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BMW X1 (2009-2015) Buying Guide

BMW X1 (2009-2015)
BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)BMW X1 (2009-2015)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

We've come to expect great things from BMW's SUVs, after the brilliance of its X5 and X3. So when the X1 appeared in 2009 the stakes were high; we expected a great driving experience, an excellent cabin and an array of brilliantly efficient engines. The fact that the X1 is more of a crossover than a proper SUV made BMW's job easier, so its deft handling was no surprise _ although a cramped cabin featuring sub-standard materials was unexpected. Despite this, as classy crossovers go, the BMW X1 can still make a compelling used buy.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Driving experience
Efficient engines
Awkward styling
Iffy interior quality
Cramped cabin
Unsettled ride
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Key Dates 
12/09The X1 arrives with a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre diesel engine in 18d (143bhp), 20d (177bhp) and 23d (204bhp) forms. The first two came in rear (sDrive) or four-wheel drive (xDrive) guises; the 23d was 4WD only. There's SE trim only.
01/11MSport trim joins the range.
09/11The 163bhp xDrive20d EfficientDynamics appears, rated at 119g/km.
06/12A facelift brings revised interior and exterior styling, two new trims (Sport and xLine), cleaner engines and an eight-speed auto option. Also, the 218bhp xDrive25d replaces the xDrive23d and the 20d is boosted to 184bhp.
  • Some owners have had issues with vibrations through the steering wheel, causing discomfort on long trips.
  • The run-flat tyres are more costly than regular rubber, so see if replacements are due.
  • Some of the cabin materials of early cars didn't look or feel up to the usual BMW standards, but things improved with the 2012 facelift.
  • If you're buying an X1 to carry three adults in the rear, you might have to rethink as it's not very spacious back there; leg room is tight.
  • The N47 2.0-litre diesel can suffer from timing chain failure, which wrecks the engine. Listen for rattles from the back of the unit, indicating wear.
  • Not all cars have bluetooth as standard, but it is possible to fit it retrospectively. However, to have the BMW kit installed is costly.
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