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BMW X1 Review

The 2015 BMW X1 ranks 3 out of 3 Luxury Subcompact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the BMW X1, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 BMW X1 is ranked:

The 2015 BMW X1 provides strong engine options, outstanding fuel economy and nimble handling, test drivers say, though they note that rivals offer greater cargo and passenger space.

The base 2015 BMW X1 features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers swift acceleration and good power, according to reviewers. The available turbocharged six-cylinder engine, some critics say, provides faster acceleration. Others find the difference to be negligible. The base X1 has a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, while six-cylinder models are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. With an EPA-estimated 23/34 mpg city/highway, the base 2015 X1 earns some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class. Reviewers praise the BMW X1 for its sharp handling, noting that its small size and low height make it more athletic than larger crossovers like the BMW X3. Test drivers are also impressed with the X1’s comfortable ride, strong brakes and communicative steering.

The 2015 BMW X1 features a streamlined interior and high-quality materials, critics say. They add that the X1’s front seats are spacious, although they say the available sport seats offer more support. Test drivers find legroom in the rear seats tight for adults. The BMW X1 comes equipped with automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Options include a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, satellite radio, an 11-speaker Harman/Kardon surround-sound audio system and navigation. According to test drivers, the iDrive infotainment system is user-friendly, responsive and has straightforward menus. However, some reviewers complain that some of the X1’s interior controls aren’t clearly marked. With 47.7 cubic feet of space, the BMW X1 has less cargo space than that of most rivals, but automotive journalists say its low cargo floor makes it easy to load and unload large items.

  • "The 2015 BMW X1 has sharp handling and exciting performance, which is rare for a small crossover SUV. However, most other luxury crossovers are roomier and can offer more value for the money." -- Edmunds
  • “If you have or plan to have a growing family, the X1 may be too small. The X3 or X5 offer more room, as does the Acura RDX, Lexus RX or Infiniti's 3-row JX. If towing is a priority, look to the Audi Q5 and its 4,400-pound rating." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The X1 is a fine place to look for those who crave owning a premium brand but don't necessarily want to pay the high prices that are usually part of the deal. Be careful picking extras though--it's possible to add $10,000 or more to the sticker price." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "The X1 travels fast, handles dynamically and is surprisingly luxurious for a junior crossover." -- The New York Times (2013)

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class impresses reviewers with its sharp handling and comfortable ride. They also praise its upscale interior materials and handsome cabin styling. Additionally, the GLA-Class earns great fuel economy estimates for the class.

Reviewers praise the Lincoln MKC’s luxurious interior, which they say includes top-of-the-line materials. Its standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers speedy acceleration, they report. Test drivers are also pleased with the MKC’s nimble handling and secure ride.

Compare the X1, GLA-Class and MKC »

Details: 2015 BMW X1

The 2015 BMW X1 seats five and comes in sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive35i trims. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission are standard in sDrive28i and xDrive28i models, while a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission come with the X1 xDrive35i. The X1 sDrive28i is rear-wheel drive, while xDrive28i and xDrive35i models come with all-wheel drive. The BMW X1 debuted in 2013 and sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 BMW X1 specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/27/15

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