Getting into the new X1 is a breeze thanks to easy ingress. Once seated you notice the huge windscreen and the reasonably large window panels that aid visibility. However, the dimensions of the rear windscreen do hamper the rear view. And the absence of a rear view camera doesn’t help when parking. It does get parking sensors, but for a car this size, nothing beats a camera.
The new X1 might have grown in size but the seats have shrunk. Thankfully, these are adequately bolstered and offer good support even though the accommodation is tight. Plus, the adjustable driver’s seat and a steering column that can be moved for both reach and angle, allows for a comfortable driving posture.
As far as quality goes, it’s a solidly built car which is communicated well by the precise and well-weighted shutting of doors. Even inside, it’s difficult to fault the plastic, and the wood and metal finishes, be it on the dash, doors or the central console. The various control elements – stalks, dials, buttons, et al – feel good to the touch and their working has a strong tactile feel too. The chunky multi-function steering wheel feels good to hold as well.
Design wise, it’s a typical BMW interior. Large twin dials with a small digital readout at the bottom make up the instrumentation; the centre console is a couple of cup holders along a basic looking iDrive control and some stowage space; and the dash design is dual tone, multi layered and dominated by a tablet style free standing screen. Moreover, most buttons are placed perfectly within reach, there’s utility space under the centre arm rest which also holds the aux, usb and power outlet functions, and there’s some more space ahead of the gear lever and on the door for knick-knacks.
The new X1 might be lesser on length and wheelbase compared to the older version, but it is in fact more spacious. It has more head and knee room all round and even in terms of shoulder room, the new X1 can accommodate three with more ease now. Additionally, the rear seat backrest is now adjustable adding to comfort. What we would have liked better though, is more thigh support for the rear seats. And of course the tall transmission tunnel does ruin the seating for the rear middle passenger. The boot space has gone up too on the new SAV; it now measures 85 litres more at 505 litres. Also, switches on either end of the boot help automatically release the seats for the 40:20:40 folding facility to liberate more boot space.