BMW X1 - Used Car

Review

BMW X1, front
BMW X1, side
BMW X1, rear
BMW X1, interior
BMW X1, interior
BMW X1, boot

BMW's smallest SUV the X1 was launched way back in 2009 and a new model was introduced in 2015.

Despite having the looks of a 4x4, most models on the secondhand market seem to be front wheel drive.

How do you tell the difference? Front wheel drive models have an sDrive badge on the sides, while 4WD models have xDrive instead.

Some people buying such a car will want 4WD for the extra traction in severe winter conditions, where it would be far more likely to get you home.

But there is a cost, because economy will be slightly worse.

The range was updated and refreshed in 2019, with a larger grill, sleeker lines and LED headlights, and later the same year a plug-in hybrid model was introduced with an electric only range of up to 35 miles.

That's enough for many people's daily commute, cutting costs, emitting no harmful gases and allowing owners to drive free in low emission zones.

There are 1.5 and 2.0-litre petrol engines and three different versions of the same 2.0-litre diesel. Lowlier models come with a six speed gearbox while the rest have a tiptronic automatic.

Best sellers have been the mainstay diesel with 147 and 187bhp respectively and badged 18d and 20d.

The 18d, most of which are front wheel drive, reaches 60 miles an hour from a standstill in nine seconds, and is capable of 52miles per gallon, while the 20d automatic covers the sprint in 7.6 seconds and is rated at 55mpg.

Finally there is another 2.0-litre called the 25d that has the auto and 4WD as standard. It is rare, but boasts 227bhp and 0 to 60 in a quick 6.4 seconds while achieving a very best of 58mpg.

There are petrol models of course and these start with the 18i, which has 134bhp from a 1.5-litre engine, giving a sprint time of 9.4 and economy best of 44mpg.

Then comes a 2.0-litre with 178bhp that drops the 60 time to 7.4 seconds and is rated at 43mpg. This one is available with two or four wheel drive and has a standard automatic ‘box.

And finally comes the hybrid mentioned above that gets to 60 in an excellent 6.7 seconds and is rated at 149mpg economy.

Rear seat headroom was much improved over the previous model by a taller body and the already large boot, which has a powered tailgate, can easily be almost tripled in size by lowering the back seats.

The body design incorporates air deflectors and smooth underbody panels to reduce drag and help improve economy.

The brakes are superb as you would expect, and the steering gives plenty of feedback at all times.

All models come with excellent agility and chassis response over any surface, giving tenacious grip and delightful roadholding.

The ride is good but it's not as soft as I certainly thought it should be in an SUV - however sporting it's character - and bigger wheels and tyres are probably to blame - as they so often are.

Inside, the seats do a good job of smoothing out ride imperfections and they give very good support with a wide range of adjustment.

Interior and dash design is superb with all the controls exactly where they should be.

SE Spec includes a good range of equipment but as is usual with BMW, the extras list is endless and some will have been added by the original owner.

The SE has alarm, heated mirrors, parking sensors, sat nav, variable servicing with a dash indicator and traction control.

Just make sure the model you want has all the other kit you need.

Pay about £14,300 for an ‘18 18-reg 18i Sport, or £28,100 for a '21 21-reg xDrive 20d xLine Sport automatic.

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