(Edmunds) The 2015 BMW X1 has sharp handling and exciting performance, which is rare for a small crossover SUV. However, most other luxury crossovers are roomier and can offer more value for the money.
Small crossover SUVs are great vehicles for small families. They can ferry a few kids to school every day, or can be loaded up with a bit of extra luggage for a weekend road trip. To satisfy all sorts of families, BMW offers all sorts of crossovers, in various shapes and sizes, aiming to have one for each lifestyle. The 2015 BMW X1 is the smallest SUV in its lineup, and while the X1 doesn’t offer much in the way of utility, it definitely has “sport” covered. It’s an entertaining option that stands out among its rivals.
It all starts with its engines. You might think the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the best choice for fuel economy and you’d be right, but it’s actually a spirited engine that delivers swift acceleration. Still, it can’t match the entertainment you’ll get from BMW’s 300-horsepower turbocharged inline-6. Being such a small SUV also helps the X1 feel nimble, whether it’s around town or on your favorite back roads. In this way, the X1 definitely remains true to its BMW badge.
Not everyone is looking for a fun-to-drive SUV, though, and while its diminutive size may make it nimble, it takes away from the practicality one likely expects from a crossover. With only 15 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, its size is more comparable to a hatchback than a small SUV, and you’ll have a tough time carrying much luggage on the family vacation. Backseat space is limited, too. Given this lack of utility, the X1’s price (especially when loaded up with its many desirable options) may seem rather steep.
In the past, the X1 was really without apples-to-apples competitors, as its size and character didn’t really line up with bigger “compact” luxury crossovers that more realistically compete with BMW’s X3. For 2015, though, several similarly sized luxury SUVs have arrived in what is becoming a new segment. The Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Porsche Macan are comparable to the X1, as is the older, but still desirable Infiniti QX50. None of these is likely to be a great choice for family transport, so if space is a priority, shopping one size up remains a good idea. If you’re looking for sport more than space, though, the 2015 BMW X1 certainly won’t disappoint.