2019 BMW X1
2018 BMW X1 xDrive28i in Sunset Orange Metallic (a $550 option)

Quick Spin

2018 BMW X1 xDrive28i

Class: Premium Subcompact Crossover

Miles Driven: 463

Fuel Used: 19.2 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 24.1 mpg

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB
Power and PerformanceB-
Fit and FinishB+
Fuel EconomyB
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyC
Tall GuyB+
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Engine Specs228-hp 2.0L
Engine TypeTurbocharged 4-cyl
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive WheelsAWD

Driving mix: 40% city, 60% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/31/25 (city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Premium gasoline recommended

2018 base price (2019 base price is $34,950): $35,900 (not including $995 destination charge)

Options on 2018 test car (standard/optional equipment has been changed slightly for 2019): Sunset Orange Metallic paint ($550), Convenience Package ($2500), heated front seats and steering wheel ($550), LED headlamps with cornering lights ($950), Park Distance Control ($800), Apple CarPlay compatibility ($300), wireless device charging ($500), navigation system ($950)

Price as tested: $43,995


Quick Hits

The great: High-quality cabin trimmings; good passenger and cargo room within tidy exterior dimensions

The good: Lively acceleration; responsive handling

The not so good: Front-door apertures are small; some expected luxury features aren’t standard

More X1 price and availability information


CG Says:

The BMW X1 is a paragon of vehicle stability control—maybe just not in the way you’re thinking.

Released in its current form as a 2016 model, the only appreciable change to this premium compact crossover was the addition of a front-wheel-drive version for 2017. Virtually nothing new was done to the X1 for 2018, and minor trim changes are as much as the Bavarians had in mind for ’19. So even if Consumer Guide did get a very-late-arriving all-wheel-drive 2018 X1 to test, what we saw is (more or less) what you’ll get if you elect to buy its successor.

2019 BMW X1
Satin aluminum roof rails and a power tailgate are standard equipment.

X1 is a mini sport-ute that’s also a Mini sport-ute. It shares a platform and a powerteam with the Mini Cooper Countryman—don’t forget that these two brands are corporate cousins. The X1 made some practical gains in passenger and cargo room by going this route for its second generation. In absolute terms it’s not huge inside—the X1 is on the big end of our premium subcompact SUV class, after all—but there is livable legroom and not bad headroom, and that goes for both rows. From the Caveats Department, rear seat backs are decidedly upright, and just two adults will fit in them.

Quick Spin: 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport

BMW X1 Cabin
The X1’s cabin is classy yet understated in typical BMW fashion, and it stacks up well against most class rivals. Rear seat space is aided by the tall body proportions, but the seating position is a bit upright for some tastes.

Surroundings are pleasant but not overly plush. Standard upholstery is SensaTec leatherette (genuine leather costs extra), but the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. Soft surfaces are in evidence throughout the cabin. Controls are a mix of “vintage” BMW analog speedometer and tachometer dials in front of the driver with modern—but not universally beloved—iDrive console control and 6.5-inch dash screen for audio, navigation, and other infotainment functions. (Note that the Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity and navigation system that were options on the 2018 test truck have been made standard for 2019, though BMW is picking up the CarPlay hookup for just a year.) The automatic climate-control system employs convenient dials to set temperatures, with buttons—some repetitive-push—to manage system functions like fan speed, vent selection, etc.

Test Drive: 2019 Volvo XC40 R-Design

BMW X1 Sunroof
A large panoramic sunroof is included in the $2500 Convenience Package.

There are several repositories for passengers’ personal items scattered around the cabin. However, the optional wireless charger in CG’s test vehicle filled one of them; it occupies the small space within the padded central armrest that’s positioned above the center console. In back there’s pretty good load space for a little ute. Liftover for cargo loading is fairly low, and the floor is flat, with cubbies in the rear corners for incidentals, and a little bit of underfloor space. When the need arises for additional cargo capacity, the rear seats fold flat in a 40/20/40 break.

Test Drive: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLA45

BMW X1 Storage Space
The X1 offers 27.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats, and 58.7 cu. ft. with the rear seat backs folded; these numbers top most every entry-level premium-brand crossover competitor.

The list of 2018 X1 xDrive28i standard features also logged 18-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate, fog lights, memory driver’s seat, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and AM/FM/CD audio with HD radio. The $35,900 starting price jumped to $43,995 with delivery and options like heated front seats and steering wheel, LED headlights, Sunset Orange Metallic paint, and a $2500 Convenience Package with a panoramic moonroof, satellite radio, and more. From that list some shoppers may find things that they would assume would be included in a luxury-nameplate vehicle without having to spend an extra dime.

First Spin: 2019 Cadillac XT4

BMW X1 Wheels
Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard equipment.

One included premium touch is under the hood. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 228 horsepower, which matches the output of the Mini Countryman’s high-performance John Cooper Works model. Acceleration that is quite lively in the base “Comfort” mode becomes a degree more vivid in “Sport” mode, with different throttle response and shift behavior from the 8-speed automatic transmission. Highway cruising is quiet but commanding. There’s also an “ECO PRO” mode to tone down power delivery in the service of fuel economy. EPA fuel-mileage estimates for 22 mpg in city driving, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. CG editors’ collective 24 mpg neared the combined figure, though with a slight majority of highway driving that probably should have nudged fuel economy a little higher. While on the road, the AWD X1 rides comfortably most of the time and handles with precision.

As it moves into 2019 and the current X1’s fourth model year, BMW seems to be sticking with what it thinks works. Compact-SUV shoppers who value a rewarding driving experience higher than being catered to by luxuries may agree with that decision.

Test Drive: 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i

BMW X1 in Sunset Orange
The X1 represents one of the more practical, accessible ways to enjoy a BMW driving experience; it offers decent passenger and cargo room in a small package, an engaging driving character, and a convincingly upscale feel.

Road America Recap: Quick Takes on 11 Hot New Vehicles

Share this: