BMW X1 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
With improved practicality, the BMW X1 is ideal compact family transport
The move to a larger SUV-style body has boosted the X1's practicality. However, while it's larger than before, the X1 is still a relatively compact SUV, with a footprint that's no larger than a BMW 1 Series hatchback. The real benefit comes in the shape of its higher driving position, although it's lower set than some small SUV rivals.
There are loads of handy touches, too. For example, you can order your X1 with a fold-flat front passenger seat, and all cars can hold a one-litre water bottle in each of the four doors. BMW’s Extended Storage is standard, meaning there are nets and tie down points dotted around the cabin – and all cars come with an automatic tailgate. Visibility is good and the model is easy to manoeuvre, too.
The BMW X1 is 4,439mm long, 1,821mm wide (less wing mirrors) and 1,598mm tall. That gives it more upright proportions than the original X1, but does mean more space has been created in the cabin.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Room inside the cabin is on par with the Volvo XC40, offering a good level of space in the rear and decent storage up front. The X1 is comfortable, too. There’s loads of room in the back and enough head and legroom for a six-foot adult to sit behind a relatively tall driver. The old model was criticised in this area, so it’s great to see that BMW has listened to feedback and improved the X1 where it mattered most.
The 505-litre boot is 85 litres bigger than before, and when you fold the rear seats down there's a 1,550-litre load area, which is a whopping 200 litres more than you’ll find in the old X1. Compared to its rivals, the BMW X1 is 45 litres bigger than the Volvo XC40 in five-seat mode, and 55 litres bigger than the MINI Countryman, which shares the same platform.
In this review
- 1VerdictIf you want a small premium SUV that’s practical and fun to drive, the BMW X1 is it
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe BMW X1 is possibly the best handling small SUV on sale in the UK
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsEfficient petrol, diesel and hybrid engines put the BMW X1 at the front of the small premium SUV pack
- 4Interior, design and technologySecond-generation BMW X1 goes for a traditional SUV shape, with typical BMW styling cues
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingWith improved practicality, the BMW X1 is ideal compact family transport
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe BMW X1 achieves a top safety rating, but standard kit could be better