Price reductions on selected cars, from £250 - £1000 off

skip to main contentskip to footer

BMW X1 vs. BMW X2: which is better?

You've got your eye on a BMW crossover SUV but aren't sure which is for you? Let us help you decide between a BMW X1 or X2

on the left is a grey BMW X1 front driving on the road and on the right is a blue BMW X2 driving

What's the difference between the BMW X1 and X2?

The BMW X1 and X2 are the smallest among the brand’s crossover SUV range, but just because they’re small, it doesn’t mean they aren’t mighty. 

In fact, they are among the company’s best-selling cars in that sector. These are both great cars for those wanting a coupé-like body shape but in an SUV’s overall size.

The smaller X1 has been around a few more years than its sleeker X2 relative – but they both share very similar characteristics and body parts, while still being very different cars to drive and to look at. 


on the left is a grey BMW X1 front driving on the road and on the right is a blue BMW X2 driving

Speaking of aesthetics, when it comes to style, both the X1 and X2 offer some rather dashing appearances.

Over the years, the X1's design has grown up and matured. This was particularly helped by a facelift it received in 2019 that added a larger grille, new bumper and redesigned LED lights. 

As for the X2, this – like the X1 – is a crossover SUV that looks remarkably similar to its younger sibling, but at the same time, not.

Think of this model as being a sleeker, cooler version of the X1 – in the same way a slicked-back hairstyle is just a mohawk that has been smoothed out.  

Both cars have somewhat aggressive-looking headlights, but the X2 looks a little angrier as you look at its two imposing headlights on either side of the kidney grilles. 

What are they like to drive?

On the left is a grey BMW X1 driving away from the camera and on the right is a blue BMW X2 driving on the motorway

Driving style is what really sets these two cars apart. Because the X1 appears higher off the ground than the X2, it offers more of an SUV-style of drive.

This doesn’t mean it’s wallowy at all – in fact, it’s far from it. It feels planted on the road, making it very agile on a country road when compared to most other SUVs of its size and weight.  

Being more coupé-like, the X2 may feel faster but its performance figures are about the same – with power coming from either a petrol, diesel or now plug-in hybrid engine.  

But because of this sporty edge, you may notice both BMWs to have a stiffer ride than some rivals but a) this can be changed aftermarket, and b) it’s a small price to pay for a great overall driving experience.  

Additionally, both BMW models are available with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive – both of which we’d recommend, but perhaps opt for the latter if you’re worried about winter conditions where you live. 

Interior and technology

On the right is a BMW X1's iDrive infotainment screen and on the right is a BMW X2's black leather interior

No matter which model you opt for, you will not be disappointed by the interior.

Both cabins are functional, comfortable and easy to use – which is one of the many reasons one may choose a BMW over the more complicated tech fest that is a lot of Mercedes models.  

The X1’s designers clearly had the driver in mind when designing this cabin because it feels very driver-focused and sporty, yet luxurious.

There’s plenty of headroom and legroom for all occupants of the car, which is especially helpful for passengers over six feet tall.

Because the X1 is a taller car than the X2, it benefits from this greatly.  

But that by no means makes the X2 redundant. Very few SUVs in this price bracket come close to the quality of these two BMW interiors.

Since these interiors are very similar, no matter which you choose you’ll get really comfortable and supportive seats, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay connectivity, parking sensors, and many more fancy tech bits

If you’re a real music buff, then you may want to look out for used models that comes with the upgraded Harman/Kardon sound system, which adds more power and more speakers. 

Choosing a used BMW X1 or X2 model is a great way to secure a higher trim level or extra features at a lower price. You might be able to grab tech that would've been out of budget when buying brand-new.

Bootspace and practicality

on the left is a BMW X1's boot and on the right is a blue BMW X2's rear quarter

When it comes to bootspace, you won’t be disappointed by the BMW X1. It has a lot of space back there for a compact SUV, offering up to 505 litres.

However, if you opt for a plug-in hybrid variant, then you’ll lose a bit of this to the extra batteries, but it’s still plenty for a few suitcases or a large food shop.  

The same can be said for the X2 because this too is a car that offers decent levels of bootspace for its size – offering up to 470 litres.

To put this into perspective, the Volkswagen Golf hatchback has a 380-litre boot and that is often classed as a ‘good-sized boot’, and it is – the extra 90 litres in this won’t go amiss.

Read our in-depth car reviews:

Safety and reliability

Being modern BMWs, you don’t need to worry about reliability because after making cars for more than 100 years, this brand knows a thing or two about how to make a solid engine and car.

Even if you're purchasing a used BMW X2 or X1, you can expect impressive build and reliability. This does mean that repair costs can be higher since you'll be purchasing high-quality parts for a premium car. An advantage of this is that repairs should be fewer and far between.

Whether you opt for a petrol, diesel or hybrid variant, you will not be let down. There’s a reason the Mini Countryman shares the same platform as the X1. 

As for safety, both the X1 and X2 scored full marks in their most recent Euro NCAP crash tests – something to help you sleep at night knowing that you and your occupants are in good hands. 



Length: 4438mm

Width: 1821mm

Height: 1598mm

Boot space: 505 litres


Length: 4360mm

Width: 1824mm

Height: 1526mm

Boot space: 470 litres

Verdict: BMW X1 vs BMW X2: which should you buy?

We’re sure you’ve come to a conclusion by yourself on which model is best for you, but in case you’re still struggling to decide, we’ve made it a little simpler in our verdict. 

Essentially, it comes down to size. If you need more passenger space and a larger boot, then a used X1 is best for you.

And if you want something that looks more stylish on the outside, then a preowned X2 may be the one for you. 

Aside from space and looks, there really isn’t much in it. Both cars offer incredible interiors, engine options and comfort – so it’s really down to the aforementioned duo of checklist items.  

Read more about SUVs: