The BMW X1 is an upmarket small SUV that’s available with either front or four-wheel drive. It competes against premium rivals such as the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA, but its price also puts it in contention with the VW Tiguan.
While the first-generation X1 was something of a disappointment, this second-generation model is much better. Thanks to a new platform, there’s more space for passengers and their luggage, and interior quality is as good as it gets in this class.
The X1 is almost as sharp to drive as an Audi Q3, with plenty of grip and quick, precise steering. The ride is firm but not overly so, although it's a shame there's quite a lot of road noise – especially over coarse surfaces.
The BMW X1 is available with a range of 2.0-litre diesel engines and a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol.
The 18d is a great option for company car drivers because it offers smooth, punchy acceleration and low tax costs. The 20d models are noticeably quicker but at the expense of economy and CO2 emissions. The 25d version is very quick, but the cheaper diesels are strong and flexible enough to meet most buyers’ needs. There’s also a single 2.0-litre petrol engine with 189bhp, although we'd stick with one of the diesels.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions of the X1, along with our recommendations for trim levels and engines.