2019 BMW X1

By KBB.com

As the smallest SUV in its lineup, the 2019 BMW X1 may not be the roomiest or most powerful member of its clan, but we think it may just be the most fun to drive, and really isn’t that the reason one buys a BMW? There’s enough interior space to justify its SUV designation, and the turbocharged 4-cylinder delivers impressive performance backed by razor-sharp cornering, yet the X1’s firm ride isn’t unforgiving or overly harsh. Although more expensive than competitors like the Infiniti QX30 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, the X1 also bests these worthy opponents in almost every category, making it the small-luxury-crossover SUV to beat. However, when it comes to off-road adventures, the X1 takes a back seat to Range Rover’s Evoque.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2019 BMW X1 delivers the crossover-SUV size and utility so many find attractive these days, but without losing the heart and soul of what makes a BMW a BMW. Light, agile and reasonably affordable considering its pedigree, the X1 may be the best in its class. Buy it.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don’t know BMWs, you may be surprised at the X1’s firm ride and somewhat stiff seats. Those looking for luxury over performance will be happier in a Lexus NX. If you’re not all about name brands, a Jeep Cherokee Limited might also work.

What's New for 2019

For 2019, the BMW X1 SAV (“Sports Activity Vehicle,” in BMW parlance) gains as standard navigation, Apple CarPlay (1-year complimentary) and a host of driver assists including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and auto high beams.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

It only took a few minutes behind the wheel of the 2019 BMW xDrive28i for us to conclude this may be one of our favorite BMW crossover SUVs. The X1’s lightweight body and nimble size are perfectly suited to the power output of the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, allowing instantaneous bursts of power on demand. Passing power at speed is also good, and the 8-speed automatic does an excellent job of gear selection, although the purists in our editorial staff lamented the omission of a manual gearbox. Fuel-economy figures came in as predicted, even after long bouts of pushing the X1 to its limits. Those who demand maximum performance from their SUV will want to opt for the M Sport suspension package, which sharpens cornering response along with improving body control. The X1’s all-wheel-drive system is better at dealing with dry or snow-covered pavement, although with the right wheel and tire combo, we suspect it could handle very light off-road situations, too.

Favorite Features

Most manufacturers charge extra for a power tailgate, but not BMW. Standard on the X1, the power tailgate makes it easier to load the car when your arms are full. Add the Comfort Access option and the tailgate can be triggered to open by swiping a foot under the bumper.

Apple CarPlay is almost becoming a prerequisite for cars today, which is why we’re happy to see BMW now offering it as standard on the X1. Oddly, CarPlay is offered as a subscription service, with one year free, after which owners must pay an annual $80 fee to BMW.  Still scratching our heads over that one.

Vehicle Details


The BMW X1 for 2019 is a 2-row/5-passenger SUV with plenty of room for people and cargo. Rear-seat passengers have excellent legroom unless the front passengers are so tall they have the front seats in their rearmost position. If this is the case, we recommend spending the additional $300 for the sliding rear-seat option that also reclines. Up front, power seats are standard. This baby BMW's dash is sleek and angular. Materials have a premium look and feel, such as the soft-touch dash and wood accents. The standard SensaTec fake-leather seating feels down-market, though.


The new X1 proudly displays its BMW lineage with a noticeably rugged and angular design that makes it look less like a tall wagon and more like a small SUV. For better or worse, the styling works. The X1’s 7.2 inches of ground clearance allow it to venture more securely off-road, while up front BMW's familiar kidney grille, standard LED daytime running lights and optional LED headlights make a strong visual statement and brightly guide your path. The M Sport Package adds further flair with an aerodynamic kit, sport suspension and high-gloss roof rails.

Notable Standard Equipment

A base 2019 BMW X1 sDrive28i comes with front-wheel drive, while the xDrive28i includes all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 8-way-power front seats, automatic climate control, power tailgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control, rearview monitor, push-button ignition, and 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires. The standard infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch screen, 7-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio/CD player with USB input and Bluetooth audio streaming/phone connectivity, navigation and Apple CarPlay. The X1 also includes BMW Assist eCall emergency-request system with an SOS button, forward-collision warning with low-speed emergency braking, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, complimentary scheduled maintenance for four years/50,000 miles, and roadside assistance for four years/unlimited miles.

Notable Optional Equipment

As with most BMWs, there are plenty of ways to upgrade the X1, and they can make the vehicle's base price climb quickly. Even most of the X1's exterior paint colors are extra money, unless you go with non-metallic black or white. You'll also pay a fee after one year for Apple CarPlay, a feature that is becoming standard on mainstream SUVs. Other notable extras include a higher-resolution 8.8-inch monitor, panoramic moonroof, head-up display, leather interior, heated front seats, and 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. 

Under the Hood

Sole powerplant for the 2019 BMW X1 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 228 horsepower. BMW promises the X1 can hit the 0-60-mph benchmark in 6.3 seconds. A Sport mode livens throttle response and stiffens steering feel, while Comfort and Eco modes tone down settings. The X1 offers the option of front-wheel or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD) and uses an 8-speed Aisin automatic transmission. A start/stop system shuts off the engine at idle to save fuel. If you find the restarts jarring, it can be defeated. Premium gasoline is recommended.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
228 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (FWD), 22/31 mpg (AWD)

Pricing Notes

The 2019 BMW X1 sDrive28i has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $36,000, while the AWD xDrive28i bumps the price to just under $38,000. In reality, prices can easily go beyond that by thousands. Loaded, an X1 can hit the upper-$40,000 range. The BMW X1's starting price is in line those of the Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lincoln MKC, and a few hundred to several thousand dollars more than other compact SUVs such as the Infiniti QX30. As for its resale value, we expect the 2019 BMW X1 to hold average values below those of the Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA, and better than the Lincoln MKC.

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