If you’re looking for information on a newer BMW X1, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 BMW X1 Review
The 2018 BMW X1 is the Munich marque’s most compact crossover, making it a top choice for city or country driving. Or any points in between. For many buyers, it will have that much-prized elevated seating position set into a vehicle whose size is just right.
Even when it has front-wheel drive, there’s still something about a BMW that appeals to anyone who likes driving. Engine response, a fine-tuned suspension and confidence-inspiring brakes are always part of the package.
The rest of the vehicle conforms to BMW’s usual high standards, with quality materials and excellent ergonomics. And the company’s iDrive infotainment system has evolved to point where it’s one of the most user-friendly setups out there.
What’s New for 2018?
Nothing major, just a reshuffle of options packages. See the 2018 BMW X1 models for sale near you
What We Like
Handsome design; potent performance; reasonable pricing; considerate fuel consumption
What We Don’t
Not quite as sporty as we’d like from a BMW
The X1 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends this power to the front wheels in the sDrive model, or all four in the xDrive.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts fuel consumption at 23 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined (sDrive), or 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined (xDrive).
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 BMW X1 comes as the sDrive28i ($34,895) or the xDrive28i ($36,895).
Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory, vinyl upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, leather-wrapped tilt-telescopic steering wheel, push-button starting, powered tailgate, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-in center screen, USB port, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity and a 7-speaker audio system.
Options are numerous. The Convenience package brings self-dimming mirrors, panoramic sunroof, keyless access and SiriusXM satellite radio. The Premium package has everything from the Convenience package and adds heated seats, navigation, a head-up display and LED headlights.
The Driver Assistance package comes with adaptive cruise control with forward-collision mitigation, automatic high beams and lane-keep assist. The M Sport package includes a dedicated suspension, re-calibrated transmission, special steering wheel with paddle shifters and an aerodynamic body kit.
Other extras include larger alloy wheels, parking sensors, a rearview camera, 360-watt/12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, wireless charging, Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto).
Cargo space is 27.1 cu ft. with the rear seats up, 58.7 cu ft. when they’re folded down. That’s pretty good for the class. Those rear seats split and fold in 40/20/40 fashion. The front passenger seat also folds down for extra cargo versatility.
Standard protection includes anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags and stability control. Safety options are abundant, ranging from simple features like a rearview camera and parking sensors to modern gadgets like adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane-departure warning and an automated parking function.
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet crash-tested the X1, the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the X1 a Top Safety Pick Plus after strong scores in all test categories.
Behind the Wheel
Although 228 horsepower might sound modest, it’s satisfyingly energetic in a vehicle of this size. Standstill to 60 miles per hour happens in a fairly brisk 6.3 seconds, while steering is precise and handling is predictable.
The X1 also has a surprisingly relaxing ride, with smooth gear shifts, comfortable seats and a compliant suspension. The M Sport package stiffens the ride a touch, but that’s the compromise that comes with an improvement in handling.
The only gripe is in the second row. While legroom is acceptable, that middle seat is for occasional use only. Drivers who regularly transport multiple rear passengers will probably want to upgrade to at least an X3.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 Audi Q3 — Handsome, sporty and well priced, but lacking some of the X1’s equipment choices. And relatively old now.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class — Attractively priced, offering a lot of equipment and a potent turbocharged engine.
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque — The sporty Evoque oozes style and presence, which is rare in the compact crossover class.
2018 Lexus NX 300 — Well-built, well-equipped and spacious. Enthusiasts might prefer to stick with the BMW.
Used BMW X3 — For more power, space and performance, consider an X3. Naturally, new-vehicle prices are higher, but a used or certified pre-owned (CPO) model could suit the budget and perhaps bring more equipment.
Make sure your budget can include the safety features in the Driver Assistance package. And if you have an Android smartphone, now might be the time to switch to the Apple universe.