The BMW X1 did many things well. The strong engine dragged car and caravan from 30-60mph in just 11.3 seconds. Speed was matched by stability, with a rock-solid feel at 70mph and a textbook performance in the lane-change test. It shrugged off the hill-start tests and needed a shorter distance to stop from 30mph than other cars in this class.
While it’s hard to find fault with what the X1 does, it’s easier to pick holes in the way it does it. The engine may be strong, but compared with the Skoda Estate and Peugeot 5008 it’s too noisy. The X1’s cornering may be impeccable, but does the steering need to be so heavy? We’d rather the suspension was more yielding over bumps, too.
The boot didn’t come close to swallowing all the luggage, and the rear seats are rather cramped. Then there’s the price. Just under £30k is simply too much for a 4×4 of this size, even one with a BMW badge.