The 2018 BMW X1 is a compelling crossover pick for a budget BMW buyer who can’t do without a roundel.
The 2018 BMW X1 is a small crossover with a few distinctions. It’s the lowest-priced new car that BMW stocks on dealers’ lots, and it’s also the only one that’s available with front-wheel drive as standard.
We concede that the bottom line will matter more to buyers, which is how we arrive at our overall score of 6.4. If you can live without the BMW look and its roundel on the hood, the X1 is related to the Mini Countryman crossover, which we rate slightly higher thanks to an available manual transmission and slightly better front seats. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2018 BMW X1 is nearly identical to last year’s model, aside from some package reshuffling and a standard rearview camera.
Review continues below
What’s available in the X1 is relatively impressive for $34,895 to start. BMW separates the X1 into two trims based solely on appearance: X1 xLine and X1 M Sport. All-wheel drive is available on both trim levels for $2,000 more. BMW offers add-on packages to both that don’t necessarily translate into good values—a la carte items can help keep costs low.
All X1s feature a turbo-4 and 8-speed automatic under their hoods that help power the small crossover up to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which is a healthy clip among competitors. We like the 8-speed automatic for its fuel-saving behavior and adaptability when tipped into Sport mode or coerced by paddle shifters.
The X1 manages to be fairly thrifty, by luxury crossover standards. With front-wheel drive, the EPA rates the X1 at 26 mpg combined. Add all-wheel drive and that dips slightly to 25 mpg combined, but those ratings are contingent on pricier premium fuel.