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Looking for luxury in a subcompact crossover? Do not look beyond the X1. It has been around and thriving since 2013. Let's look at the best year BMW X1.

BMW X1 is a subcompact crossover that some people might be inclined to call a hatchback. It is a win-win formula for those who want the style of a crossover, the practicality of a hatchback, and the luxury of a BMW, all in one package.

2020 is the best year BMW X1 as it features the least number of complaints of any other year. It is also equipped with adequate technologies offering luxury and comfort. The vehicle feels powerful, is responsive to driver inputs, and is fun to drive. It also remains competitive in fuel economy.

The X1 is among the best-selling vehicles in the BMW lineup. It offers ample power, a decent amount of luxury, and remains a practical vehicle for families.

It is the most affordable BMW on the market and is aimed at price-conscious shoppers.

Car experts believe that the BMW X1 is suited for those who want to flaunt the styles of a crossover and do not want to give up the practicality and easy drivability of hatchbacks. With the least number of complaints, they consider 2020 the best model for the vehicle. If you like to go on highway cruises or run along hilly countryside roads, the vehicle is fun to drive and does not feel underpowered when climbing steep hills or passing other vehicles on the highway.

Table of Contents

2020 BMW X1

The 2020 BMW X1 is one of the highest-rated subcompact luxury crossovers. Many critics consider it fun to drive and is often termed a well-rounded vehicle.

The vehicle is spacious, offers a higher ride, and is significantly better outside visibility than traditional hatchbacks. It also performs more like a crossover than a hatchback.

The 2020 model received several minor upgrades and belonged to the second generation, launched in 2016. It is a complete package of advanced technologies, crisp handling, and a strong powertrain. The number of options offered on this vehicle is enough to make anyone's head spin.

The X1 received its last proper overhaul back in 2016, and since then, competing crossovers have come a long way. Although minor tweaks and upgrades have been added on the X1, some materials and components in the cabin do not look as futuristic or even BMW standard.

Design Features

When the X1 was launched in 2013 for the US markets, it set the standards and raised the bar high for other crossovers. But with time, the design seems to have become outdated, and the X1 is no longer the head-turner it once used to be.

But only because it does not wear a futuristic design does not mean it is not attractive. In 2020, BMW added a flaunter grille, which has become standard on all modern BMWs. The space below the roundel has been deleted, giving the grille an appearance similar to a constable's mustache.

Outboards from the grille are the standard cat-eye headlights. They are shaped to give the subcompact crossover a sportier and more aggressive look. The fancy LED fog lights spread out across the bottom of the front fascia.

The sides of the vehicle wear excellent sculpting. There is prominent double creasing that starts from the end of the front fender and runs diagonally up and over the doors, and goes on to match the taillight's contours. The creasing matches with and camouflages the narrowing of the window-line. Black cladding runs all around the bottom edges of the vehicle and over the wheel wells. Some shoppers might find the cladding overdone, but it can be concealed if you opt for the black color.

Towards the rear, the tailpipes add to the vehicle's aggressive stance. The cat-eye tail lights ride high and in the corners. Again, the cladding seems a bit overdone, but it makes a good seating place for the dual exhaust pipes. The overall look is balanced, except that some critics find the taillights too big for a subcompact vehicle's rear end.

Step inside, and the first thing that attracts attention is the large center display, which is floating above the dashboard. Below the screen are the center vents, and just below them are the controls for the audio system and climate control.

The instrument cluster houses large analog gauges, complemented by a heads-up display, allowing the driver to the correct amount of information without taking eyes off the road. Overall, the interior flaunts a smart appearance and is not an eyesore.

 Performance Features

Surprisingly, the BMW X1 is powered by a strong powertrain, seldom found on entry-level vehicles, especially in the luxury segment.

The best year BMW X1 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. It is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain can shell out 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque, allowing the subcompact crossover to hit 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. With the optional all-wheel-drive system mounted, the 0-60 time falls to 6.3 seconds.

The all-wheel-drive system is biased to power the front wheels but can switch to powering the rear wheels instantaneously. The transmission on the X1 is similar to one found on several other BMWs. It is virtually flawless at high throttle inputs and ensures a smooth ride when in comfort mode. It becomes more predictable and responsive in Sport mode.

The ride quality on the X1 is quite firm, especially if you opt for the vehicle with the optional 19-inch wheels installed. The X1 came standard with run-flat tires, but they could be swapped for standard tires with a spare donut (not one that you could eat).

The overall ride of the X1 is composed, and the vehicle quickly darts in and out of corners without any issues. It is surprisingly agile for its tall and high-riding design. The electric steering is responsive but lacks road feedback, which is found on most other BMWs.

Comfort Features

One of the most attractive features of the X1 is its price, which is much lower than the remaining BMW lineup. The interior materials are at par compared with what is offered on other BMWs. But the luxury German brand has entailed some cost-cutting with average quality surfaces. This is not to say that the materials look or feel cheap, but they probably are not what you would expect in a BMW.

The front seats lack thigh bolstering; they are acceptable for short trips in the city but can quickly promote fatigue over long journeys. They also lack adequate back support. In fact, the seats do not feel like they belong to a BMW at all.

This is one of the vehicles in which the rear seats feel more comfortable than the front seats. They also ensure easy entry and exit with large and innovatively cut doors. The 37 inches of legroom for rear passengers will keep them happy, that is, until you try to squeeze in a third passenger, which is when things start to become uncomfortable.

Behind the rear seat is adequate cargo space of 27.1 cubic feet, which is more than every direct competitor out there. Even the closest competitor is at least three cubes shorter in the cargo space. If you are looking for a subcompact crossover with the most storage space, look no further; X1 is the frontrunner.

If you wish to haul more oversized cargo, the rear seats can fold down with a split of 40/20/40. The cargo space increases to 58.7 cubic feet, with the rear seat completely folded away.

Safety Features

The 2020 BMW X1 is equipped with several standard safety features and equipment, which include the following:

  • A collection of airbags including frontal, side-impact, and overhead airbags to keep the occupants protected during a crash.
  • The seats are equipped with pre-tensioners, which help maintain the passenger position during impacts to reduce chances of injuries during an impact.  
  • Electronic Stability Control ensures that the vehicle remains within its handling limits. This system can control engine power if the driver tries to push the vehicle beyond its limits.
  • Traction Control ensures that the tires remain in proper contact with the surface they are running on. If any tire loses traction, this system will take necessary measures to regain traction.
  • Auto-leveling headlights ensure maximum visibility on all kinds of roads. Whether you are going uphill, downhill, or carrying significant amounts of cargo, the headlights will always focus on the road to give you good visibility.  
  • Lane departure warning system monitors the white and yellow lines on the road. If the vehicle is veering off to either side of the lane, this system can alert the driver that the vehicle is about to leave its lane.
  • Daytime running lights make the vehicle visible from a distance. They are helpful when running on long stretches of highways.
  • Frontal collision detection with automatic emergency braking can apply brakes if it detects an obstacle in the path of the moving vehicle. This system can detect stopped vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles.

The NHTSA has awarded the 2020 BMW X1 with a five-star rating for overall safety. The vehicle gets five stars for side impacts and four for frontal impact and rollover resistance.

The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has awarded the 2020 X1 with "Good" scores for all crashworthiness tests. The crash prevention system on the vehicle is rated as "Advanced" by the testing agency.

Accessory Features

Even as the most affordable BMW, the X1 is still packed quite well with features, but the technology does seem slightly outdated, especially when compared to modern crossovers.

The 2020 X1 comes standard with the following features:

  • Synthetic leather upholstery
  • Power-operated front seats with eight-way adjustments
  • Automatic wipers with rain sensing
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • An 8.8-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Adding optional packages such as the M Sport package or the all-wheel-drive adds the following:

  • Adaptive dampers
  • Moonroof
  • Leather upholstery
  • Sports seats
  • Appearance and aerodynamic upgrades

Many optional features can be added to the X1. These include:

  • Wood-grain trim and Dakota leather in the cabin
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Power-folding mirrors
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Lumbar support
  • Heated seats
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

But we advise against selecting an X1 with too many options, as it can cause the price of the subcompact vehicle to go up considerably and even come close to the more advanced and larger X3.

Fuel Economy Features

The best year BMW X1 is powered by a four-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It is economical and does not compromise on fun and performance. It gets EPA ratings of 24 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on highways, and 27 mpg for combined driving. Add in the optional all-wheel-drive system, and the fuel numbers drop to 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on highways, and 26 mpg combined. However, it is essential to note that the X1 requires premium fuel.

The X1 keeps up well compared to most of its competitors like the Volvo XC40, Jaguar E-Pace, Audi Q3, and the Benz GLA Class. But one subcompact crossover that outshines all these in terms of fuel economy is the Lexus UX Hybrid.

Price Range of 2020 BMW X1

 The 2020 BMW X1 is priced between $32,000 and $42,000, with an average price of approximately $37,000. These prices can vary due to the wide range of optional features available. Other than options, other factors influencing the prices are location, mileage, and vehicle condition.

Running Costs of 2020 BMW X1

Owning a 2020 X1 can set you back by about $7,130 per year or $35,560 in five years. This amount will be enough to cover for maintenance, gas, taxes, and repairs. Considering the market trend, the running costs of the X1 are average.

Reliability of 2020 BMW X1

JD Power has awarded the X1 with a reliability score of 71 on a scale of 100, which means that the vehicle's reliability is not too bad but also not exceptional. It is rated as average among other vehicles of its class.



Best Year BMW X1

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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