BMW X1 plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 2

The classy BMW X1 is one of our favourite family SUVs, but can the latest plug-in hybrid version still cut the mustard? We’re living with one to find out...

BMW X1 2021 front right static

The car BMW X1 xDrive25e M Sport Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here To find out if this plug-in hybrid SUV can live up to its on-paper economy promise while taking on regular family motoring duties

Needs to Serve up a healthy dollop of practicality, efficiency and comfort, yet still be good fun to drive

Mileage 1447 Price £39,675 Target Price £38,695 Price as tested £44,740 Official economy 156.9mpg Test economy 99.0mpg 

9 May – Socket man

“We choose to go to the moon,” said President John F Kennedy in 1962, “not because it is easy but because it is hard”.

It is with that pioneering spirit in mind that I approached running my plug-in hybrid BMW X1, because the first and foremost thing you need when running an electric or plug-in hybrid car like this one is an easy way to charge it at home, and it seems I don’t. Or at least not yet.


In truth, I have a driveway, though using it means my wife now has to walk over to an adjacent road very early in the morning to drive off to work in her car, while I luxuriate at home. But what I don’t have is an electric wall charger or, as I was to discover, an ordinary domestic socket in my garage within reach (by a matter of inches) of the X1’s charging port.

I could, of course, have used an extension lead here, but I know this is generally frowned upon. So, my choice was Hobson’s: I would have to charge up my X1 through the rather inconvenient method of routing the cable through my open front door to a socket in the hallway. Now, in fair weather, this is not such an inconvenience, provided you remember to put the security chain on the door, but in cold, windy weather (welcome to the UK, everyone) my family have started to complain about the constant gale blowing through the house. Even the cats have registered displeasure.


Whatever, it works.  Done this way, it seems to take about four hours to charge it up from empty to full. Full means a range, according to the digital readout, of 27 miles, which has been the most I’ve registered yet. This is short of the BMW's official 32-mile range, but one still useful to me for my short journeys.

I should mention here that when I first took delivery of my car its charging flap wouldn’t open, which necessitated a trip to a local dealer to have it fixed. All is well now and while my X1 and I haven’t been to the moon and back yet, our relationship is certainly beginning to take off.

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