Now that you’ve had time to digest the all-new BMW X1 F48, let’s see how it compares to its predecessor from a visual standpoint.
Judging from the comments, you guys really like the new X1 don’t you? Well, so do I. It’s more modern-looking and we can safely say that BMW didn’t screw up any design elements on it – like they did with the 1 Series before they went back to the drawing board and fixed it via a facelift.
But you know what? The first generation X1 (the E84) was arguably one of the best looking non-saloon/non-coupe BMWs on the market. Its aggressive stance, long bonnet-like appearance made it seem a lot more dynamic than it really was (which isn’t to say that it wasn’t fun to drive). It was and still is a great car.
So let’s break it down and see if the new model is an overall improvement or just a rudimentary one at best.
Looking at both of these cars in the “eyes”, you’ll notice the bigger grille, more aggressive headlight design and larger fog lights when it comes to the 2016 model. It simply looks more massive, which is a good thing for any type of car that isn’t particularly imposing in terms of its size.
The old model does look a bit more car-like, rather than SUV-like, which for some could be a good thing. It also appears to have slightly bigger mirrors length-wise, judging from the support. Its spoiler is also less dynamic than the one found on the newer model, with fewer design lines, which means this round definitely goes to the new model.
But wait, what about the always important 3/4 front angle? Here it gets really interesting because the old model had this sort of unique look to it thanks to that long bonnet. It’s as good looking now as it was when it first came out, whereas the new X1 looks a bit like an X3 with an X5 M spoiler.
But even so..
Winner: 2016 BMW X1 F48
Even thought the new X1 doesn’t look entirely like a Sport Utility Vehicle (more like a crossover actually), the old model really didn’t look like any type of SUV we’ve ever seen. It was sleek, athletic, and made you feel like you were looking at a jacked up 3 Series Touring.
The 2016 model has obviously abandoned that look and went for a more conventional appearance. And sure, it may not stand out as much if you’re looking for a more distinctive look, but it’s still a very well designed car. On the down side, that shoulder line looks like it came straight from the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, especially with those longer taillights – but now we’re just being mean.
The new X1 does share a lot of design elements with the X3 and the X5 and so it is by no means a bad looking car. Which one has the best looking profile? It’s hard to make a call because they’re so different.
Ah the derrière. We just can’t help but stare (rhyming unintentionally). Take any car, and you couldn’t be blamed for saying that the way in which it looks from the back is equally important to how it looks when viewed from the front. As much as we love the rear of the old X1, hunkered down, looking like a 3 Series Touring, the new model just edges ahead with those ultra-aggressive, modern taillights and dual exhaust look.
Plus, it feels more grown up if you check it out from the 3/4 rear angle, since it’s both wider and taller. It looks like it offers more interior room even before you get inside and find out for yourself – and yes, BMW did say that it’s more spacious.
Winner: 2016 BMW X1 F48
Looking at the cabin of the new X1, you just can’t help but wonder what the heck is going on here. Now, this article isn’t about on-board tech or improved software and things of that nature. We’re just talking about how these two cars compare visually and so seriously now, what’s up with the E83 BMW X3 shifter?
It looks like they went back to 2003 for that one. It’s actually the same one they use in the 2 Series Active Tourer, but you get the idea, it doesn’t look all that..premium. But it’s not just that, because visually, there’s very little indication that you’re looking at a newer model, and that’s a real problem.
So the shifter looks better on the old X1, the steering wheel looks sportier, the climate controls look better – must be because they snatched the ones from the 2 Series Active Tourer to use on the new X1.
To say that the 2016 X1’s interior is a mess would be an exaggeration and even if you don’t agree that the E84’s cabin was somehow better looking, it’s tough to call this one in favor of the new car.
Winner: 2015 BMW X1 E84
There you have it folks. Keep in mind, this visual comparison is as unofficial as it gets. It’s not an elaborate comparison, but more like sitting down, having a beer and talking about these two cars with a friend. So if you disagree, let us know in the comments section.
So is the new BMW X1 a good looking car? Yes it is – surprisingly good looking actually! Is it better looking than the previous model? Absolutely, overall it’s an easy call to make. But better looking from absolutely all points of view while breaking it down into categories? Probably not.
*Note: 2016 BMW X1 on the left, 2015 X1 on the right
Poll: Which BMW X1 do you like more?