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Used BMW X1 Review

10 Apr 2023

Are you on the hunt for a used BMW X1? The second generation of BMW's SUV produced from 2015 to the present, has elevated this once very good car to new heights, making it arguably the premium small SUV to beat.

The original X1 sold well and was a decent first attempt, but it wasn’t particularly good to drive. The Mk2 X1 has changed all that, with new engines, a new chassis and new technology inside creating an SUV that drives brilliantly and delivers practicality that defies its small size.   

But if you’re on the lookout for a used BMW X1, where do you start? Here’s our guide to the best engines, trim levels and how much a good second-hand BMW X1 is likely to set you back. 

Pros and Cons


  • Practical, spacious and good to drive
  • Economical and powerful engines
  • Well-equipped as standard


  • Interior lacks behind some of its rivals
  • Suspension can be stiff
  • Lots of optional features can be confusing

How does it look?

The BMW X1 packs a big visual punch, and although there’s a definite family resemblance with the BMW X3 and BMW X5, everything is smaller and perfectly in proportion. Despite being around for a while now, the Mk2 X1 has aged well, with its sharp-edged bodywork giving a clean, smart and contemporary look.

The Mk2 X1 benefited from a facelift in 2019, which brought a new bumper, larger grille and redesigned LED lights. Although the changes are subtle, they have helped the X1 keep pace with more recent releases and maintain its position as one of the best-looking cars in its class.

On the inside, there’s no doubting the quality, but this is where the X1 shows its age slightly. However, every bit of interior trim you come into contact with regularly has a solid, premium feel and there’s plenty of space, including one of the biggest boots in its class, so you can travel easily with all the family and your luggage.  

What’s it like to drive?

If you enjoy driving, start shopping around for a used BMW X1 for sale, now. Whether you choose one of the rear- or four-wheel-drive models, the handling is first class. The steering is reassuringly precise at speed and the X1 gives you the nippiness and agility of a sports saloon, even on the twistiest roads. 

The petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines provide plenty of acceleration and control to make town and motorway driving a pleasure rather than a chore. The one downside of a used BMW X1 is the ride, which can be a bit on the firm side for some. The Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3 both provide a smoother ride on rough roads, although you can soften things up by looking for an X1 with adaptive dampers or sticking with the standard 18-inch wheels and avoiding the run-flat tyres. 

Are preowned BMW X1s reliable?

The used X1 performs well for reliability, ranking fourth out of 39 cars in the family SUV class in the What Car? Reliability Survey. Although the 2016 model has some reported reliability issues, BMW X1s from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 are all very reliable, with low levels of complaints and few known problems. 

Which is the best used BMW X1 to buy?

When the Mk2 BMW X1 first came on sale in the UK in 2015, there was one petrol engine - the xDrive20i (189bhp) - and three diesels to choose from - the sDrive18d (148bhp), xDrive20d (187bhp) and xDrive25d (228bhp). The facelift in June 2019 introduced a new 1.5-litre sDrive18i petrol engine and an xDrive18d edition, while the xDrive 25d was dropped. A plug-in hybrid xDrive25e was also added to the range in March 2020. 

Of those, we think there’s little reason to look beyond the diesels, which combine plenty of muscle with good fuel efficiency. The 18d is probably our favourite, with the automatic version helping to keep your revs down when cruising on the motorway but also responding quickly when you need to accelerate.

Trim-wise, all used Mk2 BMW X1s come well equipped, with the entry-level SE providing dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, cruise control, DAB radio, an electric tailgate and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Sport trim adds an inch to the alloys, gives you sports front seats and includes some racy upgrades to the interior and exterior, while the X Line adds heated front seats, leather trim and LED headlights. The top-of-the-range M Sport brings an exterior body kit, Alcantara interior trim and sports suspension. 

We think the SE provides more than enough equipment for most needs. If there is a feature you’re missing, keep a lookout for preowned BMW X1s with optional packages, such as the Navigation Plus, which adds a heads-up display, a larger touchscreen and real-time traffic monitoring.  

How much is a used BMW X1?

The X1 has been around for a while now, so there are some good second-hand deals to be had. Early versions of the Mk2 with a high mileage start at around £10,000, but if your budget can stretch it, £12,000 or £13,000 will get you a lower mileage model from 2016. If you want to spend a bit more, between £15,000 and £16,000 will get you a nice 2017 model, while prices for a good 2018 car start at £17,000. You can expect to spend £20,000 and £25,000 for an X1 from 2019 or 2020.   

If you’re on the lookout for a used 2021 BMW X1 for sale, you’ll need around £30,000, with 2022 models starting at £32,000.  

Are you on the look out for a used BMW? Take a look at Tangelo's current used BMW stock and get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable sales team to book an appointment or a test drive at our Exeter Customer Hub.

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