Buyer's Guide

2021 BMW X1
Select a Different Model (2 Available): sDrive28i
Fuel Economy $ 24 / 33 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 27/59 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 228@5,000
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  • Surprisingly roomy cargo area
  • Nimble, agile handling
  • Smart responses from AWD system


  • Brittle M Sport suspension tuning
  • Austere interior design
  • Last-gen infotainment system

BMW's smallest SUV and entry-level vehicle is the X1. The current second-generation X1 went on sale for the 2016 model year, riding on a FWD-based platform shared with Mini. The X1 is available with AWD, but it is intended to be more urbane and sporty than all-terrain adventurous. It received a midcycle update last year, which added style and technology features.

What's New

  • Standard one-year satellite radio subscription
  • Sport seats become exclusive to the M Sport package
  • LED fog lights no longer offered

What We Think

Although the X1 posts impressive performance numbers at the track, its comfort, quality, and features aren't as appealing as other subcompact luxury SUVs.

The X1's turbo-four has some lag but feels zippy once boost is on. Although the transmission is reluctant to downshift for more power, it's smooth. Handling is nimble, but the M Sport package adds a suspension that makes the ride terribly harsh. Regardless, the optional AWD system works well and enhances performance on-road or in loose conditions.

Those expecting luxury from this entry-level BMW could be disappointed—the X1's interior isn't all that nice. Materials feel cut-rate, and build quality lacks the solidity that's praised on some more-expensive Bimmers. The cabin's design seems uninspired compared to some segment competitors, though it's spacious and airy in the front row.

Even compared to the tiny 2 Series coupe, the X1 is the least-expensive way to drive a new BMW. However, some small-SUV rivals look and feel better; we'd recommend considering the Volvo XC40 and new 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA before driving away in a new X1.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The X1's engine is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It's joined to an eight-speed automatic transmission with standard FWD and available AWD. In MotorTrend testing, an AWD model posted a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy is 24/33 mpg city/highway with FWD, and 23/31 mpg with AWD.


From the NHTSA, the X1 scores a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). The X1 earned the top Good score in all six of the IIHS' crashworthiness tests.

Driver-assist and active safety features include lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are optional extras.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Cargo space measures 27.1 cubic feet behind the X1's second row. With the second-row seat folded down, cargo capacity increases to 58.7 cubic feet.

Front-row headroom is 41.9 inches in the X1, quite a bit more than the 39.0 inches in the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Second-row headroom is 39.4 inches in the X1, again better than the GLA's 38.1 inches. Front-row legroom measures 40.4 inches in the X1, a bit less than the 41.0 inches in the GLA. Second-row legroom is 37.0 inches in the X1, one inch less than the GLA's 38.0 inches.


All X1 trims include an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen that features Apple CarPlay, built-in GPS maps, and satellite radio. A head-up display, built-in navigation, wireless charging pad, and semi-autonomous parking assistant are among optional tech features. A seven-speaker audio system is standard, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium setup is available.

What is the X1's M Sport Package?

Borrowing cues from BMW's sportiest cars, the M Sport package adds performance-inspired styling to the X1. Exterior changes include more aggressive bumpers, body-color side sills and wheel arches, blacked-out trim, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it adds sport front seats, a performance steering wheel, and aluminum trim with blue accents. A sport-tuned suspension is the only mechanical change; engine power is unchanged.

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, Steptronic 8 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Premium Subcompact Utility
Standard MPG
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Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
Package Invoice Retail
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Corrosion Warranty Miles
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Corrosion Warranty Months
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IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$2000 BMW announces a Military Program for cash customers. 12-31-2021
$500 BMW announces a Military Program for customers who Lease/OwnersChoice/Retail Finance/Select Finance through BMW Financial Services that is good towards a purchase or lease of select models. 12-31-2021
$500 BMW announces Lease Credit on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$2000 BMW announces APR Credit that is good towards a purchase through BMW Financial Services of select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - BMW announces APR rates on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - BMW announces APR rates on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$2000 BMW announces a Customer Cash Credit on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$1000 BMW announces Lease/APR Credit on select models for eligible College Graduates. 01-03-2022