What's the used BMW X1 estate like?
Trouble was, the first-generation car may have sold well, but it wasn't a terribly good car to drive or to own. This all-new second-generation version changed all that. It was front-wheel-drive, which at the time of its launch in 2015 was unusual for a BMW. It had new engines, a new chassis and new technology inside. No wonder; it needed to be good because it had to compete with such popular rival SUVs as the Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA.
As far as equipment goes, SE trim has iDrive and a 6.5in multimedia system with sat-nav, a DAB radio, CD player, USB connectivity and Bluetooth media streaming. Besides the flawless iDrive system the SE trim gets auto wipers and lights, 17in alloy wheels, automatic tailgate and rear parking sensors, while the Sport trim gets you bigger alloys, a sporty bodykit and sport seats.
The mid-level xLine trim is fitted with leather seats, heated front seats, and LED headlights, and the range-topping M-Sport gives your X1 an M-Sport designated interior, bodykit, alloys, suspension and Alcantara suede seats.
The driving experience also sets the X1 apart from its rivals, the steering being of particular merit. The helm is precise and confidence-inspiring at speed, and the handling is safe and predictable, with a dash of vigour thrown in for good measure, although the heavier hybrid version isn't quite so sprightly.
While the Audi Q3 generally has a better ride, the X1 can be found with adaptive dampers that improve matters. To ensure a comfortable ride, we’d suggest playing it safe if you can't find an X1 with that option, and stick with the standard 18in wheels on the comfort that's suspension provided on SE spec cars. Also, avoid the run-flat tyres; their stiff sidewall doesn’t help.
Refinement is good where the engines are concerned, but there is a lot of tyre and wind noise on all versions. This noise does become noticeable on motorway journeys in particular. The hybrid's ability to run on electric-only power for short distances makes it quiet around town.
The boot itself is one of the biggest in the class – even without the sliding rear seats – the aperture is large and sits flush with the load bay floor. Useful, when you need to load and unload heavy, awkwardly shaped items.
The X1 was host to a raft of updates in 2020, including a larger, more distinctive grille, tweaks to the eight-speed automatic gearbox and better in-car technology with Apple CarPlay and an 8.8in infotainment screen.
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