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2021 BMW X1 Overview

The X1, BMW’s subcompact crossover, received a mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 model year and carries over mostly unchanged for 2021. The X1 competes against vehicles like the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and Volvo XC40.

The X1 is the baby of the brand’s crossover bunch, but last year’s facelift improved its familial resemblance. This year, BMW removes four colors—Sparkling Brown Metallic, Dark Olive Metallic, Jucaro Beige Metallic, Mediterranean Blue Metallic, and Sunset Orange Metallic—but Cashmere Silver Metallic and Phytonic Blue Metallic are newly available.

The X1’s powertrain carries over unchanged. It’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The sDrive28i model comes with front-wheel drive and the xDrive28i model features all-wheel drive. The X1 is good for 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The front-wheel-drive model is rated for 24 mpg city, 33 highway, and 27 combined, while all-wheel drive comes in with numbers of 23/31/26.

The interior carries over unchanged, with standard features such as synthetic leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats, and a power rear liftgate. Options include keyless start, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a garage-door opener, a panoramic sunroof, and ambient lighting.

Standard features include an 8.8-inch infotainment display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and a one-year SiriusXM satellite radio subscription—which is new for this year. Options include a premium sound system and wireless device charging.

The 2021 X1 has not yet been crash-tested, but the 2020 model fared well. It earned a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and "good” ratings in all six crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). BMW includes a reversing camera, lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, speed-limit information, parking sensors, and automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise control and park assist are optional.

Buyers in search of an upscale small crossover should check out the X1.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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