BMW X1: spec tips and tricks

BMW X1: spec tips and tricks
BMW X1: spec tips and tricks

Our advice on how to equip BMW’s entry-level SUV

The BMW X1 is the firm’s smallest SUV, and a rival to the popular Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. In base SE spec, it’s a fine entry-level family SUV, with tidy handling and a spacious interior. You can even forgive a bit of wind noise at speed because the base SE trim has enough equipment as standard not to feel lacking – but why not make this rare deficiency easier still to swallow by adding on a few key options?

For example, while you get sat nav as standard on every BMW X1, we’d highly recommend you upgrade to the £1,370 Navigation Plus package. This adds a bigger display complete with a touchscreen, real-time traffic information and even a head-up display. Tack on £235 of Apple CarPlay and you’ve a very comprehensive infotainment system indeed.

And while the SE model has keyless start, we’d enhance it further with the £350 Comfort Access add-on. This brings keyless lock and unlock, plus automatic operation of the electric tailgate. Similarly clever is BMW’s £495 Driving Assistant Package, which brings autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Another feature really ought to be standard, though: lumbar support for the front seats. Audi gives it you for free, but you have to spend £195 for it in the BMW. We still would advise higher-mileage drivers to pick it, mind. Similarly, £295 of heated seats is a welcome option in the winter. Save money instead on avoiding optional run-flat tyres: the X1 rides tautly enough already.

Because it’s one of the sportier SUVs, you may be tempted to stick with the standard manual gearbox with your X1. We wouldn’t, though: even in smaller SUVs, buyers expect an automatic, and BMW’s £1,620 optional system is one of the best in the business, transforming the drive into something really smooth and relaxing.

So, take a basic X1 sDrive18d SE auto and add on our selected options, and you’ve a £2,450 lift in the car’s price: not a bad premium for turning a bargain BMW into an even more well-rounded one. And there’s more: the list price may say more than £33,000, but our research shows a bit of haggling can get the price down to little more than £28,000: you could even thus get those options included for free, with a bit more of a saving thrown in for good measure…

BMW X1 – our recommendation
Model: sDrive18d SE Step Auto
List price: £33,080
Target Price: £28,332
Options we’d choose: Navigation Plus Package (£1370), Apple CarPlay (£235), Driving Assistant Package (£495), Comfort Access Package (£350)
Cost of recommended options: £2450


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