This past June, my wife took possession of her 2013 BMW X1. Last month I drove it for the first time.
Its official, I am a now a luddite.
This troubles me, because I have always been comfortable with technology, but the gadgets on this car are maddening.
I know a guy who used to own a BMW 318ti. Like most 318 shoppers, he paid way too much because it had a roundel on the front. At some point he realized that 25-grand (in 1997) was an awful lot to have paid for an asthmatic 138-horsepower rattletrap and sold it. Likewise, the fog lifted at BMW and they refocused on volume models. Then came the 1 series, a fantastic little car that hasn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire. The Germans are a persistent people, so for 2013 they are fishing with fresh bait. Click through the jump as we look at the cheapest BMW in America, the 2013 BMW X1.
Like most manufacturers, BMW is getting ready for the pilgrimage to Shanghai, where the Shanghai Motor Show will open its doors to the press on April 19, and to the public on April 21. Some at BMW go with mixed feelings. There will be some delicate discussions between BMW brass and their Chinese joint venture partner Brilliance. The reason: At Asia’s and possibly the world’s most important auto show, Brilliance will show their A3 SUV. Germany’s Auto Bild calls it “a brazen BMW X1 rip-off, with inspirations from Audi.”
The matter becomes even more touchy as BMW plans to produce the X1 in China with a launch date in 2012. It will be built by BMW’s Chinese joint venture with Brilliance. (Read More…)
Alfa’s been talking about selling an SUV for years now, as the brand has thrashed around looking for a rescue line. Now, a long-rumored ute named Kamal (after an Alfa SUV concept) has finally materialized at Alfa’s 100-year anniversary, looking an awful lot like a BMW X1. In fact, it is a BMW X1 with tacked-on Alfa cues. If this is a sign that Alfa fans are desperate for an SUV, their dreams will come true. Automotive News [sub] reports that SUVs are a crucial component of Alfa’s plan to sell half a million cars per year by 2014, up from just over 100k last year. A small SUV, to be built by Chrysler and imported to Europe, will start sales in 2012, with another, larger ute (based on the next Jeep Libery) planned for 2014. In other words, look for rebadged Chryslers to rescue Alfa’s SUV dreams rather than a taped-off BMW. No wonder analysts are so skeptical of Alfa’s turnaround plans, telling AN [sub]
The potential of the (Alfa) brand is huge, but to multiply sales fivefold in five years they probably also will need to sell cars on the Moon and on Mars
Diesel clatter in a BMW is like watching Bullit to the tunes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. In other words, distasteful and illegal in 48 states. And yet, driving BMW’s new X1 is a surprisingly John Deere-like experience. Is this a BMW or the ultimate agricultural machine? Maybe this sort of confusion is the X1’s worst problem.
We got a good giggle (and several excellent limericks) out of Chery’s Bentley-aping Riich brand logo back in March, so we thought we’d show off a peek at what qualifies as upmarket for Chery. Priced at about $8,165, the Riich X1 makes do with an 84 hp, 1.3 liter engine which motivates the tiny crossover to 60 mph in a very un-upmarket 16 seconds. Which is no big deal, considering top speed is rated at about 93 mph. The X1 does offer alloy wheels, climate control, parking sensors and mp3 connectivity though. As tempting as it is to simply laugh off at the Chinese version of upmarket branding, a look at this advertisement for the X1’s sibling, the Riich M1, shows a young professional-oriented vibrancy that’s become rare in US-market auto advertising. What the Chinese market clearly lacks in technology and expectation, it makes up for with an enthusiasm born of seemingly limitless potential. [via Automotorundsport.de]