A Note from the Editior: A stock image has been supplied with this review.
There are so many options in this segment of the car market, and a lot of people will have their short list of the Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA and the BMW X1 that my parents bought. Being 16 and on my Ls, I have been thrown into many cars and I love them, so here is my review on the 2016 BMW X1.
So, why buy the X1 over the others?
- The quality is higher than the Q3 on the inside, but not as good as the GLA.
- The interior space of the X1 is by far the best I have seen in a car of its class, and the movement of the rear seats is great.
Mum's car is optioned with oyster leather with wood grain and a black roof. This creates a crisp, roomy, high-end modern cabin that people love. The X1 comes with great ambient lighting that is changeable in a range of colours to suit your taste, which provides a great feeling on the night drives.
Rear space in the X1 is amazing. I'm 6ft 1in and with the driver's seat in my driving position, you have a heap of rear leg room with great sun coming through the panoramic sunroof (option) and rear windows never making you feel trapped. The adjustable rear part of the seat can make long trips just that little bit more comfortable by reclining the seat for that cat nap you need.
Other great features of the X1 are the rear air vents that provide rear passengers with the comfort of heating and cooling. There is great storage courtesy of large door bins and a centre armrest wrapped in leather with a centre storage compartment and cupholders. With split-folding seats, it's easy to slide things through the large boot.
Up the front, there is great storage everywhere you look with door bins, hidden cubbies and large cupholders. The great quality from the rear is complemented by sports seats (optional) that are adjustable in every way possible with great support. The X1 has a fantastic thick steering wheel and head-up display (optional).
The centre display controlled by BMW's iDrive system is fantastic and works great in the X1, with the orientation angled slightly towards the driver for easy control. With the (optional) larger screen, it is a great system for accessing everything from navigation through to the DAB (optional). Down below are the climate control and heated seat (optional) settings, which are straightforward to use.
Now, let's get to the driving, and this is where the 'Ultimate Driving Machine' comes into its own. The powerful 20D has no turbo lag like many turbo engines, and the X Drive system is fantastic at keeping the car planted on any terrain. In comfort mode, the X1 is a pleasure to drive and very comfortable.
The only observation I would make is the ride is firm and the natural steering feel is heavier than that of a Q5 Audi or Q3. But this can work in the X1's favour when the car is in sport mode. The car is even firmer and is great to stick into a corner and put your foot down, knowing the amazing standard brakes will pull it up if need be.
The cruise control is good, with good pick-up and radar-controlled system. The eight-speed auto chooses gears perfectly and is seamless.
BMW has been great with servicing and everything between. There have been no issues with the car.
The only upgrade for BMW is to make more things standard than optional, but we all know that won't happen!