The BMW X1 is an upmarket small SUV that’s available with either front or four-wheel drive. It competes against other models with prestige badges, including the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA, but its attractive pricing also makes it an alternative to the VW Tiguan.
While the original X1 had a cramped and low-rent interior, this second-generation model is a much more appealing place to sit. There’s more space for passengers and their luggage, and interior quality is as good as it gets in the class.
This transformation has largely been achieved by basing the X1 on the 2 Series Active Tourer, which was not only BMW's first MPV, but the first BMW ever to have front-wheel drive. However, don't think this means the X1 is now poor to drive.
Few MPVs handle as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer, so it was a decent starting point, and BMW has tried to rid the X1 of the extremely firm ride that it previously suffered from.
The X1 is available with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and a range of 2.0-litre diesels, including one version that manages to combine smooth, punchy acceleration with low tax costs.
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.