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|
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...
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 costs & insuranceCompany-car users and urban-based private buyers will make the most of the BMW X1 plug-in hybrid
- 4Performance, engine & driveGood to drive despite its extra weight, the X1 xDrive25e is the pick of the range for refinement and driver enjoyment
- 5Interior, dashboard & 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
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe BMW X1 hybrid's good packaging and passenger space hasn't suffered too much from the addition of batteries
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe 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