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
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£37,295 - £43,555
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Refined cruiser
  • Great performance
  • Best-in-class rear space

Cons

  • Some rivals offer more standard kit
  • Weight affects handling slightly
  • Expensive for private buyers
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid30-32 miles149-157mpg40-44g/km

If you’re looking for a small, premium-badged plug-in hybrid SUV, there’s no shortage of options right now. The BMW X1 xDrive25e is the German brand's entry into this highly competitive segment, going up against heavy hitters like the Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 and T5, Mercedes GLA 250 e, MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 and Jaguar E-Pace P300e

Like its rivals and its sister model the X2 xDrive25e, the X1 xDrive25e combines a petrol engine with an electric motor and battery for a reduction in emissions and fuel consumption, with the option of short-duration emissions-free motoring on electric power alone. 

The X1 plug-in hybrid has a total power output of 220bhp from a 123bhp petrol engine and 94bhp electric motor. The powertrain offers strong performance and makes the SUV feel much more sprightly than its petrol or diesel-powered counterparts. Handling-wise, the X1 is more fun to drive than its XC40 rival and feels composed through corners. 

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. Plus, in ‘MAX eDrive’ mode, the X1 xDrive25e is capable of up between 30 and 32 miles of pure-electric driving. We saw a figure closer to 25 miles when we tested it, 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 opting for some of BMW’s four figure option packs available on the X1.

But, the X1 isn’t exactly the cheapest small SUV around to begin with, as prices for the M Sport trim model start at over £40,000. In xDrive25e plug-in hybrid form however, the price increases again by £2,000 compared to the equivalent petrol model. That may be a tough pill for private buyers to swallow, but company-car drivers will be pleased by the fact that in plug-in hybrid form, the X1 only attracts an 11% Benefit-in-Kind company-car tax rate. For reference, the entry-level diesel X1 falls in the 30% band.

However, if you're a private buyer and most of your journeys are shorter affairs, then the X1 could save money on fuel bills in the longer term. Plus, the X1 remains the more fun to drive option in this crowded segment of electrified vehicles. Read the rest of our review for a more in-depth look at the BMW X1 xDrive25e and how it compares to its nearest rivals...

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