James Flammang
Contributing Editor - September 1, 2016

Expert Rating

4.35 (Excellent)
23 City / 32 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

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4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

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Introduced for 2013, BMW's smallest crossover enjoyed a total redesign three years later, with a bolder look, more space, and entirely different, Mini-derived foundation. In its current form, the X1 feels like a proper, if junior, member of the German brand's utility-vehicle family. BMW bills the X1 as a “sports activity vehicle.” Previously, only BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system was available, but the 2017 X1 also comes with front-wheel drive.

What's New for 2017

For the second-generation X1’s second season, little has changed. A standard suspension is now included on the X1. The optional M Sport Package now includes an M Sport suspension. Sport seats are now a standalone option.

BMW X1 Front Quarter

Choosing Your BMW X1

BMW X1 Interior Front

As redesigned for 2016, the X1 moved to an all-new front-drive platform, shared with the Mini. (First-generation X1s had a rear-drive platform, like most BMWs.)

Taller and wider than before, the current X1 is still within the limits for the smallest class of luxury crossovers. Passengers sit relatively higher than in the pre-2016 generation, and rear occupants get ample legroom—not always true for vehicles of this size. Measuring 175.4 inches long, the X1 rides a 105.1-inch wheelbase. A sliding and reclining rear seat is available as an option.

Each X1 contains BMW's 228-horsepower turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine, developing 250 pound-feet of torque and matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Priced at $34,095 (including destination charge), the X1 sDrive 28i has front-wheel drive. For $2,000 more, the X1 xDrive 28i gets BMW’s all-wheel drive system.

BMW X1 Front Seats

Fuel economy is estimated at 23/32 mpg (city/highway) with front-drive, and 22/31 mpg (city/highway) with xDrive all-wheel drive.

Standard features include selectable driving modes, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate, satin aluminum roof rails, automatic climate control, multifunction steering column, BMW iDrive control, 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a seven-speaker sound system with HD radio and Bluetooth streaming. SensaTec leatherette upholstery is standard, and power front seats include driver memory.

  • The $1,550 Luxury Package adds Dakota leather seating and wood or brushed aluminum interior trim, along with satellite radio and lumbar support. Models so equipped are eligible for the $3,250 Premium Package, which brings a panoramic moonroof, keyless access, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, LED headlights with cornering lights, and ambient interior lighting.
  • Heated front seats are available as part of the Cold Weather package.
  • For $2,550, the Technology package includes navigation with real-time traffic data, numerous online services, integrated smartphone apps, and a head-up display.
  • The $1,150 Driver Assistance Package tacks on front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and an automated parking system.
  • Starting at $700, the Driver Assistance Plus version turns to active-safety features, including lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation, and pedestrian detection, along with automatic high beams and speed-limit data. Adaptive cruise control can be added.
  • Finally, BMW’s M Sport Package ($2,450) includes 19-inch double-spoke wheels, a sport transmission, sport seats, M Sport suspension, M steering wheel, aerodynamic body kit, Shadowline exterior trim, and aluminum or wood interior trim.

Some option-package features can be added individually, which may help keep total cost down. Standalone options include navigation and Harman Kardon premium sound.

CarsDirect Tip

Although we’d prefer it to be standard, the sliding/reclining rear seat is a worthy option at $300. Because the interior feels so inviting when adorned with wood and leather, we also like the Luxury Package. Arguably most important is the Driver Assistance Plus group of active-safety items. We're dismayed by the fact that a fully loaded X1 could cost as much as some seven-passenger luxury crossovers. Then again, despite its Mini foundation, the X1 is undeniably a BMW.

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BMW X1 Rear Quarter

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