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2021 BMW X1 Performance Review


Performance: 8.1

The 2021 BMW X1 offers a strong engine and good gas mileage. Most critics agree that it has sharp handling too, but a few find that this comes at the expense of ride comfort.

  • "Satisfying engine responses, a fine-tuned suspension and confidence-inspiring brakes are always part of the package." -- Autotrader
  • "The X1 is a vehicle set to handle all the mundane work of adulthood with just enough of that positive response enthusiasts crave. Steering feel falls below Porsche levels, but you get a nice, fat-rimmed wheel, weighted well with no dead spots." -- Autoweek (2020)
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

The turbo-four engine powering the X1 is plenty powerful for most driving needs. It helps this SUV accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just over six seconds and, when properly equipped, reach a top speed of 144 mph. The automatic transmission makes seamless shifts.

  • "Although 228 horsepower might sound modest, it’s satisfyingly energetic in a vehicle of this size. Standstill to 60 mph happens in a fairly brisk 6.3 seconds. … The X1’s transmission also shifts smoothly and sweetly." -- Autotrader
  • "Power from the X1's four-cylinder engine proved adequate, 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque; it's never overwhelming, but proved plenty to keep up the pace and get around sauntering traffic." -- Autoweek (2020)
  • "The turbo four provides plenty of pep as well as good fuel efficiency. In our all-wheel-drive test vehicle, we managed a 6.3-second zero-to-60-mph time, which is one of the quicker entries in this class." -- Car and Driver (2020)

MPG Estimates

Fuel economy for the 2021 X1 is estimated at 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with AWD. Those are decent estimates for a luxury subcompact SUV.

Handling and Braking

The X1 gets mixed reviews when it comes to performance. Some critics find it has agile handling that helps it feel somewhat like a sports sedan. However, a few note that the electronically assisted steering dulls that sportiness somewhat. The ride is generally comfortable, although it may feel firm at times.

  • "The 2021 X1 has a distinct edge that comes to the fore when tackling quick corners. The M Sport package stiffens the X1 even more, but such is the compromise made with improvements in handling. The all-wheel drive system in the X1 xDrive28i has extra grip and traction on dry roads and brings greater reassurance in slippery conditions." -- Autotrader
  • "The X1's ride is firm and it does not suppress the nastiest road imperfections; it's more sports car than SUV in this regard. The X1 has electrically assisted power steering, which filters out much of the tactility that makes driving BMWs a joy." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "You can opt for an M Sport suspension, but even without it, the X1 rides and handles really well. The X1 is plenty eager to dive into a corner, but offers nice composure when you're just cruising." -- CNET (2019)
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2021 BMW X1

MSRP: $35,400 - $37,400

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