BMW X1 (2012): 30 second review

CJ Hubbard
BMW X1
Here's an early facelift for BMW's smallest SUV crossover, the X1. But is this and a powerful new diesel engine enough to keep customers interested in the face of some increasingly tough competition?
We like:
Smooth new TwinPower engine, well-judged facelift, interior has character, eight-speed auto option boosts efficiency.
We don't like:
Surprisingly dull to drive, occasionally poor fit and finish.
Should I buy one?
The BMW X1 is only two and a half years old - so it seems a little early for a facelift. Especially on a vehicle that has already sold nearly 300,000 examples worldwide; judging by this, BMW has the formula for a successful premium compact crossover SUV already cracked.
So the changes here hardly reflect a market failure. Rather, they coincide with the introduction of the X1 into the United States, while also welcoming some new engines and revised trim levels.
Judging by the X1's sales figures - it's become comfortably the most popular BMW SUV on sale in the UK since it arrived - people are most definitely attracted to the idea of a small, chunky premium crossover. So it's no surprise that other carmakers have since got in on the act.
These new rivals include the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque - tough cookies, both. By comparison we feel you'd have to really like the BMW image to choose the X1; while it does most things well there's nothing about it that's truly outstanding, and in this company that just doesn't seem good enough.
Rating
4/5
For the full review, point your web browser to the MSN Cars site at http://cars.uk.msn.com/
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