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BMW X1 (2009–2015)

Last updated 21 March 2019

Compact off-roader available with two or four-wheel drive. Car-like to drive. Economical diesel engine with various power outputs. Usefully large boot.
M Sport models on bigger wheels have stiff ride.
Updated 14 March 2019

Report of failure of front diff of 2011 BMW X1 E84 2.0 diesel xDrive MSport at 48,000 miles. Feedback from the BMW specialist was the failure could have originated from oil in the diff gone bad or was...

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The BMW X1 is the smallest model in the X line-up and - as BMW is proud to claim - was the first premium compact SUV on sale in the UK before the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque. Don't be fooled by the pictures, the X1 is actually a lot more compact than it first appears plus it's priced pretty keenly too, making it an alternative to the likes of the Ford Kuga.

It is actually shorter than a BMW 3 Series Touring so parking isn't a problem, plus it drives well too with impressive handling and - unusually on a small BMW - a very forgiving ride. But where the X1 makes the most sense is in running costs.

It's available with xDrive four-wheel drive as you'd expect but there are also two-wheel drive version - badged sDrive - which unusually are rear-wheel drive rather than front. This means they still handle well in the BMW tradition, but fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are low. All X1s are powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine but in differing power outputs. The most frugal is the sDrive18d which is capable of averaging 54.3mpg while choosing the xDrive version still sees economy of 49.6mpg.

The top model is the twin-turbo xDrive23d with 204bhp but for most people the sDrive20d is the best blend of punchy performance and economy. On the road the X1 is comfortable and composed, tackling rough ground or long distance motorway cruises with equal aplomb, while passenger room for those in the back is impressively spacious.

BMW X1 2007 Road Test and Video

Owners' reviews

When it wears out, I'll buy another.
Great fun
Should have kept my 2004 320D estate!
Nice car to drive, but expensive to service, Don't keep when Warranty has expired.
It's a good car and has a lot going for it.
List Price from £28,290
Buy new from £22,976
Contract hire from £253.40 per month

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