BMW X1 variants
Total price
Monthly payment
Figures are based on a 20% deposit

Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £25,799. Borrowing £20,639 with a £5,160 deposit at a representative APR of 9.9%.

49 monthly payments
£319.83
Fixed interest rate
9.9%
Total amount payable
£32,132.72
Cost of credit
£6,333.72
Optional final payment
£11,621.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

BMW X1 buying guide

The BMW X1 is the brand’s entry-level SUV (not the smallest – that’s the X2, confusingly), but it distils what’s good about the X3 and X5 into a cheaper, easier-to-park package. A rival to the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA

Around town or on the motorway, the X1 impresses with its perky-yet-parsimonious engines, and its handling prowess. Don’t expect it to drive like the brand’s iconic sports cars – but compare it to its main competitors and the X1 comes up trumps. Four-wheel drive is available if you’re heading to a place where the going gets tough.

What BMW X1 trim levels are there?

Every X1 comes with a good level of standard equipment, with the entry-level SE getting 17-inch alloy wheels, sat nav, cruise control, rear parking sensors and even a powered tailgate. Sport adds upgraded seats, larger wheels and red interior detailing.

You’ll want the xLine trim if you’re after proper 4x4 looks (plus leather seats and LED headlights), while M Sport gets a sharper body kit and body-coloured wheel arches. 

BMW X1 interior and technology

While some carmakers think form over function is best when it comes to interior design, BMW has focused on usability and how it’ll all work in the real world. The centre console features plenty of buttons whose functions shouldn’t be too hard to work out, while the instrument cluster is clear and simple to read.

If you don’t want to take your eyes off the road to prod the touchscreen, BMW’s iDrive controller (this side of the gearlever) is easy to use and quickly gets you to the menu you’re looking for.

BMW’s cheapest SUV doesn’t let the side down in terms of the materials used, with barely any flimsiness or cheap materials to be found. Everything is solidly built, and there are lots of leather trimmings where you’re most likely to touch.

BMW X1 engine range explained

(Most popular!) BMW X1 sDrive18i petrol

Don’t be concerned that the BMW X1’s 136hp 1.5-litre petrol engine is shared with the little Mini. It’s more than capable of powering a car like this, whether you’re planning to stay local or take your X1 on a scenic tour of the country. Performance is well balanced with economy, with 0-62mph taking under 10 seconds and 42mpg possible.

BMW X1 sDrive20i petrol

Above that is a more powerful 192hp engine, with an extra cylinder and 2.0 litres rather than 1.5. The extra power brings the acceleration time down by about two seconds, yet fuel economy only drops by about 2mpg compared to the sDrive18i.

sDrive signifies that it’s front-wheel drive, while xDrive versions have grippy four-wheel drive.

BMW X1 sDrive18d diesel

For better fuel economy, there are a pair of 2.0-litre diesels that’ll suit drivers with semi-regular long journeys. The 18d version has a 150hp output and will manage 55mpg if you stick with front-wheel drive. xDrive versions are slightly less economical but its all-weather confidence may be appealing if you live in a rural area.

BMW X1 sDrive20d diesel

This engine has a little more power for quicker acceleration, but doesn’t really compromise on fuel efficiency either. Drive carefully and 50mpg should be possible.

BMW X1 xDrive25e hybrid

With its 1.5-litre engine and a punchy electric motor, the xDrive25e plug-in hybrid is the most powerful and the fastest version of the X1. It’s capable of 0-62mph in under seven seconds but, thanks to the electrical assistance, it’ll manage up to 166mpg. With a full battery, you can drive for up to 32 miles on electric-only power.

Your BMW X1 questions answered

Since its introduction in 2009, the BMW X1 has always been a five-door crossover SUV that’s unashamedly focused towards tarmac rather than treacherous terrain. The version that we’ll predominantly talk about here is the second-generation car, sold from 2016-2022. It’s since been replaced by a new X1 that comes with a fully electric powertrain for the first time.

Looks are deceiving. It may look like a chunky 4x4 but the BMW X1 is barely any longer than the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. In fact, the X1 is actually minutely narrower than the Golf, so you don’t need to fear width restrictors. The X1 is obviously taller than normal family hatchbacks, and that results in a higher driving position and increased boot space.

Speaking of which, the X1’s 505-litre boot is significantly larger than what you typically get in a conventional hatchback, so it’s not surprising SUVs like this have really taken off. The plug-in hybrid sacrifices a tiny amount of boot space because of where the batteries are placed.

But all X1s have a surprisingly large amount of rear seat room. Four adults will have plenty of space to stretch out in, and five will be comfortable on short trips. There are plenty of storage cubbies to stash your travel sweets, too. Optionally, some X1s were fitted with sliding rear seats and a folding front passenger seat.

Take your pick – there are petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options on the BMW X1, and all are good engines in their own right. The very latest-generation car also comes with a fully electric option called the iX1.

According to a recent Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, over 80% of BMW X1 owners didn’t face any problems in the first year of driving. Of the owners who did report issues, the most common grumble was with electrical glitches – there’s plenty of tech on an X1, after all. If you’re worried about long-term reliability, you could purchase an extended warranty for continued cover once BMW’s warranty has run out.

The BMW X1 is a spacious SUV with a premium interior and powerful-yet-economical engines. It’s also good to drive, which can’t be said for too many SUVs. It’s definitely a contender if you like sporty and posh in your SUV.

Some X1s have four-wheel drive. Look out for X1s with xDrive badging or search for four-wheel-drive BMW X1s here.

BMW does have higher-than-average servicing costs, but it also offers service plans that can be split into monthly instalments. At the time of writing, a 36-month service plan for the X1 costs £25 per month.

Yes, the BMW X1 has a large towing capacity. Less powerful diesel versions can tow 1,800kg, while the more powerful petrol and diesel engines can manage a braked trailer weighing up to 2,000kg.

The BMW X1 holds its value fairly well, but data suggests that the Volvo XC40 will retain more of its value after three years and 36,000 miles.