BMW SUV range: What is the best BMW SUV and crossover model?

Date Posted 16th October 2020
Read Time 9 min read

If you’re looking for an SUV, BMW will likely be able to cater to your needs. 

From compact city-focussed crossovers to gargantuan motorway cruisers and mountain topplers, the BMW SUV range, or sports activity vehicles as they call them, has something for everyone. 

But which is the best BMW SUV? For that, we need to take a closer look at each model. 


  • BMW X1 – Lease From £322 Monthly
  • BMW X2 – Lease From £272 Monthly
  • BMW X3 – Lease From £400 Monthly
  • BMW X4 – Lease From £458 Monthly
  • BMW X5 – Lease From £648 Monthly
  • BMW X6 – Lease From £681 Monthly
  • BMW X7 – Lease From £832 Monthly
  • BMW iX3 – Pre-Order Now


BMW X1 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for city driving

Not the best BMW SUV for seats-up boot space

The BMW X1 is something of a trendsetter. When it was first introduced, despite being slightly underwhelming, high-end compact SUVs weren’t really a thing. But the X1 changed that.

And following a few updates since then, the most recent in 2020, it’s once again become one of the leading figures in a now densely populated market – which consists of the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC40, Audi Q3 and the Sunday Times’ Best Small SUV 2020; the Ford Kuga, to name but a few. 

When you look at the standard spec list, it’s clear to see why. Alongside an unrivalled drive, the entry-level X1 – the SE – comes with 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, a powered tailgate and crash prevention technology which helps lower your insurance premiums. 

BMW X1 Interior

On top of that, despite being a relatively small SUV, the X1 is surprisingly practical. It comes with 505 litres of boot space and a 40:20:40 rear seat split mechanism, giving you up to 1550 litres, or the equivalent of around 30 carry on bags. 

Under the bonnet, there’s a range of seven engines, three petrol, three diesel and a plug-in hybrid variant which will take you 32 miles on pure electric alone. 


BMW X2 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for low-cost performance

Not the best BMW SUV for ride comfort 

As has become the norm across most prestige brands, the BMW X2 is a sportier, more dynamic version of another vehicle in the range. This time, it’s the X1.

And despite its sloped roofline and smaller frame, the X2 remains a practical family SUV. 

Again, the SE remains the entry-level trim, featuring 17-inch wheels, BMW’s sat-nav system, LED headlights, 40:20:40 rear split seating and a powered tailgate. 

BMW X2 Interior

But for the first time, we see the introduction of BMW’s performance arm, and alongside it, the famous M badging. 

For your money, you receive upgraded alloys, Dakota leather upholstery, body-coloured trim, emphasised blue brake callipers and, of course, what makes any top-of-the-range Bimmer special – a monster engine. 

In the M model sits the M35i which produces more than 300bhp and will break 62mph from a standing start in 4.9 seconds. 

If raw speed isn’t what you need, however, the X2 also features three other petrol engines, a plug-in hybrid option and three diesel powertrains. And there’s also the choice between two and four-wheel drive. 


BMW X3 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for all-round practicality

Not the best BMW SUV for driving economy

The BMW X3 was once a reserved compact crossover which provided comfort for those wanting the SUV lifestyle without shouting about it. 

Now, it’s bigger than the original X5, and it has plenty of features to make noise about. 

In the standard SE – the lowest-priced X3 – 18-inch wheels, BMW nav, Vernasca leather upholstery and adaptive LED headlights are joined by a reversing camera, three-zone climate control and a powered tailgate. 

BMW X3 Interior

And as if that wasn’t enough, you can spend a bit more and get bigger 19-inch rims, a digital cockpit, M Sport aerodynamics and upgraded suspension. 

For power, you have a choice between petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains. Among those is the high-performance X3 M Competition, which churns out a monstrous 510bhp. 

If you’re keen to add some extras, there’s a whole host to choose from, including increased comfort, technology, performance and styling. 


BMW X4 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for standing out from the crowd

Not the best BMW SUV for reserved styling 

The BMW X4, like the X2 is to the X1, is a sportier, more stylish version of the X3. It comes with divisive looks but undoubtedly draws the attention of any passers-by. 

It’s also brilliantly equipped. As standard in the entry-level Sport, 18-inch alloy wheels (which can be upgraded to 19s) feature, as does BMW Live Cockpit Plus, a reversing parking camera, Vernasca leather, adaptive LED headlights and BMW’s excellent all-wheel-drive system; xDrive. 

BMW X4 Interior

Further up the spec list, you’ll find bigger wheels, a panoramic sunroof, upgraded aerodynamics and the choice between a performance petrol or diesel engine – the M40i and M40d – which provide 360bhp and 340bhp respectively. 

But if that’s not enough power, there’s also the X4 M Competition, which holds the same 510bhp engine you find in the X3. 

Other than that, there are two other diesel options to choose from, both of which pack a reasonable punch. 


BMW X5 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for all-round SUV-ing

Not the best BMW SUV for cost

The BMW X5 is the German manufacturer’s longest-standing SUV. Originally brought to market around 20 years ago, it’s been forced to evolve to stand the test of time. And it’s done so with great aplomb. 

From front to back, luxury surrounds driver and passengers, with Vernasca leather upholstery and adaptive two-axle air suspension cushioning every bump in the road. 

BMW X5 Interior

Alongside the sublime drive, there’s also 19-inch alloys, electronic front seats with memory settings, park assist with rear camera and LED headlights, all of which come as standard. 

At the top of the range lies the X5 M Competition, packing a huge 625bhp powertrain and featuring 22-inch wheels, perforated leather upholstery, advanced technology and a range of interior trims to finish. 


BMW X6 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for styling

Not the best BMW SUV for value for money

The BMW X6 is a sportier, more aggressive take on the X5. They share the same engine range and much of the same technology, but a sloping roof and a more imposing stance create a very different being. 

The X6 – like the X5 – was the first of its kind. Since then, many other manufacturers have taken the recipe of BMW’s SUV coupe and added their own ingredients, but the X6 remains one of the best around. 

Despite its styling making it less practical than the X5, the X6 comes with better equipment than its boxier sibling, albeit you pay more for it. 

BMW X6 Interior

On the entry-level Sport model, 19-inch alloys, sports automatic gearbox, heated front seats and park assist comes as standard. 

The next trim level up – the M Sport – wheels are upgraded to 21 inches and you’re granted a load of other upgrades, including brakes, aerodynamics, exhaust and steering wheel.

At the top of the range sits the all-conquering X6 M Competition, which houses the same 625bhp engine found in the top-spec X5.   

There are also plenty of options to choose from, including an illuminated front grille, just in case the behemoth X6 didn’t stand enough for your tastes. 


BMW X7 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for lavish luxury

Not the best BMW SUV for engine range

The BMW X7 is the German company’s flagship luxury SUV. Shrouded in expensive materials and the latest technology, the seven-seat colossus takes luxury ‘off-roading’ to another level. 

Made from a mixture of the X5, 7 Series and 8 Series, the X7 features BMW’s four-wheel-drive system as standard, as well as an eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

You also get 21-inch light-alloy wheels, Merino leather upholstery, front and rear heated seats, soft-close doors, BMW Live Cockpit Pro and gesture control. 

BMW X7 Interior

But if that’s not enough, there’s also the M Sport variant which adds M aerodynamics and braking on top of an upgraded sound system and a head-up display. 

Under the bonnet, there’s the choice of one petrol or diesel powertrain, unless you go for the all-out performance M, which brings with it a few styling tweaks and the same 530bhp engine you find in the high-end X5 and X6. 


BMW iX3 Exterior

Best BMW SUV for emissions

Not the best BMW SUV for list price

The iX3 is BMW’s second forage into the all-electric market. It’s their first in SUV form and labelled by Bimmer as one of their most important cars in years. 

As the name would suggest, it’s exterior styling is based on the more conventional, internal-combustion-powered X3. 

But for the most part, that’s where the similarities end. The instrument cluster and control display has been designed specifically for electric driving. 

BMW iX3 Interior

As has the all-new lithium-ion electric battery, which is now housed in an aluminium housing to improve power to weight ratio by 30%. 

The iX3 is only available to pre-order in one spec right now – the Premier Edition – which comes with panoramic roof, a bespoke sound system and adaptive suspension as standard. 

Read More

If you’d like to know more about the BMW SUV range, as well as all of the other models available, you can read our in-depth guide by clicking the button below. 

Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our team who would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. 

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