BMW X1 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

Launched in 2009, the X1 saw BMW help drive the rise of the deluxe compact SUV. The second generation landed in 2015 and was updated in 2020, bringing in a range of practical features and debuting the plug-in hybrid XDrive 25e. The X1 competes with rivals including the Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 in the family SUV market. An SUV from BMW built on a Mini Cooper platform might seem like a vehicle with an identity crisis, but it manages to deliver the benefits of a chunky car with all the style, sportiness and luxury you’d expect from a BMW.

Visit the BMW X1 model page to explore available cars and learn more about the model.

What we think about the BMW X1

The BMW X1 is the smallest of the BMW SUVs. It combines style with practicality – a family car that retains the BMW cachet.



Spacious and high-quality interior


Fun to drive


State-of-the-art infotainment system


Overly firm ride

Less boot space than some rivals

Not the most reliable

The X1 is available in a range of trims, from the entry-level SE to the high-end M Sport Tech II/Pro Pk. The M Sport models are the more expensive and carry some extra swagger with sporty bumpers, alloy wheels and a lowered suspension. The 2015 second generation was widely considered a big upgrade on the original.

Driving performance of the Bmw X1

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

If you like to drive BMWs, you won’t be disappointed by the X1. Balanced steering, punchy engines and a raspy exhaust note all add up to an enjoyable experience behind the wheel. The firm suspension lets you feel the road – the only question is, do you really need such a hard ride for the school run? If you don’t mind sacrificing some comfort for sportiness though, you should find this a pleasure to drive.

Safety and reliability of the Bmw X1

Our Safety Rating6 / 10

Back in 2015 when the second generation of this car landed, it was awarded a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. While that rating is still valid in today’s more stringent environment, the BMW X1’s safety features don’t compete with some of its rivals, such as the Range Rover Evoque or the Volvo XC40. The essentials are all here though. Front, side and curtain airbags are standard, with a system that alerts the emergency services when they’re activated. The braking assist system stops short of full-auto emergency braking, but it will help you avoid an accident. In terms of reliability, the X1 isn’t best in class, losing out to the Volvo XC40.

Under the bonnet of the Bmw X1

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

As you might expect from a BMW, the X1 comes with a choice of powerful engines. The front-wheel-drive model with a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder engine will go from 0-60 in 9.7 seconds, while for those with deeper pockets, the 2.0-litre xDrive 20i four-wheel-drive model will do it in 7.4 seconds. The most powerful diesel achieves 188 bhp and feels very punchy at low and mid-range revs. Even the less powerful models should have plenty of poke for most buyers. The hybrid xDrive25e is nippy too and has an official electric-only range of 31 miles.

What you'll find in the Bmw X1

Our Design Rating8 / 10

Viewed from the outside, the X1 looks every inch a BMW, albeit one that’s been stretched over the frame of a small SUV. The chiselled headlights, double kidney grille and badges in the centre of the wheels will reassure fans they’re getting into a proper Beamer. The 2019 makeover gave it a more in-your-face look, with a dominant front bumper and bigger air intakes. It faces competition in the design stakes from the likes of the Volvo XC40, but the BMW X1 holds its own in this respect.

Comfort and interiors in the Bmw X1

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

Perhaps the X1’s best trick is its Tardis-like interior space. It offers more headroom and legroom than an X3, and almost as much luggage space, and does so within significantly smaller exterior dimensions. Foldable back seats on rails offer practicality, as does the 505-litre boot. Leather upholstery and metal-effect inlays help create a finish that’s as classy as you’re likely to see in a family SUV. Some drivers might find the windscreen pillars cause visibility issues at junctions. The driving position is lower than some of its rivals, but the low-mounted dashboard ensures your view over the bonnet isn’t obstructed.

BMW X1 interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Bmw X1

Our Features Rating7 / 10

The standard spec comes tricked out with 19-inch alloy wheels, an electric tailgate and keyless entry. Once you’re inside, a 10.25-inch digital multimedia touchscreen offers a host of features including satnav and Apple CarPlay, and is easy to use thanks to its intuitive menus and handy scroll wheel. Ambient interior lighting adds to the luxurious feel. With the M Sport model, you’ll also get an adaptive suspension and the high-spec M Sport steering wheel. It won’t bother iPhone users, but one drawback is that only the latest X1 models offer Android phone mirroring – it was finally added in summer 2020.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Bmw X1

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

The entry-level 1.5-litre engine can return up to 42.8 mpg, and the most economical version is the sDrive18d, which can deliver 56.5 mpg. Whether you achieve these figures or not depends largely on how tempted you are to put your foot down, but the X1 is certainly competitive against its rivals when it comes to efficiency. The hybrid xDrive25e PHEV uses its battery pack to vastly improve consumption, stretching it out to 156.9 mpg.

Running costs of the Bmw X1

Our Cost Rating6 / 10

BMW X1 models fit into insurance groups ranging from 25 for the sDrive18d to 34 for the xDrive25d. As with all BMWs, the X1 comes with a three-year warranty with no upper mileage limit, giving it parity with the Mercedes GLA. Monthly PCP finance costs are competitive and the hybrid version, once you’ve swallowed the upfront cost, will be cheap to run if you’re regularly making trips of under 20-25 miles.

Our verdict of the Bmw X1

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

The BMW X1 brings BMW handling and style to a small and practical SUV. While it may lack the comfort some drivers expect from a family car, it's a good option for those reluctant to trade in a sportier model for a 'sensible' vehicle.