The BMW X1 is a small and family friendly SUV designed to offer a slightly raised ride height over an estate car, giving drivers a more commanding driving feel.

Based on the 2-Series Active Tourer, the X1 is initially offered in front wheel drive – though four wheel drive is also offered. With a vast array of options and specifications to choose from, the X1 can be a hard car to narrow down. Because of this, we’ve picked three of our favourites to make picking one that little bit easier.

The Smart choice for saving money – sDrive18d SE

The SE is the entry-level X1, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s a sparse place to be. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and an automatic tailgate.

Added on top is BMW’s Navigation System, halogen headlamps and park distance control – meaning that a stray bollard won’t catch out those who are new to a slightly larger car.

A sport multi-function steering wheel means that the driver can take control of the entertainment side of the car without being distracted.

With a combined consumption figure of 68.9mpg, the X1 is extremely fuel efficient, and with emissions of 109g/km CO2 the X1 will be popular with business drivers, too.

Of course, even an entry level BMW will command a higher price over other rivals, which is why the base X1 comes in a £26,930.

The Smart choice for value – xDrive20d XLine

The xLine builds on the standard equipment that comes with the SE to offer drivers an even more stylish and appealing package. Rather than 17-inch alloys, the xLine rides on 18-inch wheels. It also features satin aluminium exterior trim and roof rails, as well as LED headlights and black matte front air inlets.

Inside, Dakota leather upholstery brings an upmarket feel to the cabin, while high gloss interior trim nicely contrasts the rest of the interior.

Drivers are also treated to heated front seats, which will no doubt come as a welcome addition in the cold winter months.

We’d go for the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which produces 190bhp while still returning a combined economy figure of 58.9mpg. This model also incorporates that all-important four-wheel-drive, giving owners more traction over slippery surfaces.

There is a noticeable price increase with the XLine over the SE, with the 2.0-litre coming with an on-the-road price of £30,780. However, given the larger engine and increased amount of equipment, it does seem like a smart choice value-wise.

The Smart choice for technophiles – Xdrive25d M Sport

The M Sport sits right at the top of the X1 chain – as it does on most BMW models.

Drivers picking the M Sport will be treated to 18-inch bicolour alloy wheels and a M Aerodynamic package which includes beefed-up bumpers both front and rear, as well as re-designed door sills and grille.

As well as this, M Sport Suspension lowers the car’s ride height and gives the whole vehicle a more purposeful stance. Even the roof rails are given an M Sport touch, finished in a ‘Dark Shadow’ effect. All of the exterior trim is finished in the same colour, too.

To make sure other drivers are aware of the presence of an M Sport, there are badges on the sills and boot.

With regards to the interior, there’s a M Sport steering wheel finished in Nappa leather, Anthracite alcantara upholstery and Aluminium Hexagon interior trim finished in Estoril Blue.

Similar to the XLine, the front seats are heated, though both are replaced with sport varieties.

The car’s interior is lifted through the use of LED ambient lighting, with drivers able to select different colours to be sent through the cabin.

The XDrive25d is the most powerful engine offered for the X1, producing 231bhp and capable of racing to 60mph in just 6.6 seconds. Despite this, it has a claimed combined consumption figure of 56.5mpg, and emits 132g/km CO2.

The XDrive25d M Sport does command a fearsome price – £36,210 – which may put some buyers off. However, for the level of equipment and power that is included, it may be the perfect combination for many.