The issue with the SUV as a concept is they aren't typically the most engaging cars to drive because of their weight and height. BMW introduced the X1 to fill the gap in the market for those who needed the space an SUV offered, but also wanted the more engaging driving experience that BMW are renowned for. Yes, there is plenty of choice in this category, but it's hard to find a car that offers the practicality of the BMW without compromising the driving experience. It's always good to know BMW consider the family professional when building their cars.
You don't even have to be a car person to see that the X1 is very much a BMW. This may sound odd, but allow us to explain. Every BMW shares the same distinctive aggressive and purposeful looks. Take the 'kidney grilles' that feature on the front of the car, they feature prominently on every BMW and really set the car aside from rivals. Other distinctive features include those slanted headlights and the frowning low grilles. It's safe to say the X1 is a good-looking car then; add in a choice of stylish wheels and superb paint colours, and you suddenly have a car that makes a fine impression.
This is a BMW SUV, so as you would expect, there is plenty of space inside and everything is very well-made. The X1 is also very equipped, even the base spec comes with Bluetooth, DAB Radio and Cruise Control as standard (we were pleasantly shocked too). Satellite navigation is included with each model, with higher trim levels boasting a larger screen. We are also big fans of the optional heads-up display too, because jet-fighter. The thing most people will appreciate is just how well put-together the interior is, it's hard to imagine any rattles or squeaks ever presenting themselves.
'Ultimate driving machine' is the motto BMW use for their cars, and that's because they consistently manage to release vehicles that are engaging to drive on a daily basis. They had their work cut-out with the X1 due to something called physics, but somehow they have created an SUV that feels progressive and very well-balanced. Interestingly, they haven't tried to make the X1 as sporty as possible (although there is a 'M Sport' trim), instead they have focused on creating a supple ride that irons out the worst of the bumps in the road - quite the achievement.
Being a fairly sized SUV, the X1 is a very practical car to own on a daily basis. There is a huge amount of leg and headroom on the inside, meaning you can get full-sized passengers in the rear with ease. The boot itself is also suitably huge, leaving you with plenty of space for weekly shopping items - and even the family pet. We are a fan of the double boot floor as well, it's the little things that make a difference. Oh, and because of how high the X1 sits, getting in and out is never a chore.
Engines and transmissions
Let's just say you're never going to be struggling for choice when it comes to engine or gearbox choice. There is a variety of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, some boasting more turbos and more power, while others offer better fuel efficiency and a far lighter carbon footprint (Happy Feet is a fan of these ones). Manual and automatic gearboxes are both available, both of which offer seamless progress and huge levels of refinement. Regardless of the engine you choose, you can expect excellent pulling power from low-down in the rev-range all the way to the red-line.
The BMW X1 is the perfect family car for the working professional because of its excellent ability to offer high levels of practicality and efficiency alongside an engaging driving experience. Opt for the xDrive (four-wheel drive) and some suitable tyres, and you may be surprised to hear the X1 is plenty capable when the road turns to mud - essential for those local family outings to the countryside.
- Good looking
- Engaging to drive
- Excellent engines and gearboxes
- Immensely practical
- Generous equipment levels