We know how great the new X7 and X5 model SUVs are, but do you know which small BMW SUV is the best? Our top pick is the F48 BMW X1 xDrive28i. Although it’s quite an unconventional BMW because of its front-wheel drive, this smaller SUV beats the X5 and X7 in many regards.
The F48 BMW X1 xDrive28i
The F48 BMW X1 comes with a powerful front-wheel drive and 241 horsepower under the hood. It is a subcompact luxury crossover sports 5-door SUV that is quite elegant and can fit any landscape beautifully.
It is quite small compared to the X5 and X7, with a width of 71.7 inches (1.82 meters), a length of 174.8 inches (4.44 meters), and a height of 63.5 inches (1.61 meters).
The second generation X1, after 2015, offers rear-wheel drive on the inferior models of the spectrum: sDrive16d, 18i, 20i and 20d. But these are the lower end models and were made to please some die-hard BMW fans that stick to the rear-wheel-drive almost fanatically.
The xDrive28i reaches 26 miles per gallon combined city-highway fuel economy. It gets 31 miles per gallon on the highway and 23 in city traffic conditions, which is quite reasonable for an SUV.
Engine variations of the X1
There are five gasoline engine options for the X1 and four diesel ones. The gasoline ones start with the sDrive18i, which is the smallest engine available, with just 141 horsepower. It reaches from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62 miles per hour) in 9.7 seconds. Whereas the most powerful and fastest engine option is our chosen xDrive28i with 228 horsepower and a 6.5-second time to 62 miles.
When it comes to the diesel options, they range from sDrive16d to sDrive25d, with the latter reaching 62 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, which is almost as fast as the xDrive28i.
Regarding the transmission, it comes in 6-speed automatic, 8-speed automatic, 6-speed manual and 7-speed DCT packages.
In the Euro NCAP test, the X1 got a score of 5/5 stars and more importantly a score of 90% for adult passenger safety. Child occupant safety was measured to be 87%. The suspension of the model is average, but other driving modes are available to fix that.
The X1 received five stars from the NHTSA and IIHS, but scored marginally on the headlamps test, which might be the only flaw of the vehicle in terms of safety.
Interior and comfort
The Comfort and Eco Pro modes are the ones that provide you with a less painful bumpy ride on harder roads. The sport mode, on the other hand, stiffens the chassis quite a lot and makes you forget any feel of comfort. It feels like a BMW in sports mode, despite being front-wheel powered.
The interior is quite roomy with enough legroom and headspace. It does not feel as expensive as high-end SUVs like the X7 or a Volvo XC40, but is decently equipped and provides you with a reliable cruise control, Bluetooth, parking sensors and safety assistance systems.
The infotainment is remarkable, as it’s a BMW, after all. As an add-on, you can increase the touchscreen and the rotary joystick that you can use instead of it.
Users have reported how extremely quiet it is in the cabin. It is perfectly insulated and you won’t be disturbed by a lot of outside noise while enjoying your ride.
If you do not like things quiet, a 12 speaker Kardon sound system is an option you could include when purchasing. The standard version comes with a seven-speaker audio system. BMW X1 runs Apple’s CarPlay, but it does not offer Android Auto. There is a SiriusXM satellite radio available, as well as USB ports and a Bluetooth phone feature for audio and call connectivity.
Pros and Cons of the X1
The BMW X1 makes a perfect SUV family vehicle for families of 4 or 5. It is a hands down amazing vehicle that can be a part of any garage. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a few flaws.
- Leather interior, luxury feel
- Good MPG
- Panoramic sunroof available
- Great infotainment, speed limits predictions and directions
- Spacy interior
- Not expensive compared to other luxury SUVs
- The front seats are smaller than they should be
- Does not include a blind spot sensor
Regarding its size, if dimensions do not clearly mean anything to you, it’s about the same size as the older X3 models that BMW produced. If you are looking to buy the X1, consider adding a few extra bucks and purchasing the xDrive28i, instead of the lower-end models. It is definitely worth it.
BMW SUV FAQs
How much does a BMW X1 cost?
The lowest possible price for a BMW X1 starts at around $35,000 in the US. Choosing the premium features and a better engine like the gasoline xDrive28i or the diesel xDrive25d, might extend the cost up to $50,000, but is definitely worth it for the added benefits.
What is the best large BMW SUV?
The BMW X7 is the largest and most luxurious SUV that BMW currently produces. It comes with beastly powerful engines and a tech-feature packed interface. The 4.4L V-8 engine feels like you are driving a sports car with the safety of a tank.
The X7 is the flagship SUV of the BMW brand and goes toe to toe with the Mercedes GLS, the Volvo XC90 and the Audi Q7. This premium large SUV can host up to 7 people, including the driver, in three rows of seats.
Are BMW SUVs reliable on the road?
New BMW SUVs are quite reliable. For instance, the last generation of BMW X5 was awarded second place in the large luxury SUV category in terms of reliability. It finished ahead of the Range Rover Sport and the Volvo XC90. On the other hand, for the past year, the BMW brand overall has been placed in 16th place in terms of reliability. So, make sure you research each model before purchasing.