BMW X1, a cheap alternative to a full size SUV

BMW X1 2013

Currently on our forecourt (15/01/2019) we have this stunningly coloured BMW X1. The X1 is the
smallest all wheel drive car BMW sells. Essentially it is a rebodied 1 series, designed to tackle off
road and on road scenarios in a much smaller, athletic package. Now why would you want a mini
4x4? Have you ever driven a proper off roader? They are large, cumbersome and hard live with day
to day and contrary to popular belief there is not that much extra space. So there you are, needing
or wanting a car with a high driving position and 4 wheel drive, but not all of that extra fat, bring on
the X1!

This model is the 2.0L Diesel variant with the sport pack. This engine will get you from 0-60 in 10
seconds and all the way to a top speed of 121mph which is plenty for UK roads. You may not be
looking for speed but that slow 0-60 is quite noticeable. The turbo makes it safe to pull away, but
that engine certainly is lacking the grunt which you experience in the 1 Series. That being said I can
look the other way to being overtaken when I am making 50+mpg in a 4X4.


On the road it drives very similar to a standard car. It doesn’t lurch about or pitch side to side like a
Land Rover. Which makes it more confident to drive and drive fast. On smooth roads the cabin noise
is very minimal even over the Diesel burble and on rough roads it is not a back breaking drive. Being
a taller male, I couldn’t raise my seat high due to the low roof, which made seeing the corners a bit
difficult, but the parking sensors helped keep me on track.

Unlike Audi or Mercedes, BMW aren’t renowned for the quality of their interiors. Don’t mistake my
words here. The build quality is superb. Everything is solid and extremely well put together but is it a
place I want to spend a long journey in, probably not. This is probably the nicest interior specs I have
seen on a non-M Sport car. The seats are well bolstered and hold you secure and are finished with a
tasteful red stich and insert. The doors feature the same red stitch and piano gloss inserts which I
prefer over the brushed steel or the faux carbon print. Something a bit different.


For a real-world test, we used a 64L plastic tub to represent a good-sized shopping trip. As you can
see from the photos, there is more than ample space to get your weekly shopping in. Even the back
bench can happily take two crates making this small off roader extremely sensible and useable. This
being a smaller off roader it does lack some internal space, especially behind the driver’s seat. Being
6ft 3, I could sit behind the driver’s seat, but it wouldn’t work on a long journey. Compared to other
German manufactures the missing screen for vehicle data is a disappointment and the button
overload isn’t a great compromise.

All in the X1 is a great car. If you are looking for a bigger school run car, professional looking business
wagon or maybe something to tend to the horses, the X1 would be perfect and at £247.20 PM* it is
a steal! View the full ad here:
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