Overview & Reviews
With most of today's so-called compact SUVs bulking up to the size of yesterday's midsizers, finding a truly small crossover SUV can be a bit of a challenge, especially in the premium brand arena. But now that BMW has brought the X1 to the United States, shoppers have a truly compact BMW crossover to consider.
The BMW X1 may be lean, but its fun-to-drive personality is certainly plus-sized. Nearly 7 inches shorter in length and 5 inches shorter in height than its "compact" X3 sibling, the X1 also weighs about 400 pounds less and sports the same muscular engine choices. This imbues it with nimble handling and quick acceleration. The main downsides are that backseat and cargo space aren't abundant, and the price can escalate quickly. But overall the BMW X1 is a great alternative for sport sedan enthusiasts who'd like more utility -- or crossover fans who disagree that bigger is better.
Current BMW X1
The BMW X1 is offered in sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive35i trim levels, where "sDrive" means rear-wheel drive and "xDrive" means all-wheel drive.
The 28i versions come with a turbocharged 2.0 liter inline-4 that generates 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The AWD-only 35i packs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is standard for the four-cylinder, while the 35i's six-cylinder is matched to a six-speed automatic.
Standard feature highlights of the 28i trims include 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface and an eight-speaker sound system with an iPod/USB interface. The xDrive35i adds 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof and eight-way power front seats.
Desirable options are generally bundled in packages and include keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system with a larger display and a rearview camera. There's also a trio of "Design Lines" that add various cosmetic and performance-enhancing features, notably the M Sport with its aero body kit, sport-tuned suspension and highly supportive sport seats.
In reviews, our editors have found the turbocharged four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic to be a perfect match for the X1's nimble character. There's always plenty of power on tap, and highway fuel economy is well over 30 mpg according to the EPA. The six-cylinder model is swifter, of course, but it's probably not worth the efficiency trade-off for most people.
Even without the optional M Sport suspension, the X1 feels significantly more agile and responsive than BMW's X3, thanks to its smaller dimensions and lower center of gravity. Despite this sporty demeanor, the X1 also provides a fairly compliant ride that should please most shoppers in this segment. Rear passenger space is limited, however, and the baby Bimmer offers about 25 percent less cargo capacity than the X3. If you can live with that, the X1 is otherwise a pretty compelling overall package.
Used BMW X1 Models
The X1 debuted for the 2013 model year and has received only minor feature updates since.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 103.00
A great all-around package. - 2013 BMW X1
By M Houston - December 9 - 10:14 pm
Driven my 2013 xDrive28 for 25000miles - and have no regrets. Really a surprisingly good wagon - the 8spd transmission and strong/efficient 4cyl. is impressive. Wish I had paddle shifters on mine, as I use the manual shifting option quite often and would prefer to use paddle shifters. Ergonomics are superb, electronics are for the most part all useful, iDrive system fairly intuitive, NAV system effective, though a bit frustrating to enter addresses/destinations using voice commands. Couldn't find a better package for the price two years ago when I bought it, and still can't find anything that on the whole offers fewer compromises. Yes it is small, but I'm 5'10", and personally find the back seats quite comfortable, with plenty of headroom and legroom. If you are worried about the space back there (as I was), I would say don't rule it out, sit in it and see for yourself. My third BMW, and this one is by far the most reliable. Great car - highly recommended.
X1 perfect and fun - 2013 BMW X1
By David Miller - November 16 - 6:31 pm
A small SUV with decent ground clearance in the 2WD version, it is perfect for two people and a pet to take on forest service roads to remote fly fishing spots, will hold bikes with the front tires mounted, accelerates briskly, gets good gas mileage, handles very well, and cruises effortlessly. At 50,000 miles we have had zero problems.
Great compact SUV (hatchback) - 2014 BMW X1
By Amanda - October 27 - 8:15 pm
I purchased a new Acura RDX and traded it after 6 months for an X1. I missed the BMW driving dynamics and this car delivers! The steering is meant to be heavy and an engaging drive. Those who want softer should look to Acura or Lexus. The X1 is not as luxurious as the 3 or 5 series but the price tag makes up for it. I have the Premium and Tech packages, it has everything I wanted in features. Love the handling and hatchback style. So happy to be back in a BMW!
Underwhelmed....ho...hum. - 2015 BMW X1
By MK Ide - October 25 - 2:06 pm
Sure, its got sporty get-up-and-go and handling, but that is where the over-achievement ends. Otherwise, its just "OK" as far as luxury brand vehicles go. A quick list of the less-than-optimal "features": -windows VERY quick to fog up when heat is on -limited back-seat leg-room -HD radio degraded within 1st year -initially very quiet and within 6 months became significantly louder -computer system frequently alerting (then not alerting) that all 4 tires were either low and/or flat and then not alerting on this -computer system frequently alerting that radiator fluid was needed (within months of purchasing car and after adding fluid) and then not alerting on this
Great for Everyday commute in the city - 2013 BMW X1
By Jopa - October 23 - 1:04 pm
I've been looking for an all wheel drive hatchback car for my daily commute. Since I live in the midwest region I have always experienced that AWD cars are perfect. I am also into Cycling so I needed a car not to high so I can easily mount by Bicylces on the roof. I bought my X1 Certified Used at a local BMW dealership. I was so impressed with the performance of the car while test driving it on the roads both at High and Low speed driving. I've driven Domestic and Japanese models before but this car has surpassed the comfort and power and now I truly understand why they call it the ultimate driving machine. The warranty also is much better than buying brand new Domestic brands since it came with a 100K Warranty being Certified used. I've been driving my X1 for 6 months now and so far everything is perfect.
Not happy - 2015 BMW X1
By Jim Smith - September 6 - 4:46 pm
Number of things that bother me. 1. front door handles will pinch the fire out of your fingers if you are not careful. 2. after 600 miles the car only gets 18.2 mpg in Dallas traffic. 8 miles below what they say it should get. 3. not much of a pickup 4. wheel base porpoises a lot.
Sport Hatchback that BMW doen't technically make - 2015 BMW X1
By Craig - August 18 - 5:08 pm
I know that everyone is jumping in the small crossover SUV pool but the X-1 (in my opinion) doesn't really strike me as an SUV. What it strikes me as is a 3 Series of 2 generations ago, re-imagined as a sport hatchback. I've had mine for a couple months and I really couldn't be happier with my decision. Mine is loaded: Ultimate package, X-Line package, Adaptive Xenon Lighting package, Cold-weather package, etc. but I bought it as a dealer demo with 6,800 miles on it so it was about $8,000 or so below sticker. We are empty-nesters and my wife has a Ford Explorer so I really could have gotten by with a smaller sport sedan or even a coupe (I test drove both). However, I am a cyclist and backpacker so having a bit more utility in the vehicle I drive every day kind of put the X-1 over the top for me. Plus the price was lower than a 3 series or a 228i AND I really don't feel like I gave up much in the way of driving dynamics. With 240hp and 260 lb/ft of torque, there is simply gobs of power on tap in this 3,500 lb car. I got the rwd version (we don't get much snow if any) so it handles like a true German sports sedan. It's shorter (nose-to-tail), narrower and lighter than the 3 Series wagon and it's like 9 inches shorter (in height) than the X3 so it really is more of a hatchback than a wagon or SUV. I also like that it has 7" of ground clearance: not enough to introduce too much lean in the corners, but enough to not have to worry about hitting curbs and parking barriers in parking lots. It's a very nice touring car on your favorite 2 lane hwy (or even the interstate) and it scoots around town or back roads as zippy as you want to. It has plenty of headroom in front and back. Negatives? Leg room in the back is a bit tight for adults, only 2 will comfortably ride in the back (due to the transmission tunnel), and there's a bit too much wind and road noise on the interstate for a BMW (in my opinion--having owned BMWs before). All of that I can live with because the virtues of this car far outweigh the negatives.
Great little SUV - 2014 BMW X1
By Rlg - July 22 - 4:44 pm
I have a 328i convertble as well as the X1. The X1 handles as good as my 328i. Fun to drive, easy entry front and back seats, and quick when needed. Great car.
'Disappointment' is the best compliment this car gets - 2014 BMW X1
By mrcitizenkane - May 15 - 11:15 am
I have owned five BMW's now including a 2001 3 series convertible, a 2003 3 series, a 2009 Z4 and now the X1. I intentionally dropped down in size and class of car, so I went in expecting some compromises..but not what I have gotten. Horribly cramped, the auto engine cut off is terrible, average gas mileage is 7-8 mpg worse than the lowest rating, interior is flimsy and several plastic pieces fall out of their place regularly and worst of all, my side airbags went of with no collision at all as I was taking a corner (BMW dealer has told me this isn't the first time they have dealt with this!) Add to this the fact that the seats are horribly uncomfortable and I am beyond disappointed.
Goldilocks Size, Gold Bullion Price - 2015 BMW X1
By theomdude - April 14 - 1:13 am
A base model is, affordable by BMW standards, but to get the rear-view camera, you have to buy the costly nav and "driver assist" packages. The best interior (IMO) is the extra cost Terra/Petrol leather (Milk chocolate with white/blue piping) which only comes with the extra cost XLine Package that includes 18 inch lower profile (harsher riding and more expensive to replace) tires. Not really for a large family of large people, but for our purposes, occasionally carrying four normal size adults, it's perfect. All that said, we stretched our budget for a well optioned car with a sticker of $43,245 and we love it.