my wife is 5'2"
My wife is 5'2" and can see just fine over the dash without the seat raised up all the way so I am quite suprised your wife at 4'11" is having such trouble seeing over; especially since the vehicle is so small and my wife doesn't even have the seat up as high as it can go. Not to be condescnding in any way but is your wife activating the proper control on the side of the seat? (as you probably know there are a few buttons that are multidirectional). I would go to the dealership with the wife and have the dealership figure something out...especially since BMW went way out of their way to make the X1 as safe as possible. I'm sure BMW would be more than willing to make sure the controls are properly functioning (not stopping before it's true limit) and as a last resort, at least give her a fancy cushion with a BMW logo on it! Good luck.