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2014 BMW X1 Review

Dec 9, 2013

The 2014 X1 should satisfy buyers who aren't in tune with the growth in size made to the current-generation of the X3. The X1 is the smallest compact crossover in the BMX xLine that fits just below the X3.  The X1 is 6.5 inches shorter and nearly 5 inches lower than an X3. Starting prices range from $30,800 to $38,600. The 2014 X1 is offered as the sDrive28i rear-wheel-drive model or the xDrive28i in all-wheel-drive powered by BMW's 2.0-liter, 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. The X1 also comes as the xDrive35i AWD with the 3.0-liter, 300-horsepower six-cylinder.

2014 BMW X1 Review

Unfortunately, a manual transmission is not available and you can't get rear-wheel drive with the six-cylinder either. But the 2.0L four's automatic transmission is the superb eight-speed ZF unit that is widely used in other BMW applications. The xDrive35i offers only a six-speed automatic transmission.  The X1 sDrive28i goes from 0-to-60 mph in 6.2 seconds with an EPA-estimated fuel economy at 24 miles per gallon city and 34 mpg highway. The xDrive gets 22/33 mpg. The xDrive35i can get to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Its EPA fuel economy estimates are 18/27 mpg.

The cabin's design is typical BMW, with clear gauges, sensible ergonomics and solid build quality throughout. Materials are high quality, with tasteful textures and colors. Even though the X1's smaller dimensions translate into less space inside, the front compartment has generous leg- and headroom and plenty of shoulder room. And well-shaped buckets provide proper support.

2014 BMW X1 Reviews

The rear seat has plenty of shoulder and headroom, but knee room is tight and the driveline tunnel makes the middle position uncomfortable. Cargo capacity increases from 14.8 to 47.7 cubic feet with rear seatbacks down.  X1's underpinnings are the same, or similar to those of the 3 Series, so you can expect a first-rate suspension design, and excellent powertrains. BMW's premium reputation is evident with a structure that felt rock solid, even during our drive on some of Vermont's extreme weather-damaged roads.

On the road, we found the X1 mostly a delight to drive. We couldn't help but admire our xDrive35i test car's agility and responsive brakes. The steering precision and weighting was very good, but unfortunately, the X1's excellent handling characteristics come at the expense of ride quality. We could feel every imperfection on a good road, and travel on the broken pavement of just about any city street was a jarring experience.

BMW X1 Review

But overall, we're impressed with the BMW X1 simply because it effectively combines a useful passenger package with the driving dynamics you expect from a BMW. The X1's small size may be its biggest asset, especially for urban dwellers who want practicality they can fit in a tight parking space.

The sDrive28i comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, foglamps, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic climate control, eight-way manual front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio input, HD radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. The xDrive28i adds all-wheel drive and hill descent control.  With its more powerful engine, the xDrive35i adds 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof and eight-way power front seats. 

2014 BMW X1 Review

Manufacturer Photo: BMW allows drivers to tailor their new BMW X1 with individual style based on their personal preferences. It includes undertray elements for the front and rear fascias, side skirt covers, air intake and kidney grille slats in Titanium Silver matt finish, as well as exclusive 18-inch alloys in Y-spoke design. The distinctive charisma of the new BMW X1 is also reflected in the interior, starting with entry strips bearing the lettering "BMW xLine", a leather-wrapped multifunction sports steering wheel, as well as exclusive interior trim strips in Dark Copper high-gloss and floor mats with color-matched piping.


  2014 BMW X1 XDRIVE35i
  VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD compact CUV
  BASE PRICE___________________ $38,600 (as tested: $41,975)
  MOTOR TYPE___________________ inline 6-cylinder turbo w/DI
  DISPLACEMENT_________________ 3.0-liter
  HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 300 at 5800 rpm
  TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 300 at 1300-5000 rpm
  TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
  OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 176.5 in.
  TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 38.7 ft.
  CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,891 lbs.
  FUEL CAPACITY________________ 16.6 gal.
  EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway

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