BMW X1 Review: Hands-on with the xDrive25i
Find out how BMW's smallest SUV, the X1, stacks up.
The BMW X1 represents the German brand's smallest SUV, making it the entry-level vehicle to BMW SUVs. The vehicle you're looking at here is the "mid-life update" where the vehicle has had a facelift, the most notable change is that chunky front-grille.
It aims to compete with vehicles like the Audi Q3 and the Volvo XC40 – a vehicle we found to be pretty impressive when we reviewed it a few months ago.
Prices start from $62,900 before on-roads and if you have your heart set on the exact spec you see before you in this review – the BMW X1 xDrive25i – it will set you back $70,307 thanks to the optionally fitted M Sport package ($3,250) as well as the metallic paint ($1,700) and panoramic glass roof ($2,457).
What comes with the X1 xDrive25i M sport package?
It isn't just those M badges on the side of the car. For $3,250 you get a number of enhancements to the look and feel inside and out, as well improved driving dynamics. It may seem expensive, but you get a fair bit for your hard-earned cash:
- BMW individual high-gloss shadow line
- BMW individual roofliner anthracite
- BMW individual roof-rails high-gloss shadow line
- Aluminium hexagon interior trim with blue matte finishers
- LED front fog lights
- M Sport suspension
- M aerodynamics package
- M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons
- Sport seats for driver and front passenger
- Kidney grille in black with chrome surround
- LED fibre optics in the door trims
- "M" designation on front left and right panel, as well as door sills
- 19-inch light alloy wheels Y-spoke style
- Upholstery in leather "Dakota" with perforations
What's it like inside?
The interior on the X1 xDrive25i is typically BMW. It's laid out intuitively, appointed well and designed to feel like there is plenty of room.
With the M Sport package on our test vehicle, the interior is enhanced by the perforated leather seats in "Dakota".
The front two seats are 12-way electrically adjustable and, should they not be long enough for you to sit comfortably, will extend to give further support along the leg. They are both heated too, which will come in handy in winter.
You get the BMW iDrive system, which is also easy to use, but this has been augmented by the inclusion of a 10.25-inch touchscreen. The system gets real-time traffic updates, DAB+ and features Apple CarPlay but skips Android Auto for all of those dinosaurs like me still using Samsung products, and similar.
Ambient lighting is throughout the cabin as standard too, with five predefined colours to choose from, adding to the premium feel of the interior. Dual-zone climate control keeps the temperature in check.
Upfront you get two USB points and a 12V socket as well as a wireless charging bay. Oddly enough, in the back, you get two USB-C charging points which could be a positive or a negative depending on how technologically advanced you are and the cables you have handy.
Six speakers positioned throughout the cabin ensure that sound is clear and plentiful.
X1 xDrive25i boot space
The updated version of the BMW X1 sees boot space increase by approximately 85 litres, to 505 litres. This means that it has more storage than the 460-odd litres offered by both the XC40 and Q3.
What's it like on the road?
The BMW X1 xDrive25i is the range topper which means that it is fitted with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. The unit produces 170kW and 350Nm of torque which is routed to all four wheels through 8-speed automatic transmission. Being an xDrive, the X1 you see before you has an all-wheel-drive system.
It's a punchy combination and is more than you need if you are in the market for a crossover like this, unless you really want a vehicle that will get you to 100km/h in less than the brisk 6.5 seconds on offer.
On the road
Surprisingly, the ride on the xDrive25i has firmer characteristics than you would expect in a crossover. Vehicles like these tend to be more on the plush side and while the X1 isn't uncomfortable, it can be harsh on certain surfaces.
Contributing to this rigid ride are the low-profile, 19-inch wheels, which also tend to give off a bit of road noise too.
The stiffer set-up coupled with the punchy 2.0-litre engine does inspire confidence though, despite the steering feeling a little numb. The reality is though that around town and urban settings, where this is going to be driven, it isn't too bad.
How safe is the BMW X1?
The X1 is fitted with six airbags and a range of safety technology. Included, among other things are:
- Parking sensors
- Parking assistant
- Reversing camera
- Automated parking system
- Auto high beams
- Lane-departure warning
- Speed limit information
- Forward-collision warning system
- Pedestrian detection
- Autonomous emergency braking (low speed)
In the back row, there are also two ISOFIX and three top-tether points.
There is a lot to like about the BMW X1 xDrive25i, from its trademark well-appointed cabin, to its punchy turbo-charged engine. It ticks a lot of boxes, but if you are after something that rides a little softer, it may be worth looking a little further down in the X1 line-up.
On another note, if you aren't looking at the X1 because of its smaller frame and are open to something a bit larger, we were impressed with the BMW 330i Touring.