paying the road tax bill. Luckily, this model is also the best for fuel efficiency, so you can save even money. Achieving 65.7mpg, you’re going to be saving a fair bit on fuel that you can put towards the family holiday.
Whichever engine choice you go for in your X1, there’s going to be enough power to not leave you feeling short on motorways, without draining your bank account. The petrol option seems to be there almost for the sake of it, as diesels are much more impressive.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests with good safety features as standard
As with most cars in its class, the X1 easily reached the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. It might not be quite as good as the Mercedes GLA, but it’s still got an impressive record, with 90% in adult safety, 87% in child safety, and 74% in pedestrian safety. There’s also plenty of safety kit that comes with the X1. There’s an array of airbags, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, autonomous braking, and an emergency assist service that contacts local emergency services if you did happen to have an accident. With this much safety kit though, it’s unlikely to be a regular occurrence.
Good fuel economy, bad first year depreciation
The BMW X1 range offers cars that are reasonably cheap to run. This varies from model to model, but nearly every X1 comes with relatively low C02 emissions, and fuel consumption figures, that leave it on a roughly equal pegging with its major rivals.
Insurance wise, this again depends on which model of X1 you go for, but in general, costs should be pretty reasonable. The cheapest model in the range is the economical xDrive 18d SE, which finds itself in group 24. This ranges up to the petrol powered xDrive 20i M Sport, which sits in group 31. All in all, insurance should be pretty reasonable.
First year depreciation of the X1 is pretty disappointing, owing to its slightly higher purchase cost at new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The BMW X1 has finally established itself as a major player in the relatively new field of family crossover SUVs. With improvements in nearly every area, the X1 is spacious, well-constructed, and has a diesel-driven engine range to suit most people’s needs.
Buying a used BMW X1 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used BMW X1 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used X1. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used BMW online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used X1? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used BMW X1, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used BMW, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used BMW to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st year depreciation cost of 40%.