Is the BMW X1 the Best Used Luxury SUV You Can Buy Right Now?

Not all luxury cars cause you to break the bank. Depending on which model you buy, many BMW models are surprisingly affordable. One of those BMW models is the X1, a peppy subcompact SUV with a lot of cargo and passenger space.

You can get an even better deal buying a used BMW X1. Previous versions of this SUV occupy many spots on U.S. News’ luxury subcompact SUV ratings. Let’s look at what these models have to offer and how the car measures up to its competition.

The redesigned 2016 BMW X1

According to U.S. News, the 2016 version of the BMW X1 is the best used one to buy. It got a complete redesign for this year, now looking like a proper SUV instead of a station wagon. It also got bigger on the inside, with plenty of space in the back for adult passengers. The quality of the seats and other interior materials also drastically improved.

The redesigned BMW X1 can also be bought with some available safety features. These include adaptive cruise control, parking sensors with parallel park assist, and forward-collision warning. The 2016 model also ranked highly in its safety tests, earning a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.

Another major change for this model was the discontinuation of the V6 engine. Instead, the 2016 X1 is powered by a four-cylinder engine capable of 228 hp. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic, and it’s only available in all-wheel drive. While it’s definitely fast by SUV standards, some critics like Consumer Reports thought that the car was noisy and wobbly on the road.

Despite this, it’s still a great used car overall. The 2017 and 2018 versions of this car are also good used options according to U.S. News. The only major change is that rear-wheel drive was re-introduced for the 2017 model year.

The BMW X1 released in 2013


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The introductory model year of the X1 occupies the second-place spot on the U.S. News list. It was popular among drivers thanks to its powerful engine choices. The base offering a turbocharged V6 motor that makes up to 240 hp. Drivers can also get a turbo V6 that makes up to 300 hp.

Edmunds praised the first X1’s handling, noting that it operates more like a small car than a subcompact SUV. In addition to being speedy, the 2013 X1 also gets great gas mileage. With the base engine, it earns 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg while on the highway.

However, the 2013 X1 definitely has some weaknesses. Many critics didn’t like the cramped quarters inside this SUV, and cargo space was also a big disappointment. It only has 47.7 cubic feet, whereas the redesigned models boast up to 58.7 cubic feet. 

If you have a larger family, you’re better off buying one of the later versions. The 2013 X1’s lack of both standard and available safety features may also be a point of concern for some shoppers. However, it still got good crash test ratings.

The used BMW X1 has one big rival

Another popular used subcompact SUV is the Audi Q3. The 2015 version is significantly cheaper than the BMW options, and it also comes with more standard infotainment features. However, its engine is slightly less efficient than the 2016 BMW X1. 

U.S. News was particularly unimpressed with the Q3’s passing performance on the highway. It also doesn’t have as much passenger space and only has as much cargo area as the 2013 BMW X1. With its brisk handling and ample cargo capacity, you can’t go wrong with a used BMW X1.