2018 BMW X1 Expert Review

4.5 Overall Score
Performance 4.6 Comfort 4.1 Styling 4.5 Value 4.3

Editor's Overview

No less capable than the larger X3 and X5, the 2018 BMW X1 mixes the performance abilities of the 3 Series with a taller ride height and BMW’s sophisticated all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup. Numerous driver assists ensure the drive will be as safe as it is fun, the latter promise backed by the X1’s gutsy 228-horsepower 4-cylinder engine.

You'll Like The 2018 BMW X1 If...

If you grew up a fan of BMW’s small wagons back in the day, the 2018 X1 compact SUV might just stir something in your soul. The most affordable BMW SAV isn’t as bulky as the bigger X5, yet still provides ample interior space, a sporty ride and year-round driving confidence.

You May Not Like The 2018 BMW X1 If...

BMW’s 2018 X1 inherits the company’s traditionally firm ride. If you’re looking for something a bit softer, the Lexus NX or Buick Encore is a better choice. You could also spend less and get more power with the Jeep Cherokee V6 or turbocharged Subaru Forester XT.

What's New

The 2018 X1 gets BMW’s new trim system that reorganizes equipment levels and opens new single options as a specific tier is reached. New standard equipment for the X1 includes a rearview monitor and extended telematics services.

Interior Features

The BMW X1 for 2018 is a 2-row, 5-passenger SUV with plenty of room for people and cargo. Rear-seat passengers have excellent legroom unless the front passengers are so tall they have the front seats in their rearmost position. If this is the case, we recommend spending the additional $300 for the sliding rear-seat option that also reclines. Up front, power seats are standard. This baby BMW's dash is sleek and angular. Materials have a premium look and feel, such as the soft-touch dash and wood accents. The standard SensaTec fake-leather seating feels down-market, though.

Exterior Features

The X1 proudly displays its BMW lineage with a noticeably rugged and angular design that makes it look less like a tall wagon and more like a small SUV. For better or worse, the styling works. The X1’s 7.2 inches of ground clearance allow it to venture more securely off-road, while up front BMW's familiar kidney grille, standard LED daytime running lights and optional LED headlights make a strong visual statement and brightly guide your path. The M Sport Package adds further flair with an aerodynamic kit, sport suspension and high-gloss roof rails.

Driving Impressions

Our test vehicle was the all-wheel-drive 2018 X1 xDrive28i, a vehicle we found to be quite fun. We’re hoping to get a chance in the front-drive version soon as it represents BMW’s first front-drive platform and transverse engine. We found the X1’s lightweight body a good fit for the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, delivering immediate bursts of power when requested while returning impressive fuel economy in both our city and highway test loops. However, if you’re the type that likes to push a car hard at its limits, the X1 isn’t going to meet your expectations unless you opt for the M Sport suspension package. And, while BMW makes no claims of rugged off-road adventuring in the X1, with the right tires it can tackle minor run-ins with rutted dirt roads, loose gravel and fresh snow.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 BMW X1 sDrive28i has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $35,000, while the AWD xDrive28i bumps the price to just under $37,000. In reality, prices can easily go beyond that by thousands. Loaded, an X1 can hit the upper-$40,000 range. The BMW X1's starting price is in line those of the Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lincoln MKC, and a few hundred to several thousand dollars more than other compact SUVs such as the Buick Encore, Infiniti QX30 and Volkswagen Tiguan. Do check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new BMW X1. As for its resale value, we expect the 2018 BMW X1 to hold average values below those of the Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA, on par with the Audi Q3 and better than the Lincoln MKC and Buick Encore.

Notable Equipment

A base 2018 BMW X1 sDrive28i comes with front-wheel drive, while the xDrive28i includes all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 8-way-power front seats, automatic climate control, power tailgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rearview monitor, push-button ignition, and 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires. The standard infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch screen, 7-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio/CD player with USB input and Bluetooth audio streaming/phone connectivity. The X1 also includes BMW Assist eCall emergency-request system with an SOS button, complimentary scheduled maintenance for four years/50,000 miles, and roadside assistance for four years/unlimited miles.

Notable Options

As with most BMWs, there are plenty of ways to upgrade the X1, and they can make the vehicle's base price climb quickly. Even most of the X1's exterior paint colors are extra money, unless you go with non-metallic black or white. You'll also pay extra for Apple CarPlay, a feature that is becoming standard on mainstream SUVs such as the Subaru Outback. Other notable extras include a higher-resolution 8.8-inch monitor, panoramic moonroof, navigation, leather interior, heated front seats, and 12-speaker harman/kardon audio system. New driver-assistance features include lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and active cruise control.

Favorite Features


Fitting BMW’s premium brand, the 2018 X1 is fitted with a standard power rear liftgate. Adding the Convenience Tier brings Comfort Access keyless entry that allows the liftgate to be activated simply by swiping your foot under the bumper.


Apple CarPlay allows you to mirror your iPhone’s most important functions on the X1’s touch screen, giving you access to Siri, iTunes music, text message and maps. Although this convenient feature is now standard on most competitors, it’s still a $300 upgrade on the 2018 X1.

Under the Hood

The 2018 BMW X1 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 228 horsepower. BMW promises the X1 can hit the 0-60-mph benchmark in 6.3 seconds. A Sport mode livens throttle response and stiffens steering feel, while Comfort and Eco modes tone down settings. The X1 offers the option of front-wheel or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD) and uses an 8-speed Aisin automatic transmission. A start/stop system shuts off the engine at idle to save fuel. If you find the restarts jarring, it can be defeated. Premium gasoline is recommended.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

228 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm

258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (FWD), 22/31 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

BMW likes to call its crossover vehicles “SAVs,” short for Sports Activity Vehicle. Numerous models carry the X designation including the smallest of the bunch, the 2018 BMW X1. No less capable than the larger X3 and X5, the X1 mixes the performance abilities of the BMW 3 Series with a taller ride height and BMW’s sophisticated all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup. Because it’s an entry-level vehicle, the X1 can be crossed-shopped against all sorts of competitors ranging from the Buick Encore and Infiniti QX30 to the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lexus NX. Numerous driver assists ensure the drive will be as safe as it is fun, the latter promise backed up by the X1’s gutsy 228-horsepower 4-cylinder engine.

Road Test Video Reviews

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Owner Reviews


25 Reviews

68% 28% 4% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

High tech spacious cruiser.

I absolutely love my 2018 x1. It rides smoothly with everything at my fingertips. From changing the radio station to cruising faster/slower. The display screen is the perfect size which allows me to see everything about my x1. The spacious room it has not only in the front, back, but in the trunk area are awesome! I always have plenty of room when traveling.

- Michael K

I love my BMW, it is a smooth ride.

I love my x1. It is a luxury vehicle, but it does not feel intimidating to drive. It is a smooth, zippy, and comfortable drive. I have a lot of roof, both in the cabin and in the trunk. The touch screen infotainment is a plus. I have a free service agreement for the first 3 years of ownership. I would highly recommend this vehicle.

- Alexis B

Long time bmw owner. Panoramic view.

I love my vehicle. It is comfortable, easy to handle and has great features. My favorite features are the navigation, seat and steering warmers and the panoramic sunroof. I had a BMW years ago that I traded for a Lexus and when I could, I traded the Lexus for another BMW.

- Leigh B