BMW X1 review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Interior

Available fuel types:hybrid, diesel, petrol
Available colours:
BMW X1 2021 interior dashboard
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RRP £29,935What Car? Target Price from£28,134
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Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

There’s a good range of adjustment in the BMW X1's seat and steering wheel, plus a central armrest to aid comfort. The driver's seat has plenty of side support too – even on SE models, which miss out on the heavily bolstered sports seats you get with Sport and M Sport trims.

You'll find it easy enough to get comfortable, although it’s a shame adjustable lumbar support is reserved for the options list across the range. You'd be wise to add it. 

All the dashboard controls are laid out in a logical manner, although if you like to sit quite far from the road, the Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 offer a higher driving position.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

Forward visibility is pretty good in the X1, helped by a driving position that's a bit higher than a traditional hatchback's. Helping further is a low-mounted dashboard that doesn't obstruct your view over the bonnet.

The size and position of the windscreen pillars can cause visibility issues for some drivers, though, partially obscuring your view at junctions if you have to sit close to the wheel. 

The upsweeping rear window line can be problematic when reversing, although front and rear parking sensors are standard on all models. A reversing camera is optional as part of the Tech Pack I, but this is quite expensive. LED headlights are standard across the range for excellent visibility at night.

BMW X1 2021 interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

The BMW X1 has a brilliant 8.8in touchscreen infotainment system with built-in sat nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and a USB socket. As well as the touchscreen, there’s a rotary controller and a handful of shortcut buttons between the front seats – you simply twist the dial to scroll through the on-screen menus and press down to make a selection. We'd strongly recommend using this method when you're driving because it's far less distracting than stabbing away at a touchscreen.

You also get online connectivity and real-time traffic information as standard. A larger (10.3in) touchscreen is available as an option, although it is rather pricey and we don't reckon it's worth paying for. Even the standard system is the best in the family SUV class.

As for smartphone mirroring, all versions of the X1 come with Apple CarPlay as standard. Disappointingly, Android Auto isn't available, although BMW has told us it will be added to the range at a later date.

Quality

The BMW X1 is about as classy inside as family SUVs get. It has the sort of solid build quality and luxury feel you’d hope to find in a premium-badged German car, and certainly feels a cut above the Audi Q3 and Volkswagen Tiguan.

It even matches the Volvo XC40 and Range Rover Evoque for outright interior quality, although it has a more conservative, and arguably less interesting, design. 

Even in entry-level SE versions, you'll find metal inlays to lift the ambience, while all the buttons and switches operate with well-oiled precision. If you really want to push the boat out, leather upholstery is standard on high-spec M Sport and xLine models and optional lower down the range.

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