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BMW X1 SUV (2010-2015) - Interior & comfort

Step up from a 3 Series and you’ll notice a shortfall in quality in the BMW X1

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

2.5 out of 5

The BMW X1 has reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel, as well as height adjustment for the driver’s seat, so getting comfortable is easy. For an SUV, the BMW X1 doesn’t have particularly tall suspension, so your view of the road is only a little better than what you get in a conventional car, but standard rear parking sensors should make it easy to back into tight spaces.

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Despite taking its diesel engines from the rest of the BMW range, the X1 is noisier and would benefit from some extra sound-deadening to eradicate clatter on start-up. The diesels settle down when cruising on the motorway, but some wind noise does make its way inside.

BMW X1 dashboard

High-grade plastics are used for large parts of the BMW X1’s interior, but the quality isn’t a match for other models in the BMW range and you don’t have to look to hard to find hard plastic. For this reason, we prefer the excellent quality of the Audi Q3 cabin and the ultra-modern design of the Mercedes GLA interior, but a driver-focused dashboard and lower seating position make the BMW feel sportier than both of them.

BMW X1 equipment

Anyone familiar with other BMWs will recognise the X1’s trim levels. SE is the entry-level model and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning with separate controls for the driver and passenger, Bluetooth phone connectivity, DAB digital radio and rear parking sensors. Four-wheel-drive models also have hill-descent control, which manages the car’s speed when you’re going down a steep incline.

You pay a £1,000 premium for Sport models, which look smarter outside, while inside have high-gloss trim, a soft-touch instrument panel surround with red stitching, and selectable ambient lighting.

Go for xLine specification (which costs £2,000 more than SE) and you get larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a full leather interior on top of the Sport model’s equipment.

M Sport models have their own unique 18-inch alloy wheels and an M Sport body kit with M Sport badging. Sports suspension is a no-cost option and xDrive four-wheel-drive models come with Performance Control that makes the X1 quicker in corners.

BMW X1 options

As ever with BMW, there’s a long list of pricey options to choose from and the £1,500 eight-speed automatic gearbox is one of the most popular. The £890 Media Pack should also add value come resale time – it brings sat nav and BMW’s emergency call system, which can relay information to the emergency services if the car is involved in an accident.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    sDrive 20i MHT Sport 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,410

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
    £49,385

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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