With the growing popularity of smaller, parking lot-friendly sport-utility vehicles, traditional vehicles such as sedans and wagons are being left in the dust. And SUVs such as the 2018 BMW X1 show why. Its small small size is perfect for urban driving, while its low load floor and large cargo volume are perfect for hauling duty. It is more expensive than many of its traditional competitors, but the BMW X1 is aiming to give compact crossover buyers who want something more sporty or luxurious a good choice in this already crowded market.
It starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (228 hp, 258 lb-ft) sending power to either the front or, optionally, all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Either powertrain combination is lively yet smooth, and the X1 can zip to 60 mph in a class-leading 6.5 seconds. But the X1 isn't all about sportiness; its 40/20/40-split rear seatback increases flexibility for carrying large or bulky items and people at the same time.
But there some downsides to having a performance crossover. For one, the same sticky tire and sporty suspension setup that keeps the chassis stable and stuck in the turns also transmits high frequency bumps and noise into the cabin. Although noise levels are no worse than others, the harsh ride over bumpy surfaces may leave drivers wishing for a softer setup. Also, technology features that are standard or packaged together in got-to-have option groups, such as parking sensors and Apple CarPlay connectivity, are stand-alone options, so double-check your build sheet before committing to the car.
Overall, though, the 2018 BMW X1's functional and sporty characteristics warrant a solid recommendation.
The 2018 BMW X1 is a five-seat compact SUV in the luxury segment. It comes in two versions: the front-wheel-drive X1 sDrive28i and the all-wheel-drive X1 xDrive28i. From there, you have two directions to go: xLine Design or the sportier M Sport Design. After that, you can add various option groups that BMW calls tiers. The M Sport Design already comes with the Convenience group, which is optional on the xLine Design. Afterward, packages and stand-alone options are available based on which initial design and group you select.
Powered by a peppy 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (228 hp, 258 lb-ft) and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the BMW X1 is an engaging small luxury crossover. With the xLine Design, the X1 comes standard with 18-inch wheels, foglamps, keyless ignition, automatic wipers and a power tailgate. On the inside, standard equipment includes a 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory settings and a seven-speaker audio system.
An available Convenience package adds a panoramic sunroof, ambient interior lighting, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry, satellite radio and adjustable front-seat lumbar support.
The M Sport Design package includes the features of the xLine Design's Convenience group and adds various visual and performance upgrades that include different 18-inch wheels, gloss-black exterior trim, special interior trim, a sport-tuned transmission and sport front seats.
Both models can be equipped with a Premium equipment group that includes LED headlights, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats, a head-up display and a navigation system.
Also available is a Driver Assistance package (includes automatic high beams, lane departure warning and front collision warning and mitigation) and a Luxury package (leather seating surfaces and wood trim).
Other options include a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, Apple CarPlay connectivity, parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless charging capability, and sliding and reclining rear seat adjustability. M Sport Design cars can also swap out for stickier performance tires and a stiffer M Sport suspension.