2013 BMW X1: Car Seat Check

By Jennifer Geiger  on August 8, 2013

BMW's smallest crossover offers a premium interior and a pair of potent, fun-to-drive turbocharged engines. Second-row occupants may not be as enthusiastic about the X1, however. A narrow backseat and lack of legroom made for a tight fit with our rear-facing child-safety seats.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

What We Like

  • After raising the head restraint, there was plenty of room for the forward-facing convertible, and it was an easy install thanks to the child seat's rigid Latch connectors. Installing the convertible in the rear-facing position was also easy because of the connectors.
  • The three tether anchors at the base of the seatbacks are exposed and easy to use.

What We Don't

  • Although the pair of Latch anchors sit behind hinged plastic covers, the anchors themselves are set too deeply for easy access; we had to fight past the seat belt buckles to connect to them, especially with the infant seat's narrow hooklike connectors.
  • The backseat is narrow, causing our booster to sit on top of the seat belt buckle. The buckles are on floppy bases, and both issues will make it difficult for kids to buckle up independently.
  • To accommodate the infant seat, we had to move the front passenger seat forward as far as it would go; we also had to adjust the seatback's angle to a more upright position. The front passenger was very uncomfortable.
  • Although we were able to move the front passenger seat back a little after installing the rear-facing convertible, the front passenger still didn’t have a comfortable amount of legroom.






Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer