BMW X1 2018 review

it might look a little unassuming but the bin wix1 was a real game-changer you

see it was one of the first small SUVs to wear a premium badge and just as it

had found when it relaunched the MINI brand BMW discovered that buyers are

willing to pay more for big car luxury in a small car package the original x1

though was a bit of a flop it was noisy cramped inside and disappointing to

drive so when the company sets about developing this second-generation model

it knew it had to up its game considerably and this x1 arrives at a

time when competition in this market is especially fierce its key rivals include

the Audi q3 Mercedes GLA and Volkswagen Tiguan so the big question then has BMW

solved all the problems of the original x1 and in doing so created a real

contender in this car or will it turn out to be just as much of a damp squib

as its predecessor keep watching to find out starting with how it handles on UK roads

you’ve got four engines to choose from and the x1 and as you might expect for

an SUV three of them are diesels kicking things off is the 18d which with 148

brake horsepower feels perfectly powerful enough in the x1 it’s nice and

responsive from low down in the rev range making the car ideal around town

in fact it’s hot pick at the range next up is 187 brake horsepower 20 D

engine which we’ve got in this car and then the 228 brake horsepower 25 D above

that both feel pleasantly fast and the 25 D is rapid enough to compete with

most hot hatchbacks if you won’t be doing enough miles to justify a diesel

then 189 brake horsepower 20 high engine is your sole option

you cannot fryer a six-speed manual gearbox or an 8-speed automatic go for

the auto and you’ll enjoy smooth changes up and down most engines can be had with

either front or four-wheel drive and unless you’ll be climbing any mountains

we’d stick with the former the ex ones ride is slightly stiffer than you’ll

find in most other SUVs but that seems in keeping with its sporting remit you

can specify adaptive dampers which allow you to adjust the suspension at the

touch of a button handling is where the x1 really begins

to shine it’s steering is nicely weighted making

it easy to place on the road it’s even enjoyable to drive at speed in fact it’s

more fun to drive quickly than most of its rivals the diesel engines do tend to

sound a bit gruff though if they’re pushed hard but more worrying is the

amount of Tyre noise generated at speed at seventy miles an hour it’s enough to

cause you to raise your voice. this is exactly the kind of interior

you’d expect to find in a modern BMW it’s a great place to spend time and it’s easy to find a perfect driving

position thanks to the lots of adjustment both in this seat and in the

steering wheel which moves up and down as well as in and out it’s just a shame

that adjustable lumbar support is only

optional across the range so if you plan on doing lots of motorway miles

it might be worth adding elsewhere though there’s a real feeling of quality

in here and it can even give out ease q3 a run for its money there’s lots of

great materials on display and they all look and feel solid it’s also good to

have some proper chunky buttons here on

the dashboard rather than having everything confined to a touchscreen now

being an SUV the x1 gives you a nice raised driving position and that makes

it easy to see out of the front of the car as is usual in this class so looking

out to the back can be more difficult because of its sloping roofline

but thankfully every x1 gets reversed

parking sensors are standard and you can add a reversing camera from the options list

there’s only one word needed to describe the infotainment package which you get

in this BMW x1 and it’s brilliant it’s all based around being double use I

Drive system and a standard you get a da B radio a USB socket CD player Bluetooth

connectivity and sat-nav all presented on a 6.5 inch screen the interface works

really well with this rotary controller and the menus are easy to figure out in

fact it’s all very intuitive now if you want an upgraded setup then you can go

for the navigation plus package which we’ve got in this car and with this you

get a larger 8-inch screen and an

updated sat-nav which can show you real time traffic information you also get a

cool head up display which can show you the most critical information such as

your speed in any sat-nav directions

directly into your line of sight and that means that your intention is kept

on the road so two of the most common things that we’re going to do with an

infotainment system is set a destination

in the sat-nav and pair our mobile phone via bluetooth so let’s see how easy it

is to do in this BMW x1 first of all I’ve got the infotainment

system set up here and I’m going to choose Bluetooth menu and I’m going to

add a new device so that means the system is now discoverable so if I go to

my phone and go to settings and bluetooth should be able to find the BMW

there we go it’s come up as hands-free so we’re going to connect to that got a

pairing question the numbers match yes they do they always do in fact I never

come across a set of numbers that don’t match in this situation

checking passkey okay there we go it looks like we’re connected that was really easy to do if we accept and

connect so I can now use my phone even stream my music to the infotainment

system that means that my attention is kept on the road where it belongs so now that that’s done let’s see how easy it

is set destination in the sat-nav do this and then depress the nav button

down here takes us to this brilliant map view the iDrive system really is very

good at giving you the best information and showing you really clearly the

simplest route to get where you need to go so press the nav button again and

let’s go to destination input and I’m going to select offices in

Twickenham it’s T W I know it’s found tweaking them already on this list and

I’m going to the center if we start guidance we should get you can’t select a number of routes based on the most

economical route the most direct the one

will pay the shortest time I’ve selected the fastest route here and everything to

see it’s already figured it out we’ve got six minutes of traffic one of the

Bane’s of living there London but as we can see it’s giving me a really clear

route to follow and I can say these sat-nav directions can even be displayed

on this head-up display so you get your attention firmly on the road even if

you’re a taller adult like me you’ll still find there’s enough space to

stretch out here in the front of the BMW x1 Headroom is pretty generous and even

though this interiors not much wider than that of a Volkswagen Golf there’s

still enough space for two adults to sit side by side without rubbing shoulders

there’s also plenty of space for all of your odds and ends whether it be in these two cupholders

down here this small cubby space in front of them these door pockets which

can hold a much bigger bottle of water there’s a big space here under the

center armrest and of course you’ve also got the traditional glovebox

it’s a similar story for anybody sitting in these rear seats because well there’s

not as much room as you’ll find in say a Volkswagen Tiguan to 6-foot adults will

be absolutely fine back here even over

longer journeys as it often the case with small SUVs though if you try and

introduce a third person onto this rear bench then everyone will feel a bit more

cramped in terms of boot space you’ll be able to get more into the BMW x1 than

you would in either the Audi q3 or the

Mercedes GLA this space is usefully

square so loading bulkier items such as prams or a couple of suitcases we’ve got

here shouldn’t be difficult at all on this model we’ve also got an extra space

here underneath the boot floor perfect

for storing smaller items now should you find yourself in need of more space then

you can easily drop the rear seats using

these toggles on either side of the boot and that leaves you with a big area

that’s usefully flat even better every x1 gets an electric tailgate as standard

the BMW x1 is a premium car so it costs more on paper than many other small SUVs

it’s also predicted to lose its value faster than key rivals especially

compared to the Audi q3 now that all

being said there are decent discounts available from dealers if you’re

prepared to haggle and some of BMWs own PCP finance deals look especially

attractive in terms of spec we’d seen the sDrive 18 D engine with se

specification which gets you jewel zone climate control rear parking sensors and

sat-nav we’d also recommend adding automatic emergency braking and the

navigation plus package as options and safety wise the x1 was awarded a full

5-star rating by Euro endcap when it was tested in 2015 if you’re in the market

for a premium small SUV then the BMW x1

definitely deserves to be on your shortlist yes it is fairly expensive to

buy and it does generate a lot of road noise but on the plus side it’s good to

drive as a high-quality interior and

offers plenty of space if you’re

thinking of buying a BMW x1


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