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BMW X1 2019 review: xDrive25i

Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

14 May 2019 • 9 min read

This week I had the arduous task of driving two hours out of Sydney, just to pick something up, which as you can imagine I wasn’t looking forward to. It was lucky then, I was test driving the BMW X1, a small SUV which seats five people and is in competition with cars like the Audi Q3, the Mercedes GLA and the Mini Countryman. That put me in a better mood. 

I was driving the top of the range X1, the xDrive25i which costs $60,900 before on road costs and extras. Here’s how it did on that particularly annoying journey and also the rest of the week with my family of four in tow.

How does it look?

The X1 isn’t your typical slick, sleek BMW that oozes luxurious style. From the outside it’s a little boxier than usual and as it’s known as the more responsible, practical family member of BMW’s X clan, the exterior reflects that. Not that I mind. If you’re choosing cars based on sophisticated looks you might go for the Mercedes but this car looks like it has some rough-ready driving to it. Always a good thing, depending on what you’re after.

  • The X1 isn’t your typical slick, sleek BMW that oozes luxurious style. The X1 isn’t your typical slick, sleek BMW that oozes luxurious style.
  • From the outside it’s a little boxier than usual. From the outside it’s a little boxier than usual.
  • This car looks like it has some rough-ready driving to it. This car looks like it has some rough-ready driving to it.

Inside is fairly similar, with the practicality coming through in the pebble-finish leather seats which will wear a lot better than smooth leather. There are high gloss accents along the centre console to bring in the premium factor, and it’s all nicely designed with a scooped centre along where the cupholders sit.

There is a leather steering wheel that feels good under the hands, and this car had the panoramic sunroof optioned in (an extra $1890) that extends all the way to the back and makes it feel like there is almost a complete glass roof above, tinted though, so it’s not like the sun is shining down on you. Just lovely light.

This model also had the M Sport package fitted (extra $2400) which includes a high gloss Shadow Line, roofliner and roofrails amongst other things, and then it’s an extra $750 for the Sport seats in the front which do make for a very comfortable drive.

How spacious is it?

The X1 is not as small as you’d think, being in the small SUV category. It’s roomy for a small SUV in the front seat, with me and other taller passengers travelling in here all week everyone had enough leg and head room and there wasn’t a compacted feeling you can get in some small SUVs.

  • It’s roomy for a small SUV in the front seat. It’s roomy for a small SUV in the front seat.
  • The back actually had a load of space when you compare it to some other small SUVs. The back actually had a load of space when you compare it to some other small SUVs.
  • The boot itself is big at 505 litres. The boot itself is big at 505 litres.
  • You’ll be able to fit a pram in, or small kids bikes and scooters if your kids are a bit older. You’ll be able to fit a pram in, or small kids bikes and scooters if your kids are a bit older.

The back actually had a load of space when you compare it to some other small SUVs. I’m 161cm and I could easily fit back there with about 30cm between my knees and the seat in front, so tall teenagers and adults will also have enough room back here. You can also slide the back row forward and back depending on where you want the room - in the rear or in the boot.

The boot itself is big, 505 litres means it’s bigger than the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and Mini Countryman’s boot space, and also comes with large, hidden underfloor storage. You’ll be able to fit a pram in, and if your kids are out of pram stage then you can fit small kids bikes and scooters in here.

How does it drive?

Being the top of the range X1, the xDrive25i means it has a 2litre, 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine. It coasts along highways and gets up hills quite effortlessly. I took it two hours out of Sydney so did a whole lot of open road and it was smooth and enjoyable to drive. It’s the highest performing engine in the range, and the xDrive part also means it has AWD so you feel comfortable taking it on different kinds of surfaces like dirt and gravel too.

The X1 has a 2 litre, 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine. The X1 has a 2 litre, 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine.

It handles well, taking corners in its stride and the steering is evenly weighted and good to turn, so parking the car is simple and there is a high definition reverse parking camera to help you out with that, though no 360 degree view.

It has a head up display so you can tell your speed without glancing down and that also features a red safety alert if you get too close to the car in front. I felt really confident driving this car on the open road this week and it was also nimble enough for the city.

It has a head up display so you can tell your speed without glancing down. It has a head up display so you can tell your speed without glancing down.

How easy is it to use every day?

It has one of my favourite features, the boot that opens with a button on the key. So useful. There are two small, deep storage spaces on either side of the main space in the boot, good to stuff short umbrellas in.

Other storage includes two cupholders in the front, two in the centre armrest in the back, a double level centre storage bin where the bottom level is almost open so it’s good for keys and a phone, plus bottle holders in each door. 

Rear passengers get their own air vents which my children always appreciate. Rear passengers get their own air vents which my children always appreciate.

It’s a nice height off the ground so you can easily climb in, and so can small children. The height makes it easy to do kids’ seat belts up too, and also to get things in and out of the boot.

Rear passengers get their own air vents which my children always appreciate.

How safe is it?

The BMW X1 has airbags, plus advanced safety like lane departure alerts and forward collision alerts. It now also has auto emergency braking but it won’t bring the car to a complete stop, it works at low city speeds and slows the car down when necessary.

It comes with two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children’s car seats and scored five stars with ANCAP in 2015. There is no spare tyre in the X1.

What’s the tech like?

As standard, BMW relies on its own multimedia system and in the xDrive25i that tech is quite good with a more sophisticated built-in sat nav than the other models. You can option in Apple Carplay (extra $436) which will instantly connect you to the main apps on your phone (and easily listen to podcasts on a long drive), but there is no option for Android Auto, so Android users miss out on this technology. You can still connect via Bluetooth and listen to music plus make calls.

the tech is quite good with a more sophisticated built-in sat nav than the other models. the tech is quite good with a more sophisticated built-in sat nav than the other models.

How much is it to own?

The BMW X1 xDrive25i costs $60,900 before on road costs. Extras added to this particular car took the final price to $67,230 before on road costs.

Fuel consumption is a claimed fairly average 6.6L/100kms

The warranty offered is a three year/unlimited km and this car will tell you when it needs servicing.


The Wrap

The BMW X1 is a lovely car to drive, and easily fits a small family of four - more so than other small SUVs I’ve driven. There’s a good amount of interior space and boot space, it looks solid and feels good to drive.

I gave it a family rating of 8 out 10, my children also gave it an 8 - it’s scary how good car critics they’re becoming!

Is this car big enough for your family? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Likes

Smooth drive
Interior space
Boot space

Dislikes

Exterior design not as elegant as other BMWs
Interior design not as luxurious

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$64,020

Based on new car retail price

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