2021 BMW X1

MSRP $35,200 - $37,200

Ranked #1 in Subcompact Suv

8.3

Overall Rating

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2021 BMW X1 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 9, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The practicality and comfort of a luxury SUV amalgamated with the driving characteristics of a hatchback – that’s exactly what the 2021 BMW X1 is, or for that matter all compact luxury crossovers are. The BMW X1 is the luxury SUV for the concrete jungles and is a fun-to-drive machine. The X1 is the most affordable way to get a BMW SUV and it is quite irresistible. 

2021 BMW X1 Latest Updates

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Pros

Ample cargo space

Class-leading power figures

Upscale interior

Great handling

Cons

Ride quality is not as expected

Only one engine option

What's New?

For 2021, the BMW X1 doesn’t get many updates as such and hasn’t changed compared to the outgoing model.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$35200

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

137 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

228 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft.. @ 1450 rpm

transmission

8 speed Automatic

dimensions

wheelbase

105.1 in.

length

175.5 in.

width

71.7 in.

height

62.9 in.

curb weight

3554 lbs.

ground clearance

7.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

101.2 cu ft.

cargo volume

58.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

3700 lbs.

payload capacity

899 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.6 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.1 sec.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

28i$35,200 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 BMW X1 in Alpine White color
Alpine White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

7.7

Engine and Performance

8.2

Fuel Economy

7.8

Interior

8.5

Exterior

7.8

Safety

7.6

Competition

9.6

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.3

Overall Rating


It offers good space on the inside, comes loaded with several techs and safety features, and offers a very relaxing ride. Moreover, it rivals the likes of cars like the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, Audi Q3, and Volvo XC40. So should the BMW X1 be the compact SUV you should be considering to step into the world of European luxury cars? We shall find that out in this in-depth review.


8.2/10
Engine and Performance

7.8/10
Fuel Economy

8.5/10
Interior

7.8/10
Exterior

7.6/10
Safety

9.6/10
Competition


2021 BMW X1 Features

There are two trims on offer. The front-wheel-drive model is labeled as X1 sDrive 28i while the all-wheel-drive model is badged as X1 xDrive 28i. The X1 is offered in 11 different exterior color options and 5 different wheel options to choose from. On the inside, you get 6 different options for the seat colors and materials while there are 5 different interior trim options for you to choose from. The X1 does not get any engine or transmission options which is a shame and we would have loved it if BMW had an optional more powerful engine on offer.

Trim

X1 28i

MSRP (FWD) (sDrive)

$35,400

MSRP (AWD) (xDrive)

$37,400

Key features

18-inch Y-spoke bi-color wheels

 

Speed sensitive rain detecting wipers with heated jets

 

Powered liftgate

 

Programmable aero-composite halogen headlights with DRLs

 

8-way power-adjustable front seats

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

205-watt, 7-speaker Hi-Fi audio system

 

8.8-inch infotainment system

Which Trim should you buy?

BMW has offered many customization options and so you can build your X1 that best fits your taste. Now, since most BMW owners would be driving the car in the city and never really be taking it for off-roading adventures, we would recommend you to opt for the front-wheel-drive configuration and save the extra bucks. Opt for the all-wheel-drive if you desperately need that driving zing but other than that, the front-wheel-drive is just good enough.

2021 BMW X1 Engine and Performance

8.2/10

The 2021 BMW X1 is powered by a humble 2 liter, turbo, 4 pot engine that is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The engine churns out around 228 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque and power is sent to the front wheels as standard while you can pay $2000 extra to get the all-wheel-drive configuration. The X1 comes with just one engine and gearbox option while all its rivals offer multiple powertrain options and we would like BMW to offer more engine options.

The engine has a very sedate character and frankly, there’s nothing all that exciting about it. Yes, it does help the car in delivering decent acceleration times but then it could’ve been a little peppier. On the straight line, the X1 does 0-60 mph in about 6.6 seconds and takes about 14.1 seconds to travel the quarter-mile distance. These numbers are pretty decent for compact, luxury crossover and in fact, are better than almost all the other cars in the competition.

Models

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Audi Q3 Premium TFSI Quattro

2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum T4

MSRP

$35,400

$36.230

$34,000

$33,700

Engine

2 liter, turbocharged, inline 4 cylinder

2 liter, turbocharged, inline 4 cylinder

2 liter, turbocharged, inline 4 cylinder

2 liter, turbocharged, inline 4 cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

AWD

FWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

228 @ 5000

221 @ 5500

228 @ 5000 rpm

187 @ 4700

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

258 @ 1450

258 @ 1800

258 @ 1700 rpm

221 @ 1400

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.6

6.8

7.0

6.7

Quarter mile (seconds)

14.1

15.1

15.5

15.1

Top speed (mph)

136

130

130

127

The BMW X1’s primary rivals are the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, and Volvo XC40 and all these cars get a 2 liter, turbo 4 cylinder engine as standard. However, the Mercedes-Benz, the Audi, and the Volvo are all offered with multiple engine options and performance and hybrid trim levels while the BMW X1 has just one engine powertrain option leaving nothing for you to choose from. On the plus side though, the Bimmer has the highest power and torque numbers in the competition and has the lowest quarter-mile acceleration times. Surprisingly, the Volvo is the second quickest of the lot from 0-60 mph and does it in just 6.7 seconds.

How well does the 2021 BMW X1 handle?

Crossover SUVs have a very unique and interesting handling and driving style and this one is no different. BMW markets the X1 as a ‘sports activity vehicle’ and not as a crossover SUV but we all know that the X1 is essentially a jacked-up hatchback and so it pretty much feels like driving a large, tall hatchback. The car offers you a nice, tall driving position as you’d have in an SUV but then it drives like a hatchback. It can cut across corners swiftly and you can throw it around the corners with ease.

The suspension is a bit on the softer side so it soaks up bumps with ease but it also restricts the body roll. Even when driving at high speeds, the car feels planted on the ground and you feel totally in control of the car. The steering of the car is super precise and offers a good amount of feedback and you never feel vague while driving. BMW has bundled up a really nice driving package but what it lacks is a more powerful and spirited engine and we would love to see BMW come up with more powerful engine options and trim with the upcoming X1 models.

2021 BMW X1 Braking Performance

The X1’s brakes are quite sharp and that just makes you feel confident while driving. They grip very gradually and are arguably the best in the segment. The X1 comes from 70 mph to a complete halt at a distance of just 180 feet, all credit to the strong brakes of the car but still not competent enough. The rotor Sizes of the BMW x1 remain unknown.

Models

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Audi Q3 Premium TFSI Quattro

2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum T4

Brake rotors: Front

(inches)

NA

12.6

13.4

13.6

Brake rotors: Rear

(inches)

NA

11.6

11.8

11.9

Curb weight (lbs)

3567

NA

N/A

3627

70-0 (feet)

180

181

NA

173

Although all the cars are closely stacked against each other, Volvo has the best braking performance in the competition. The BMW has the next best braking stat and has a stopping distance of 180 feet. The Mercedes Benz GLA250 on the other hand travels about 181 feet before coming to a complete halt which falls behind only by a minute margin.

2021 BMW X1 Fuel Economy

7.8/10

The 2021 X1 uses a small engine and churns out decent fuel economy numbers. In the city, you can drive the X1 for about 24 miles per gallon of gas when it comes to city commuting while on the highway it hauls up to about 33 miles on a single gallon. It delivers a combined fuel economy of 27 mpg which is pretty impressive for a car in this segment.

Models

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Audi Q3 Premium TFSI Quattro

2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum T4

MPG (City)

24

25

22

23

MPG (Highway)

33

34

30

32

MPG (Combined)

27

28

25

26

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

16.1

12.7

15.9

14.2

Range (City/Highway/Combined in miles)

386.4/531.3/434.7

317.5/431.8/355.6

349.8/477/397.5

326.6/454.4/369.2

Again, all the cars are closely stacked against each other but it is the Mercedes-Benz GLA that delivers the best fuel economy numbers in the competition. The GLA 250 delivers 28 mpg combined which is the highest in the class while the Audi delivers 25 mpg which is the lowest. The Volvo on the other hand delivers about 26 mpg which is still lesser than the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz.

2021 BMW X1 Interior

8.5/10

Well, the interiors of the 2021 BMW X1 are surprisingly subtle and some might even find them bland. Starting at the front, you’ll find a floating infotainment display that sits in the center of the dash. Then there are those plasticky air-con vents that look a touch too cheap. You have a nice and round steering wheel and there’s also an analog instrument cluster. BMW also offers 5 different interior color trims to choose from but as standard, you only get fine-wood oak grain trim.

Talking about space and creature comfort, fitting in 5 adults is a bit of a squeeze and the rear bench is best suited for 2 adults and a child or a young teenager in the center seat. At the front, the amount of head, shoulder, and legroom is generous and you cannot really complain about the space at the front. The front seats are also quite snug and come wrapped in faux leather but you can also get the high-quality leather by paying extra. You also get a large panoramic sunroof that helps you gaze at the sky.

Compromising a little on rear passenger space has helped the X1 offer better cargo volume. The Bimmer has a large trunk and swallows goods of up to about 27.1 cubic feet. The rear seats split folds 40/20/40 and with the second row flat, you have about 58.7 cubic feet of cargo storage area. There are a few storage spaces in the car as well. At the front there’s a decent-sized cooled and illuminated glove box, there’s also a small storage cubby below the front armrest and there are cupholders as well in the front center console. There are bottle holders in all four doors and cupholders in the rear center armrest which is pretty standard across all vehicles in the segment. 

Models

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Audi Q3 Premium TFSI Quattro

2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum T4

Seating capacity

5

5

5

5

Front row

(Headroom/Shoulder room/ Legroom in inches)

41.9/55.6/40.4

34.9/55.9/41.0

39.6/56.7/40

39/56.7/40.9

Second row

(Headroom/Shoulder room/ Legroom in inches)

39.4/55.2/37

38.1/54.8/38.0

37.6/55.1/36.1

39.1/56.3/36.1

Trunk capacity (cubic feet)

27.1

15.4

23.7

20.7

All the cars in the segment offer a similar kind of passenger space and there’s nothing much to compare in this area. However, in terms of quality of materials and fit finish, the Mercedes just feels a bit superior compared to all the others. The BMW on the other hand has the largest cargo storage volume in the competition and scores big in terms of practicality over all the others. It also comes equipped with a good number of interior features, a few of which we’ve listed down below:

  • 8-way power-adjustable front bucket seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Dual-zone front automatic climate control
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift lever
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Sport Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
  • Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The X1 comes equipped with BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. The system comes with a host of features and is quite intuitive to use. You get an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment display and the quality of the display is pretty decent and is quite slick. The X1 also gets a 7-speaker Hi-Fi audio system as standard but BMW allows you to upgrade to a premium 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system by paying extra. Few other standard infotainment features include:

  • AM/FM radio
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Steering mounted audio controls
  • Voice activation
  • Bluetooth smartphone integration
  • In-dash navigation system
  • Apple CarPlay

2021 BMW X1 Exterior

7.8/10

The 2021 BMW X1 is a handsome-looking car. It might not look as brawny as an SUV but it does look intimidating. There's a lot of drama at the front with those signature BMW kidney grilles, the pointy double barrel headlights, and the sculpted bumper and that’s just what gives the car a very aggressive face. On the side, you’ll notice a strong belt-line going along the door handles and merging with the wrap-around LED taillights.

The X1 looks great from the back as well. At the back, you’ll see a split taillight design on a sculpted tailgate and there’s also a sporty spoiler at the top to complete the car’s sport look. You’ll notice dual exhaust pipes and a faux rear skid plate that impart the car a blend of sporty character and off-road readiness. BMW calls the X1 a sports activity vehicle and that might seem like marketing jargon but then X1 has that sporty and athletic presence while it is also capable of some mild off-roading. That’s why we think classifying the X1 as a sports activity vehicle is pretty apt.

Models

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Audi Q3 Premium TFSI Quattro

2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum T4

Curb weight (lbs.)

3567

NA

N/A

3627

Length (inches)

175.5

173.6

176.6

174.2

Width (inches)

71.7

72.2

72.8

75.2

Height (inches)

62.9

63.5

64.1

65.3

Ground clearance (inches)

7.2

NA

NA

8.3

Wheelbase (inches)

105.1

107.4

105.5

106.4

The BMW X1 might not be a very fancy car to drive in but it isn’t totally inconspicuous either. The car will certainly turn a few heads around and sometimes it may even pass away unnoticed. While some of you might want some more attention and in that case, we believe that the Volvo XC40 may help you. 

It has the most unique design elements in the segment and people have always talked and loved the way the compact Swedish SUV looks. The Audi on the other hand has a more prominent SUV-like shape with its large grille and tall stance while the Mercedes-Benz GLA looks more like a hatchback and might appeal to those who just want a car that feels and drives more like a hatchback.Some outstanding Exterior Features:

  • 18-inch Y-spoke bi-colour alloy wheels
  • Speed-sensitive, rain detecting variable intermittent wipers with heated jets
  • Lip spoiler
  • Larger Kidney grille
  • Sharper LED headlamps
  • Tinted LED taillights

2021 BMW X1 Safety

7.6/10

The BMW X1 is a pretty safe car and the ratings do the talking. The X1 gets a 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA and also scores 5-stars in almost all the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA. It also gets ‘good’ ratings in all the IIHS tests which again is pretty impressive. The car also gets a list of standard safety features that include-

  • Side impact beams
  • Park distance control with front and rear parking sensors
  • Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation
  • Lane departure warning
  • Hill descent control
  • Driver and passenger knee airbags and 1st and 2nd-row curtain airbags

2021 BMW X1 Competition

9.6/10

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i vs. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

These two cars are the fiercest rivals of each other. Both the cars come equipped with a similar 2 liter, 4 pot engine, make similar power numbers, deliver similar acceleration times, and also even fuel economy numbers. The striking difference between the two cars though is on the inside. The Mercedes-Benz cabin has a very plush and premium appeal while the BMW’s interior just feels a bit dated and not quite as upmarket as the Mercedes. 

The BMW offers much better cargo space on the flipside and even looks more aggressive and SUVish than the Mercedes. However, this is the luxury SUV segment and so whichever offers a better interior and richer cabin experience, grabs the points because that’s what matters the most in the segment. So for us, it is the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 that has a slight edge over the BMW and we’d recommend you opting for it over the X1 if you want a more luxurious cabin.

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i vs. 2021 Audi Q3 Premium TFSI Quattro

The Audi Q3 gets two engine options and in its standard, base spec guise, it has just 184 horses on offer. Moreover, the Audi is slower and also chugs more gas than the BMW. The Only plus of the Audi over the BMW is that it has a better laid out cabin but then the BMW is a touch more spacious and offers a larger cargo area. 

The Audi comes with a standard all-wheel-drive though, which means that the Audi drives and handles better than the Bimmer but its driving experience is somehow let down by the lack-luster 184 hp engine. So if you’ve to pick the Audi, get the 45 TFSI Premium S-line trim that gets you the extra horses and better performance. However, when comparing the base spec trims of both the cars, we would pick the BMW over the Audi.

2021 BMW X1 sDrive 28i vs. 2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum T4

The Volvo XC40’s engine isn’t as powerful as the BMW but its acceleration numbers are pretty close to the X1. The Volvo is also priced about $2000 less than the BMW. We would also rate Volvo’s exterior appearance higher than the BMW’s and Volvo’s cabin has a very funky and upscale charm to it. 

Some of you might find the 187 horses offered with the base spec trim of the XC40 a bit low and for them, Volvo offers another engine option that costs just the same as the X1. The XC40 Momentum T5 makes 248 horses and comes with a standard all-wheel-drive and this is the engine you should opt for if you have any plans of buying the XC40.

2021 BMW X1 Final Verdict

The 2021 BMW X1 is a very promising package and pretty much ticks all the boxes right for what buyers generally look for in this segment. It has a good engine, it is quick, it drives well, is comfortable and practical on the inside, and also looks good on the outside. However, there are cars like the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 and the Volvo XC40 that are better than the BMW on the flipside. 

The X1 on the flip side feels a little dull on the inside and doesn’t feel as serene as the Mercedes or the Volvo. On the whole, if you’re looking for a compact luxury crossover for daily duties around the city, the BMW X1 would certainly prove to be a good buy. However, we would highly recommend you check out the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 and the Volvo XC40 before buying the BMW.

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