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
- Refined cruiser
- Great performance
- Best-in-class rear space
- Some rivals offer more standard kit
- Weight affects handling slightly
- Expensive for private buyers
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||30-32 miles||149-157mpg||40-44g/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 30-32 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...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe BMW X1 xDrive25e is a plug-in hybrid SUV that's faster and more refined than its non-electrified siblings
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe BMW X1 plug-in hybrid is a match for its closest rivals when it comes to emissions, economy and electric range
- 3Running costsCompany-car users and urban-based private buyers will make the most of the BMW X1 plug-in hybrid
- 4Engines, drive & performanceGood to drive despite its extra weight, the X1 xDrive25e is the pick of the range for refinement and driver enjoyment
- 5Interior & comfortYou may have to pick a few option packs to get the kit you want, but the BMW X1 plug-in has a comfortable cabin and great infotainment
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe BMW X1 hybrid's good packaging and passenger space hasn't suffered too much from the addition of batteries
- 7Reliability & safetyThe plug-in BMW X1 is safe and should be reliable, but you'll have to pay extra to get all the active safety equipment you'd like