The BMW X1 has undeniably been a popular BMW model, and the latest third-generation version is no different.
This small to mid-sized SUV is a great option for those wanting some of the great features that BMW offer whilst getting it all in an entry-level package. The higher-end M Sport trim then allows drivers to have a few more luxuries to enjoy alongside the standard specification of the X1.
- Lots of storage space
- Higher performing
- Good powertrain choices
- Modern design
Engines and Performance
The X1 is available with petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid engines as well as an all-electric version. Although sales of the all-electric version are eventually expected to make up the majority, the xDrive23i is top of the list.
The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder unit makes 218bhp and is mated to a seamless 7-speed dual clutch transmission with mild-hybrid technology. Officially, it will achieve up to 43.5mpg. Over 375 miles, I was happy with a return of 36.4mpg.
For an SUV – or as BMW would have it, an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) car, the X1 handles more like a regular hatchback, with a positive front end that points keenly into turns, with very little body roll, and plenty of grip.
Design and Practicality
The M Sport gains a typically dynamic body kit, 19-inch alloy wheels – though I was riding on 20-inch wheels - adaptive M Sport suspension, sports seats and a 15mm drop in ride height.
And, it has quite noticeably grown. It is 53mm longer than its predecessor, 24mm wider and 44mm taller.
That might not seem a lot, but in car terms, it is huge. The X1’s track widths are also up 31mm front and rear for improved cornering and to give it a more imposing stance. Definitely no argument there. It makes its predecessor look positively puny.
Its growth also means there is more knee and headroom inside, especially in the rear seats. The 540-litre boot is also 50 litres more than before. Flatten the 40/20/40 split rear backrest and there is up to 1,600 litres of storage capacity available.
The X1 now looks like the smaller yet equally robust sibling of the X5, and comes with the engorged kidney grille now familiar on new BMWs. It does not matter as it is the interior which adds the premium class.
Equipment and Technology
The dash is dominated by a pair of gently curved displays; one that is 10.7-inch ahead of the driver prioritising driving data, while the central 10.25-inch touchscreen deals with the infotainment functions.
The latter display incorporates the 'BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant', a clever voice control system responding to the command 'Hey BMW'. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. And the infotainment set-up now updates itself with 'over-the-air' upgrades.
The touchscreen is one of the finest around with fantastic graphics and logical menus.
Standard kit includes LED headlights and LED rear lights, an auto tailgate, cruise control and a reversing camera, as well as four USB-C ports, and two 12V power sockets.
The X1 also comes loaded with plenty of the latest safety kit, including a new front-collision warning system with brake intervention. If the car detects a pedestrian or cyclist nearby, it will automatically halt if either gets too close.
Near-actuator wheel slip limitation is fitted as standard in the new BMW X1, benefiting both traction and directional stability. The Parking Assistant including Reversing Assist Camera and Reversing Assistant also forms part of the standard equipment roster.
The BMW X1 might have started life as the smallest SUV on the BMW stage, but it now packs a mighty punch.
And, in the M Sport trim, you get a bunch of fun features and extra equipment whilst not quite needing to pay up for the highest specification available with the X1.