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In-depth reviews

BMW X1 SUV - Interior & comfort

The X1’s interior feels suitably plush and boasts all of the latest technology

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

The BMW X1 offers a superb blend of quality and refinement, befitting the car’s rather expensive price tag. Top-spec plug-in hybrid models with all the bells and whistles cost just shy of £50,000 – before you start adding pricey option packs.

In general, the X1 rides well over the majority of bumps with very little noise intruding into the cabin. The M Sport version with large alloy wheels is firm for an SUV, however, feeling more like a sporty hatchback than a relaxed cruiser. While this ensures excellent handling, passengers may find it uncomfortable to be jostled around on uneven tarmac. The Sport version is available with smaller 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels which should prove more absorbent over bumps.

BMW X1 SUV: dashboard

The second-generation BMW X1 made its debut in 2015 and was beginning to feel dated on the inside towards the end of its life cycle. Thankfully, the latest X1 remedies that with a minimalist design, taken straight from the range-topping BMW iX electric SUV.

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Stepping inside, your eyes will immediately be drawn to the pair of curved infotainment screens that dominate the dashboard. These measure 10.25-inches and 10.7-inches diagonally and are joined together in one panel, running BMW’s latest iDrive OS8 software with superb, sharp graphics. The central touchscreen is incredibly intuitive to use and responsive to your inputs – however, we do wish the X1 had retained the old model’s rotary dial controller on the centre console as this is much easier to operate when on the go. BMW is hoping you’ll use voice commands whilst driving instead, and it can recognise sentences like “hey BMW, I’m cold” and increase heating for the side of the car you’re in.

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Overall, everything you touch feels of exceptionally high quality; the X1 now surpasses the equivalent Mercedes GLA, which set the benchmark in this segment until the updated BMW arrived. Our only criticism is of the driving position; while driving enthusiasts will love how low down you sit, the X1 doesn’t give quite the same high-riding SUV feel as, say, the Range Rover Evoque.

Equipment

Buyers can specify their new BMW X1 in one of three trim levels: Sport, xLine and M Sport. The Sport trim is only available with the entry-level diesel (sDrive18d), petrol (sDrive20i) and plug-in hybrid (xDrive25e) powertrains, but comes as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, the aforementioned infotainment setup with sat-nav, wireless mobile phone charging, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, cruise control, a reversing camera and a powered bootlid.

The mid-spec xLine opens up further engine options and adds rugged SUV-esque trim on the exterior as well as larger 18-inch alloys, faux leather upholstery, an electrically-operated driver’s seat and sliding rear seats. 

As its name suggests, the M Sport model adds a racier bodysuit as well as even larger 19-inch wheels and part-leather sport seats. Unlike the other trims, you can have any engine in conjunction with the M Sport spec.

Various option packages are available over and above the standard specs. There’s the Comfort Pack which includes things like electric front seats and a heated steering wheel, or the Technology Plus Pack, which brings extras such as adaptive LED lights, a head-up display and Parking Assistance Plus.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    sDrive 20i MHT Sport 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,380

Most Economical

  • Name
    xDrive 25e Sport 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £42,670

Fastest

  • Name
    M35i xDrive 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £49,235

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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