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.
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.
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.
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.
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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