Discover the Best and Worst BMW X1 Years to Avoid for Used Models

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you looking for a luxury compact SUV that combines style and performance?

The BMW X1 has been popular since its launch in 2009, with its strong performance and upscale interior.

But not all model years are created equal, and it’s essential to know which years to avoid to ensure you’re making a wise investment.

That’s why we’re here to help make a more informed decision – by steering clear of the problematic years, you can be sure that you’re investing in a reliable and enjoyable BMW X1 capable of providing many miles of trouble-free driving.

We’ve compiled automotive data on which years to avoid so that you can confidently navigate the used BMW market. Let’s get started!

BMW X1 years to avoid

Years to Avoid

Worst Years for BMW X1

The years with the most problems for the BMW X1 are 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Here is a closer look at some of the issues associated with these years:

  • 2012: The first-year model of the BMW X1 had some issues typical of new vehicle launches. It’s advisable to avoid this year due to early production issues.
  • 2013: This model is known to experience engine-related issues. Various owners reported problems with the engine, making it one of the years you should avoid.
  • 2014: With more consumer complaints than any other year for the X1, the 2014 model has the highest frequency of transmission-related issues.
  • 2015: This model year needs more reliability and technological advancements found in its successors, making it less desirable than newer options.
  • 2016: Often described as the worst BMW X1 model year, the 2016 X1 has multiple issues, such as engine problems and electrical system glitches.

Instead of opting for one of these problematic years, consider looking into 2018 and 2022 models, which have high-reliability ratings and positive customer reviews.

Armed with this information, you can make a more informed decision when choosing the perfect BMW X1 for your needs and choose from the most proven, reliable BMW engine makes.

Common Problems and Issues

Engine Problems

The BMW X1, particularly the 2014 model, has been known to face engine issues.

Common problems include faulty crankshaft sensors and issues that could cause the engine to go into an emergency reduced power mode, limiting performance.

To avoid this issue, be cautious when considering a 2014 X1.

Transmission Issues

You might also come across transmission problems in some BMW X1 models. The 2016 model reportedly experienced issues with improperly mounted seat fittings, causing cracks and noises during operation.

It’s best to opt for later second-generation models to avoid these problems.

Heater and A/C Problems

Another potential issue to look out for with the BMW X1 is problems with the heater and A/C system. The 2014 model is known to have a higher likelihood of suffering from these problems.

Rust and Paint Job Problems

Although not too standard, some BMW X1 models, especially the 2014 version, have experienced issues with paint peeling off the body panels, exposing them to rust. Inspect the vehicle’s paint job and look for any signs of rust or peeling.

Damages and Cracks

Along with the transmission issues mentioned above, early second-generation models of the X1 have had problems that caused steering cracks and noises. Check for any such damages or cracks when purchasing a BMW X1.

Remember to carefully inspect any BMW X1 you’re considering purchasing, focusing on the abovementioned issues.

Best Years for BMW X1

2018 BMW X1

The 2018 BMW X1 is an excellent choice as it offers numerous impressive features. You’ll appreciate its exceptional safety ratings, along with its luxurious interior.

Moreover, the 2018 model includes advanced safety features that give you, and your passengers added peace of mind on the road.

2019 BMW X1

Upgrading to the 2019 BMW X1, you can expect to enjoy similar qualities as the 2018 model, including high safety ratings and a comfortable interior.

Additionally, this model year introduced some refinements and technology upgrades, making your driving experience even more enjoyable.

2020 BMW X1

The 2020 BMW X1 has proven to be an excellent year, with no reported complaints.

With the continuous improvements and refinements made in the previous years, the 2020 version showcases BMW’s commitment to delivering a high-quality, luxurious, and safe subcompact SUV. You will love its fine-tuned performance and stylish design.

2021 BMW X1

Last but not least, the 2021 BMW X1 maintains the trend of excellence. Although relatively new, this model year offers fewer complaints, proving that the X1 continues improving yearly.

You can expect the usual high-quality performance, safety, and interior luxury that BMW X1 owners have come to love and enjoy.

Comparison with Audi Q3

When comparing the BMW X1 to the Audi Q3, it’s essential to consider various factors like performance, interiors, and overall affordability.

In terms of performance, the X1 and Q3 offer powerful engines and smooth rides. However, the BMW X1 has a slight edge in pricing, as it undercuts the Q3 just slightly. Remember that the base prices for both vehicles are about average for their class.

As for interiors, the Audi Q3 boasts a more luxurious cabin, resembling something you’d expect from a higher-priced vehicle. On the other hand, the BMW X1 offers a practical but still upscale interior with ample storage options for your belongings.

When considering dimensions, the X1 and Q3 have similar measurements. The Q3 appears to be more dashing than the upright BMW X1, primarily due to differences in height. The BMW X1 is 1,642mm tall, making it appear larger.

The 2023 BMW X1 and the 2023 Audi Q3 are top-notch luxury compact SUVs, offering sleek and stylish exteriors, high-end interiors, and abundant features.

The choice between the two comes down to personal preference and priorities.

You can determine which luxury compact SUV options best fit your needs and lifestyle by assessing performance, interiors, size, and pricing. Discover specific Audi Q3 issues reported!

Tips for Buying a Used BMW X1

First, conduct thorough research on the BMW X1 model years. There have been a few BMW X1 years to avoid due to the expertise of BMW engineers. However, awareness of potential issues in specific years is still essential.

Before purchasing a used BMW X1, it’s crucial to check its maintenance history. A well-maintained vehicle will likely be more reliable and have fewer issues in the long run.

Look for regular oil changes, timely part replacements, and proper care taken throughout the car’s life.

Consider additional options and features when evaluating used BMW X1 models. While they may not impact the car’s overall reliability, they can enhance its appeal and make driving more enjoyable.

Desirable options include upgraded audio systems, advanced safety features, and navigation systems.

Ensure a trusted mechanic inspect the car before making a purchase. It will help identify potential problems or maintenance requirements that may need to be clarified upon initial inspection.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

On average, you’ll spend about $915 per year on regular maintenance, which is higher than the average vehicle cost of $651.

However, this is still relatively affordable compared to other luxury compact SUVs, which average around $859 annually.

As the owner of a BMW X1, you should know that this vehicle is more likely to require expensive repairs during its first ten years of service than the industry average for luxury SUVs.

The total cost of maintenance and repairs for your X1 during this period can reach $17,516, $1,802 higher than the average for similar vehicles.

Here are some key points to remember regarding maintenance and repair costs for the BMW X1:

  • Regular maintenance runs around $915 per year
  • Total fees for the first ten years may reach $17,516
  • 54.61% chance of requiring a significant repair during the first 10 years

Many repairs and maintenance tasks may be covered when your BMW X1 is still under warranty. Still, it is essential to be prepared for costs associated with issues that may not be covered once your warranty expires. It includes any out-of-warranty expenses.

In conclusion, while BMW X1 offers a comfortable and luxurious driving experience, it’s essential to factor maintenance and repair costs into your decision-making process.

BMW X1 Competition

This section will examine the Volvo XC40, Infiniti QX30, and Mazda CX-3 and how they stack against the X1.

Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 provides a stylish and highly comfortable alternative to the BMW X1. With its Scandinavian design and impressive safety features, you may find the XC40 appealing.

Both vehicles offer powerful engines, upscale interiors, and advanced technology. However, one issue you may encounter in the XC40 and the X1 is the higher-than-average maintenance cost.

Infiniti QX30

The Infiniti QX30 stands out for its sleek design and lower price than the BMW X1. Both vehicles offer responsive handling and similar performance features.

While the QX30 has a more affordable starting price, you should know that it also has less cargo space, potentially limiting your storage options.

A common problem you might experience with the QX30 and X1 is a stiff ride, which could affect the overall comfort during long drives.

Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 is known for its superb handling and more affordable price tag when compared to the BMW X1.

It’s an excellent option if you value a fun driving experience and a relatively lower cost of ownership. However, you might find the CX-3’s cabin to be less luxurious than what’s offered in the X1.

A shared problem in the CX-3 and X1 is the somewhat limited rear-seat space, which may be a concern if you require more passenger room.


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