2018 BMW X1

2018 BMW X1 Review

The 2018 BMW X1 is a compact luxury crossover with the heart of a performance sedan.
7.8 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

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.

Notably, we picked the 2018 BMW X1 as one of Edmunds' Best Luxury SUVs for this year.

What's new for 2018

The 2018 BMW X1 is unchanged.

We recommend

Unless you specifically need the all-weather capability of the all-wheel-drive xDrive28i, we recommend the front-wheel-drive X1 sDrive28i with the Convenience package. Add in Apple CarPlay and Park Distance Control options and you'll have a luxury vehicle that's well-equipped without breaking the bank.

Trim levels & features

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.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.8 / 10


8.0 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking8.0 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling7.0 / 10
Drivability9.0 / 10


6.0 / 10

Seat comfort6.0 / 10
Ride comfort6.0 / 10
Noise & vibration6.0 / 10


9.0 / 10

Ease of use9.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out9.0 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility8.0 / 10
Quality9.0 / 10


Dynamics is where the X1 excels. It is quicker than the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes GLA 250 to 60 mph, posts some of the shortest stopping distances in its class, and sets a high bar in handling prowess. Yet it is the ease of driving this compact SUV that leaves the deepest impression.


Power delivery is smooth and refined during routine driving, and there's good punch under hard acceleration, too. The eight-speed automatic shifts quickly and helps the X1 accelerate to 60 mph in a class-leading 6.5 seconds.


The brake pedal provides a smooth and progressive feel that is easy to manage in stop-and-go driving. In a simulated-panic stop from 60 mph, the X1 needed just 109 feet to stop, one of the best results in its segment.


The steering requires a little more effort than some competitors, but not oppressively so. It is still easy to direct through low-speed maneuvers.


The X1's all-wheel-drive system, rather than being a detriment, makes it feel more agile around corners. There's more grip than we expected from the all-season tires.


If you're looking to suddenly overtake a car, there's a slight delay between pressing the accelerator and starting the pass. In all other scenarios, for a compact luxury SUV, the X1 is as easy to drive as it gets.


Many will find the X1 offers suitable levels of comfort, though some may take exception to its higher noise levels and the firmness of its standard sport suspension. Although the interior noise is worth a mention, we'd add the X1 is no louder than others in the class.

Seat comfort6.0

The driver seat bottom is hard and narrow and offers minimal lateral support. Its seatback has better bolstering. Despite its deficiencies, it remains reasonably comfortable on long drives. The rear seats are similarly shaped and cushioned.

Ride comfort6.0

The ride is firm, more so than the ride in other competitors. It can be harsh over road imperfections; it doesn't tend to absorb them well. You might find the ride too busy and choppy over anything but smooth asphalt.

Noise & vibration6.0

The cabin is loud. Road and tire noise is prominent, while the engine note remains tucked quietly away. Some may find this unpleasant, yet this issue is shared across brands in this segment and can be considered the norm.

Climate control

Although the buttons are small, the dual-zone climate control system is easy to use. Leaving it on auto is the best thing to do since the controls for the diverter fan speed are finicky to use.


The interior cargo area and ease of cabin access set the X1 apart from the pack. A smart use of under-floor compartments maximizes storage in the back, while the size of the door openings and seat placement make it easy to move in and out of the cabin.

Ease of use9.0

A highly adjustable driver seat and steering column will suit a wide range of driving positions. The central display screen is well-positioned, and all climate and entertainment system controls are laid out clearly and logical to operate.

Getting in/getting out9.0

The X1 may offer the easiest entry of any vehicle in its class. Its combination of low door sills, taller seat bottom and mild side bolsters work together to simplify the process. Small doors help in parking spots but are somewhat heavy for their size.


The front seats offer a lot of adjustment for as much leg-, headroom and elbow room as you'll need to be comfortable. The rear seat accommodations are also the largest in class, particularly in leg- and headroom, and are suitable for adults.


A tall windshield and reasonably low hood promote good forward sight lines. The wide rear roof pillars limit over-the-shoulder visibility to a degree.


Tight tolerances between panels, quality leather-wrapped seats and surfaces, and sleek-looking brushed aluminum trim give the X1 the high-quality feel we've come to expect from BMW.


The X1 sports the highest cargo capacity and lowest liftover height in its class. The cargo volume advantage is mainly due to the large underfloor storage where a spare tire might be otherwise. The 40/20/40-split second row folds flat.


Navigation is available with the Premium Tier equipment group. The iDrive infotainment system is straightforward to operate. Apple CarPlay, wireless charging and built-in Wi-Fi capability are all worthwhile options to get.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.