Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2015 X1 is the smallest among BMW’s expanding line of X model crossover SUVs, which are more oriented to on-road performance than off-road shenanigans. With powerful engine choices, great handling and a starting price just under $32,000, the X1 is a tempting step up to the luxury realm from mainstream compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V.
You'll Like The 2015 BMW X1 If...
If you want a small 5-passenger SUV that offers European badge appeal and more than just lip service to road-going performance, the X1 is a tempting choice. Models equipped with the 4-cylinder are surprisingly fuel-efficient, too.
You May Not Like The 2015 BMW X1 If...
If you have or plan to have a growing family, the X1 may be too small. The X3 or X5 offer more room, as does the Acura RDX, Lexus RX or Infiniti’s 3-row JX. If towing is a priority, look to the Audi Q5 and its 4,400-pound rating.
Still fresh from its debut two years ago, there are no major changes for the 2015 BMW X1 crossover SUV.
The 2015 BMW X1’s cabin is a mix of sophistication and minimalism. Buttons and knobs are kept to a minimum and the driving position is great, keeping with BMW’s driver-first design philosophy. The standard seating material in this 2-row, 5-passenger compact SUV is SensaTec, a faux leather. The X1’s jet-fighter gear selector looks cool but can be confusing at first. Rear-seat legroom isn’t plentiful, but passengers do have the ability to recline for added comfort. The X1 offers 47.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the 40/20/40-split rear seats folded. With seats up, there’s 12.7 cubic feet of space, comparable to a trunk.
Keeping with the family resemblance of other X models, the X1 looks like a slightly smaller version of its X3. Rather than blocky SUV panels and high ground clearance, this baby Bimmer sits low and sports a long hood, sweeping lines and an arching roof. Silver-lined trays under the front and rear bumpers give a touch of ruggedness, while roof-mounted cargo rails do the same while offering the practical benefit of securing bikes, boards and other gear.
BMW’s X models have always been more about performance on pavement than pounding dirt, and the X1 is no different. In fact, because of its diminutive size and lighter weight, the 2015 X1 feels even more agile than its larger X siblings. That the X1 can return as much fun as it does while also obtaining highway fuel economy in the low-30-mpg range is automotive icing on the cake. Despite its nimble handling, the X1 is commendably comfortable on the open road. Whether scooting around the city or hauling down the highway, power delivery is excellent with either the feisty 4-cylinder that’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission or the stout 6-cylinder engine that uses a 6-speed. All-wheel-drive models are competent in the snow, but venturing far off the beaten path isn’t the X1’s strength.
The 2015 BMW X1 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,825 for an sDrive28i model. The all-wheel-drive xDrive28i starts at $33,695, while the top-line xDrive35i goes for $39,725. Like other European luxury cars, options easily and quickly lift these prices by thousands. An exterior paint color other than non-metallic white or black alone is an extra $550. Fully loaded, a 2015 X1 can top $49,000. In comparison, the larger Acura RDX and Infiniti QX50 (formerly EX) start around $36,000, while the Mercedes-Benz GLK is around $38,000. The smaller Buick Encore starts around $25,000, while on the other end of the spectrum the new Porsche Macan debuts at over $50,000. To get the best deal, check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their X1. Resale value of the X1 is expected to trail that of the Q5, GLK and QX50.
The 2015 BMW X1 is available in three trims: sDrive28i, xDrive28i, and the top-line xDrive35i. A base sDrive28i is nicely equipped with dynamic cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic climate control, though you’ll have to adjust the front seats manually. Standard audio in all X1s is provided by an 8-speaker, 180-watt AM/FM/CD system with HD radio and USB/auxiliary inputs. The xDrive28i adds all-wheel drive instead of rear-drive. The xDrive35i amplifies the X1 experience with a 6-cylinder engine, power front seats, xenon headlights, a panoramic moonroof, and 18-inch wheels. All 2015 X1 models include four years/50,000 miles of no-cost maintenance.
Upgrades abound for the X1, with most options bundled into packages. Among the most popular are a rearview camera, leather interior, a 3D navigation system with an 8.8-inch screen and 80-gig hard drive, and an 11-speaker/340-watt harman/kardon sound system. The BMW Online and BMW Apps subscription service offers real-time news and weather updates along with Google Local Search and connectivity to social networks. A trio of "lines" – M Sport, Sport and xLine – add sport suspensions, special wheels and trim bits. Not offered are preventive safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking systems.
2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINEThis small engine finds duty in BMWs as large at the 5-Series, and it’s easy to see why: It packs surprising power and efficiency. With the help of turbocharging and direct-injection technology, it boasts 240 horsepower and fuel economy of up to 34 mpg.ULTIMATE PACKAGESuitable for The Ultimate Driving Machine, this feature-laden pack bundles biggies like a navigation system and panoramic moonroof with smaller but thoughtful touches such as ambient lighting hidden in the outer door handles and a voice-command feature that lets you record up to five minutes of spoken notes.
Under the Hood
Two engines are available in the 2015 BMW X1. The sDrive28i and xDrive28i models feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is powerful and efficient. Both of those models ("sDrive" equals rear-wheel drive, "xDrive" means all-wheel drive) are mated to a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission and feature an auto start/stop function that cuts engine operation at idle. This function saves fuel, but its startup can be jarring. Thankfully, disabling start/stop is easy an easy adjustment from the cockpit. Those seeking the most power should look to the xDrive35i, which features a turbocharged 6-cylinder that puts out 300 horsepower, 60 more than the 4-cylinder. That larger engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All X1 models use premium fuel. BMW does not specify a tow rating for X1.2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/34 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 22/32 mpg (all-wheel drive)3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg
The 2015 X1 is the smallest among BMW’s expanding line of X model crossover SUVs, slotting below the more established X3 and X5 and the new X4. Starting just under $32,000, the 5-passenger X1 is also the least-expensive way to get into a new BMW – and not much more than mainstream compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV. Though it’s the baby of the family, the X1 retains BMW’s performance-meets-luxury persona, plus good fuel economy. Available in rear-drive or all-wheel drive and endowed with the same turbocharged 4- or 6-cylinder engines as its larger siblings, the X1 has spry acceleration and BMW’s renowned dynamic handling that set it apart from rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Acura RDX and Buick Encore.