BMW X1 (2015-2022) MK3

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Orange BMW X1

BMW X1 (2015-2022)

Stylish, comfortable, and great at performance, the X1 is an SUV that was designed to stand out from the crowd. 

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  • Spacious storage space
  • Excellent agility
  • Choice of manual and automatic
  • 2-wheel drive
  • Firm ride
  • Big wheels
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What's the BMW X1 like?

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

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-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines, and three different versions of the same 2.0-litre diesel. Lowlier models come with a 6-speed gearbox, while the rest have a tiptronic automatic.

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

The 18d, most of which are front-wheel drive, reaches 62mph from a standstill in nine seconds, and is capable of 52mpg, 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's rare, but boasts 227bhp and 0 to 62mph 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 seconds and economy best of 44mpg.

Then comes a 2.0-litre with 178bhp that drops the 0 to 62mph time to 7.4 seconds and is rated at 43mpg. This one is available with two or 4-wheel drive and has a standard automatic ‘box.

And finally comes the hybrid mentioned above that gets to 62mph in an excellent 6.7 seconds and is rated at 149mpg economy.

Driving Experience

Despite having the looks of a 4x4, most models on the second-hand 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 the economy will be slightly worse.

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

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 its character, and bigger wheels and tyres are probably to blame... as they so often are.

Interior and Equipment

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.

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.

Find your BMW X1 your way with CarStore

The BMW X1 is an excellent combination between comfort, style and performance. Aiming at families who prioritise a large storage space and comfortable driving without compromising the luxurious cabin and spacious boot, this SUV goes the extra mile for daily usage.

Here at CarStore, you're able to buy your car your way. Whether that be online, in-person, or a mix of both, the choice is yours. With an extensive variety of used cars available, we're sure to have a car that suits your lifestyle.