Although it doesn’t hit the heights reached by the 3-Series Touring, the BMW X1 is an able tow car.
The smallest of BMW’s ‘X’ cars is available in two- and four-wheel-drive versions. We tested the 4×4 (or xDrive) version. There’s little penalty to pay at the pumps for sending power to all four corners, with an impressive official combined figure of 51.4mpg.
With 236lb ft of torque to call upon, the xDrive 18d accelerated from 30-60mph in 16.4 seconds. When slowing from motorway speeds the ATC stability system showed some movement from the caravan, but nothing dramatic. However, some drivers found that the stability control system intervened unexpectedly and unhelpfully when cornering at steady speeds.
The hill start posed few problems so long as the handbrake was pulled on firmly, and the stopping distance of 10.4m from 30mph is very impressive.
Leave the caravan behind and the X1 is enjoyable to drive, but marred slightly by over-heavy steering and an unsettled ride.
Inside, the X1 is quite cramped for rear-seat passengers, and the boot wasn’t large enough for a full load of holiday luggage.