Regardless of your opinion of SUVs and crossovers, you have to give BMW some credit for taking its X1 entry-level utility and making it the most affordable vehicle the company offers. Chuckle, if you want, about it not being a "true BMW" because it's not based on a rear-wheel drive platform. Or, y'know, because it's a crossover and not a sport sedan.
For all its perceived faults, the X1 is a practical, comfortable and good-performing little vehicle. Like other recent BMW models, its most frequent criticism is so-so steering feel.
For 2019, the X1 is carried over with minor changes in option packaging and comes in a single trim called xDrive 28i.
BMW has left alone the X1 crossover's powertrain, which combines a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder with an eight-speed automatic transmission and the xDrive AWD system. Power output is 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
The compact luxury crossover segment is a crowded one. With the X1, BMW competes against vehicles like the Buick Encore, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Volvo XC40 and the Cadillac XT4. Turbocharged four-cylinder engines power all of them, but there are more significant variances in vehicle size. For example, the Encore and GLA-Class are pretty small, while the X1 is a larger vehicle closer in cabin space to the Volvo and Cadillac.
If you're in the market for a small crossover with an upscale feel, we'd argue you don't need to shop luxury brands to find one. Top of mind is the 2019 Mazda CX-5. Its Signature trim is more expensive than the X1's starting price, but comes with equipment and finishes that would option the BMW to more like $50,000. The CX-5 Signature's turbo engine is also more powerful than the BMW's.
Back to the X1: on the outside, 18-inch wheels are standard. There are a couple of optional wheel styles in that size, plus available 19-inchers.
BMW fits the X1 with features we expect to find in a premium-branded vehicle, like keyless entry, heated seats and automatic air conditioning. However, items like a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors and passive keyless entry are all extras.
Other options include sport seats and steering wheel, head-up display, navigation and a panoramic sunroof. A smartphone connectivity package bundles Apple CarPlay (Android Auto isn't offered) with a wi-fi hotspot and wireless smartphone charging.
Active safety features, like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control all cost extra, as well.
BMW's fuel consumption estimates for the X1 are 10.7/7.5 L/100 km (city/highway).