In-depth reviews

BMW X1 hybrid review

The BMW X1 xDrive25e is a plug-in hybrid SUV that's faster and more refined than its non-electrified siblings

BMW X1 hybrid
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

£37,295 - £42,805
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol



Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid32 miles157mpg41g/km

The BMW X1 xDrive25e is BMW's contender in the burgeoning market for small, premium-badged electrified SUVs. It's a direct rival for the Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 and the Mercedes GLA 250 e and as such combines a petrol engine with an electric motor and battery for a trade-off between range and emissions, with the option of short-duration emissions-free motoring on electric power alone.

With a 123bhp petrol engine and 94bhp electric motor, performance is strong – the X1 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) feels much more sprightly than its petrol or diesel-powered counterparts. The addition of a 10kWh battery and that motor have resulted in a bit of a weight gain, but BMW has done a good job of keeping it under control. The X1 is more fun to drive than its XC40 rival and feels composed through corners. 

The X1's plug-in hybrid technology is similar to that found in its X2 xDrive25e sister car: three driving modes are available to make the most of the two power sources, while a claimed 32 miles of electric range is on tap with a full charge in 'MAX eDrive' mode. We saw a figure closer to 25 miles on test, but that's still competitive.

Inside, the X1 is relatively unchanged from the petrol and diesel versions, albeit with some encroachment (around 55 litres) from the batteries on boot space. There's plenty of space front and rear for adult passengers to get comfortable, with those in the back treated to class-leading head and legroom.

Up front, the dashboard hosts one of the best infotainment systems on the market, but getting all of the standard equipment you might want – including active safety systems like adaptive cruise control – requires ticking a few four-figure options on the configurator.

The X1 is a great all-round small family SUV, but as with all PHEVs, it makes most sense as a company car to make the most of the savings afforded by its sub-50g/km CO2 emissions. With prices starting in the high thirties and climbing into the £40,000-plus bracket for an M Sport model after options, the plug-in hybrid runs about £2,000 more expensive than an equivalent petrol model or around £1,000 more than a diesel.

It's worth taking this into account if you're a private cash buyer; if most of your journeys are shorter affairs, however, then the X1 could save money on fuel bills in the longer term. Read the rest of our review for an in-depth look at the BMW X1 xDrive25e and how it compares to its nearest rivals...

Most Popular

Best electric mopeds 2021
Niu GT electric scooter
Best cars

Best electric mopeds 2021

We run down the best electric mopeds you can buy, from some mainstream and some not so well known names
7 Jan 2021
Fastest electric cars in the world 2021
Best cars

Fastest electric cars in the world 2021

The days of the trundling milk float are long gone: the latest electric cars are now some of the fastest vehicles in the world, full stop
4 Jan 2021
Best plug-in hybrid SUVs 2021
DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE
Best cars

Best plug-in hybrid SUVs 2021

A good plug-in hybrid SUV should combine low running costs with excellent practicality. These are some of the best on sale right now
4 Jan 2021

More on X1

BMW X1 hybrid 2020: prices, specification and on-sale date

BMW X1 hybrid 2020: prices, specification and on-sale date

A plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X1 SUV is available to order now, boasting a 35-mile electric range and CO2 emissions from 43g/km
29 Apr 2020