By on November 10, 2014

photo (9)

At a base price of $30,900, the BMW X1 is the cheapest new vehicle you can buy with a Roundel. That price tag, as well as the crossover body style and a lack of a manual transmission, hasn’t endeared the X1 to the BMW faithful, or the enthusiast crowd.

When a friend of mine asked for suggestions for a compact CUV, I initially suggested segment favorites like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. She ended up stopping by the BMW dealer, drawn in by the heavily subsidized lease deals and the idea of driving something with a roundel on the hood.

She ended up walking away with the X1 shown above: a 28i xDrive model with the Technology Package, Driver Assistance Package, Panoramic Moonroof and heated front seats. A $32,700 CUV (base price for an AWD X1) suddenly rang up to $41,720. A backup camera, front and rear parking senors, navigation, Satellite radio and wood trim are just some of the items that you have to pay extra for – and you still don’t get real leather (though the Sensatec leatherette is quite good). Of course, you have to pay to play if you want a German luxury vehicle (specifically, the badge that comes with it). At least the X1 has a value add. It’s still quite good to drive.

With its roots in the outgoing 3-Series, the X1 still feels, well, like a proper BMW, and not like the reasonable facsimile of a 3-Series that is the defining vehicle for this generation of Bimmer. Hydraulic power steering is still present on the all-wheel drive X1, though it’s not as heavy or direct as the E90 3-Series. Nevertheless, its far ahead of what one could expect from the F-Series 3 and 4-Series cars, which feel like a video game force feedback wheel in comparison.

The now-ubiquitous 2.0L turbocharged I4 and 8-speed automatic transmission are present on the X1, and while the N20 engine may lack the character of the much-loved I6, it delivers plenty of power. 240 horsepower is on tap, but with 260 lb-ft available from just 1250 rpm, the X1 never lacks forward motivation. The 8-speed transmission is a great match for this motor, delivering great fuel economy (on a trip from Indianapolis to Nashville, we just touched 29 mpg despite doing 70 mph on the Interstate) while also reacting with verve when a downshift was called for.

Dynamically, the X1 doesn’t seem to suffer from a slightly higher ride height and center of gravity. The culprit here appears to be the Goodyear Eagle LS run-flat tires, which I suspect impose an artificial ceiling on the car’s dynamic envelope. But for the target buyer, they do the job just fine. The ride is quiet and comfortable, and those interested in something more performance oriented can opt for the Sport package, which comes with a brawnier wheel and tire package (and likely, a harsher ride).

2013-bmw-x1-xdrive28i-inline7-photo-634280-s-original

As this graphic from Car and Driver shows, the X1 is dimensionally similar to the 328i wagon – but that doesn’t seem to insulate it from verbal barbs from the enthusiast community, which regards it with the same kind of disdain it tends to reserve for the Nissan Rogue. I’m not one to talk – I held that view until I actually drove the X1 and realized that it’s basically a wagon, but not marketed as such, lest the X1 become a commercial failure. I know that my friend feels the same way. She was all set to buy a Volvo V60, but as a new immigrant to the United States, she had no credit, and was thus given no lease or financing options. If that weren’t the case, she might have been one of a handful of people who bought a new Volvo station wagon. But now she’s behind the wheel of a BMW wagon, marketed as a crossover and sold for thousands of dollars less than a comparable 328i wagon. She’s as happy as I am impressed by the least expensive Bimmer. If only it had a manual.

The owner provided this vehicle to TTAC for the purposes of this review.

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96 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 BMW X1 28i...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    Some of the BMW lease deals really are hard to pass up, purely in terms of cost of “ownership.” Unfortunately, the best deals are usually on the least desirable BMWs — automatic, Premium but non-Sport 2.0T 3-series, X3s, and X1s.

    BMW was always an engine and chassis brand first. Now their volume engine is worse than VW/Audi’s and their chassis are let down by lousy steering.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      In my experience, BMW does not discriminate in their leases. You will get the same lease deal (in terms of subsidy) regardless of how the car is equipped, and you can order one to taste. Of course the advertised monthly payment is based on a non-sport, premium package equipped “dealer special”, and the monthly varies directly according to MSRP.

      I fail to see how the N20 is in any way inferior to the similar VW engine, and for certain the ZF 8spd walks all over anything VW/Audi bolt behind their motors. And you can always spring for the inline 6 still. I half agree about the steering, but it is getting better every year. Huge difference in feel between the ’14s and the original ’12s with electric assist.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The payments definitely do not scale according to MSRP. Let’s use the 3-series as an example. The current “dealer special” is a 320i (MSRP $35,300) for $279/month over 39 months with a $2750 CCR. Put the CCR into the payments (as everyone should) and you’re left with a payment of $349.51 per month, or 0.990% of MSRP. The volume model, the 328i xDrive, looks even better through this calculation at 0.979% of MSRP/month.

        Meanwhile the 335i deal is 1.023% of MSRP per month. And you’ll find even more extreme differences in other model ranges. That is almost certainly because the less popular models have lower residuals and will be more expensive to sell at lease end.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I made a long reply with lots of numbers but it got eaten by the spam filter. TL;DR (retype): the lease deals are not the same. To use one example, 335i is currently 5% more expensive per dollar of MSRP than 328i xDrive. Almost certainly this is because BMW has a harder time reselling a 335i at lease end.

        Also, the N20 is just as good as the EA888 2.0 from a power delivery perspective, but it’s just not up to BMW standards for NVH. Every time I hear one I think I’m listening to an old Quad 4.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          That’s a different model. You will get the same deal on any option configuration of the same model. The difference between models is in the estimated depreciation, which is also of course where a lot of the subvention comes in. I would expect a 335i to be disproportionately more expensive to lease, they depreciate more than a 328i does. I’m actually surprised the difference is ONLY 5%.

          You can’t really hear the engine from inside the car, at least on the 238i and 528i. I haven’t driven an X1, maybe that car being based on an older architecture is louder. I agree they don’t sound like much from the outside at idle. I don’t find them to be any less smooth at idle than my N52. Small price to pay for the increased power and efficiency. I’d love my car with an N20 in it.

        • 0 avatar

          Sort of agreed here. I have the M54 in a 3.0 I-6. I recently drove a 228i with Sport. There is plenty of power…no qualms there, compared to the six. The six, however, makes it out of pure silk with no drama…almost (dare I say it) electric. The four comes up on boost and makes some 4 cyl NVH. Its a good four, but it isn’t the inline six……its just not. I get that the world is changing but at this price point a six isn’t unreasonable to expect. To me a blown four is the upgrade engine on a mass market FWD rig.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The ZF 8-speed is a POS that loses its finesse before the first oil change. How do I know? Because there’s one ruining the driving experience of our leased Audi A6.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Yes, yes, we know, you drive the world’s worst Audi. You really should trade that thing in on a Honda and be happy.

          It may be the same transmission, but it won’t have the same software, and that makes ALL the difference. BMW got the integration of that transmission darned near perfect, and I say that as someone who generally thinks all autotragics are the Devil’s work. I could actually live with this transmission in a 328d.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I doubt it’s the software because the transmission was great initially, if briefly. I suspect it’s wear to all those undersized moving parts, much like Car and Driver experienced with their 40,000 mile A8.

      • 0 avatar
        Yuppie

        Audi uses the same ZF 8 speed automatic transmission in most of its non-MQB cars.

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_8HP_transmission

      • 0 avatar

        Order to your pleasure, they’ll lease it to you.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Has anyone else read that ‘Car & Driver’ review that Derek linked to in the main body of his essay above?

      That’s one of the harshest reviews of any vehicle that I’ve ever read, period. They absolutely ripped the X1 to shreds.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “The logbook bloated with complaints about other refinement issues. Noise from wind, the road, and cold brakes in the winter were frequent targets, as was seat comfort. While we liked the cabin’s excellent outward visibility, we found the front seats too hard and the rears too small for all but the youngest children. But no feature was so loathed as the stop-start system. On restarts, the engine sends an uncouth jolt through the X1’s structure. At long lights, it sometimes refired while the car was still stationary, and the driver felt a sudden tug against the brake pedal. Thankfully, there’s a button to disable it.”

        “RANTS AND RAVES

        John Phillips: The ride is unacceptably rude. It’s not necessary for me to feel every single pebble and road irregularity.

        Mike Sutton: It’s basically a $50K Nissan Juke.

        Alexander Stoklosa: I fail to see why anyone would spend nearly $50,000 on something that’s less useful than a Mazda CX-5.

        Erik Johnson: The stop-start system’s harshness is embarrassing.

        Eddie Alterman: This should have been the smart person’s way to get a new E91 wagon. It’s somehow less than the sum of its parts.

        Aaron Robinson: This car makes me despise Michigan, its ride is so bad. It brings out the worst of the broken roads.

        Juli Burke: To fully shut down the car, you have to push the ignition button twice: first to stop the engine, then to turn off the accessories.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          That’s the “enthusiast” press for you. Give them so much as all season tires and you’ll get two pages of crying that it isn’t racecar enough.

          Give them the racecar wannabe package they just finished crying for and they’ll then cry for two pages that the 35 profile tires are too stiff, the steering is too heavy, it’s too loud inside, optional engine is too thirsty, ad nauseum.

          Because what they really want to drive is the same Oldsmobile now sold as a Camcord that the rest of us do, for all of the same reasons that we do. They just want to pretend Racecar Driver! while they do it. A Jetta is what the girlfriend drives. A BMW with the sane suspension is what her mother does.

          Will not do! Boy Racer Jetta must have bigger wheels and blacked out trim with angry red accents. Boy Racer BMW must have more M Sport. Otherwise how can all important eyes of the world tell Boy Racer is Boy Racer? Might be mistaken for aging MILF!

          Either that or they really just want to cry.

        • 0 avatar

          Maybe they shouldn’t have opted for the huge wheel and low profile tire package in Michigan.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Juli Burke is doing it wrong – you have to do a long press to shut off the car and the accessories. Amateurs.

          Though I do agree that the e91 3-series wagon is a much nicer vehicle than the X1. I just might be biased though.

        • 0 avatar
          PJmacgee

          2014 and later models, you disable start/stop with a button, once, and never think about it again.

          Cold brakes in the winter? They felt fine in -22F last winter.

          krhodes, thanks for the long-press tip (that’s what she said). Why did I not know this before???!!! so many wasted button presses…

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        That’s the “enthusiast” press for you. Give them so much as all season tires and you’ll get two pages of crying that it isn’t racecar enough.

        Give them the racecar wannabe package they just finished crying for and they’ll then cry for two pages that the 35 profile tires are too stiff, the steering is too heavy, it’s too loud ins-de, optional engine is too thirsty, ad nauseum.

        Because what they really want to drive is the same Oldsmobile now sold as a Camcord that the rest of us do, for all of the same reasons that we do. They just want to pretend Racecar Driver! while they do it. A Jetta is what the girlfriend drives. A BMW with the sane suspension is what her mother does.

        Will not do! Boy Racer Jetta must have bigger wheels and blacked out trim with angry red accents. Boy Racer BMW must have more M Sport. Otherwise how can all important eyes of the world tell Boy Racer is Boy Racer? Might instead be mistaken for mere aging MILF!

        Either that or they really just want to cry.

        • 0 avatar

          COTD

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Their criticisms of the ride quality are somewhat idiotic, for the reasons you state (tire/wheel setup, especially with runflats).

            The criticism re fit/finish, wind noise and wretched start/stop system, as well as braking issues may warrant more merit.

            To be honest, excellent ride quality (balance between sporty yet comfortable) is a BMW calling card, but I guess that even BMW engineers can only do so much with a CUV on runflats.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            If you don’t like the stop/start system, the dealer can disable it permanently, or make it default to off.

            They had the sports suspension. The laws of physics dictate that if you want to make a tall vehicle handle like a low one, it will ride poorly. All the X cars have the same problem. On the non-sport suspension they ride as badly as a sport suspension BMW sedan. With the sport suspension you might want a kidney belt.

            Same with low profile runflat tires – they might as well be solid rubber once you get up to 18″ and 19″ sizes. The 45 aspect ratio runflat tires on my wagon ride just fine, but I don’t have the sports suspension. In my opinion, it does nothing but ruin the ride off a race track while adding nothing to the handling at public road speeds. In the real world, the wheels need to be able to move up and down.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    One year old x1 is about 20% off the original sticker price. I’ve talked to a few owners and they nothing but positive remarks about the x1. Except that they wished it was a little wider.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    “(…) the BMW X1 is the cheapest new vehicle you can buy with a Roundel.”

    Screw what I need, can afford, or what would be the best solution, gimme dat Badge!

    Having said that: The reason why so much of the ‘enthusiast’ community seems to be pooh-pooh’ing the X1 (and the CLA, and the GLA, and the A3, and, and and…) is that ‘Entry-level-luxury’ is just that. The result is that you can no longer feel superior in your last-generation used poverty-spec 3-series, because suddenly all of your neighbors can afford a BMW.

    • 0 avatar

      The A3 is pretty cool-not a cheapo special, just a smaller A4. I’ve a friend with an X1. First BMW, great lease deal. He’s very happy although has had his first experience with Break My Wallet parts prices-I sent him my best online links and a forum to read. Yes, they are very happy to have a Roundel in the driveway, say what you will….

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      My BMW (when new) was less than half the price of a new X1. Of course, it only has half the wheels but it does have a roundel!

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Well, one reply eaten, so here’s another one.

    The X1 is not based on the 1-series. The X1 is based on the e9X 3-series. In fact, it is just about my wagon jacked up a couple inches with a notably cheaper interior and slightly different sheet metal. For about the same price as the old e91.

    By the time you option up an X1 to feature parity with an F31 3-series wagon, it costs about the same. But it is a little smaller ins-de if not outside, and has a MUCH cheaper interior. And it neither rides not handles as well. Sad that neither offers a manual anymore. Or not sad, because if I could buy an F31 with manual and RWD, my wallet would be $50K lighter. Since I can’t, I’ll just keep the car I have.

    Sensetec is fantastic stuff. Wears like iron with zero maintenance, and looks as much like leather as the painted stuff BMW uses in the cheaper cars. Only reasons I don’t have it is in ’11 are leather was free on the wagons, and Sensetec only came in boring colors. For my upcoming 2-series, Oyster Sensetec will be the interior color of choice for me. I just can’t quite decide between Valencia Orange or plain white for the outside. VO may be a bit loud for me, much as I like it, and white harkens back to the original 2002 turbos so nicely. Decision, decisions. And getting the Track Handling Package means big blue brake calipers, which will look silly on a tangerine colored car.

    First world problems, I know.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Pch101 stated that no one should complain about the ongoing glitch (for 8 weeks now), except directly to VerticalScope.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      You’re absolutely right, the E84 X1 is based on the old E90 3 series and has the exactly same wheelbase, the same hydraulic steering rack, etc. It’s basically a wagonified E90 3 series that got jacked up on stilts, which is also why it’s the most affordable BMW-it’s older tech that’s also been paid off so it can be built much more cheaply. I looked into buying one for a very long time but the interior quality on what would be a $45000 car leaves a lot to be desired…it’s rather depressing when you go to the Honda dealership and the Accord LX appears to have nicer materials-not even the damned EX, the LX had better interior materials.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I think the blue calipers will look amazing on the VO paint, you should go for it! I have an orange car now, there are not many accent colors that can work with that… red, yellow, green, more orange, doesn’t really work. The car came with blue valve stem caps and it really sets off nicely. If the calipers were not already grey I would definitely go with blue.

      Although it may be because I am a UF alum that I am subconsciously drawn to that color combo. Nothing draws attention more than an orange car here in Gator country.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    As someone who’s current removing rush spots on a 3-Series, I’d have gone in whole-heartedly for that black plastic cladding.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    My local BMW dealer gives these out as loaner vehicles, and I have to agree that they drive better than the current 3 series. They also absolutely feel like the cheapest BMW on offer. The plastics are hard and easy to scratch, the doors feel thin when you close them, and the tech is a generation behind. The X3 feels as though it was hand-hewn from a single billet of unobtanium by comparison.

  • avatar

    From what I can tell, the X1 was cobbled together—and I use that term loosely because it’s actually a very coherent product—from the remains of the E9x 3-Series. That means you don’t get some of BMW’s newer switchgear, which mostly has to do with electronics, but it’s still a genuine BMW with great looks. It’s not a “pared-down” FWD caricature of a BMW. And (although I’m a junkie for options packages and fully-loaded cars), the base-model honestly exemplifies all the things that make a BMW worth its premium over a non-luxury car when it’s all said and done; with all of the options deleted, you can really see why an X1 is worth more than, say, an Escape, even though they can be had with most of the same features. And certainly the X1 has got more luxury substance than Audi and Mercedes-Benz’ competing crossovers, the Q3 and GLA, respectively. And as far as the SUV thing goes, it’s not that tall. I’d almost think of it as a wagon. I honestly have nothing but praise for the X1.

    I think it was very wise of BMW to recycle outgoing but perfectly-good components into an entry-level crossover. I’d feel more confident about buying an X1 than a competing crossover because BMW achieved cost-savings by using a platform and a parts-bin that had already had its costs amortized. Meanwhile, who *knows* what Mercedes-Benz and Audi are doing in order to hit that magic $30K price point.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      BMW has had a history of building some fantastic cars from the parts bin. The M roadster, BMW 1M, just to name a couple.

    • 0 avatar
      John in DC

      We just bought this very same car—in alpine white, no less—but with no options whatsoever. Not even a sunroof. We had to order it from the factory. So far, we love it. I don’t find the interior cheap at all; it’s true that there’s some plastic on the console and other places, but I guess I kind of expected that. We love the Sensatec. The engine and transmission are great; the car is all too easy to get up to 80mph or faster. The manual-shift feature is fantastic! And I say that as someone who owns another BMW with a 5-speed. The only things I don’t like are the various automated features, and even those I’m getting used to.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m glad you like it. I’m not surprised you had to order a base-spec one from the factory; base BMWs just typically do not do well on lots. Just out of curiosity, did you end up anywhere near that $30K price…?

        • 0 avatar
          John in DC

          The price we paid for the car itself (exclusive of fees, tax, etc.) was $29,400.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @John – You bought it the smart way. $40-50k is insane for this car, but at under $30k it becomes a screaming deal. I don’t find the interior to feel any “cheaper” than any other lower-end BMW, it just doesn’t have the newer switchgear and its has a bit too many blanks in the dash, I think “spartan” is a better description than cheap. But it has RWD goodness, German driving dynamics, and of course the roundel on the hood, if that’s important to someone. I would rather drive a base model X1 than a loaded up Hyundai/Toyota/Honda/Kia/Ford/etc just for the RWD dynamics.

          • 0 avatar
            John in DC

            Just to clarify, the above price was for the Xdrive 28i.

            Thanks, MNM4ever. I think spartan is a fair description. Even though it has no options, I wish it had fewer; I could do without push-button start. At least we get a real e-brake.

            Others have pointed out that you can get a Forester or CRV much cheaper, which is true. But to equal the performance, you would have to get the Forester XT 2.0. It has 10 more HP (250 vs 240) than the X1 and exactly the same torque (258 lb/ft). On-paper, the XT is .2 second slower in 0-60, but I suspect both cars are about the same.

            Forster XT’s MSRP is just slightly lower than the X1’s. However, I’m not sure which car will depreciate more. I do believe the X1 has better handling.

            And Honda is evil (knew about the airbag problems way back), so that’s out.

    • 0 avatar
      stephenjmcn

      Here’s where we disagree – regarding the Audi, it’s on the PQ35 platform which dates back (here in Europe at least) to 2004, and underpinned the following vehicles:

      Audi A3 Mk2 (8P)
      Audi TT Mk2 (8J)[1]
      Volkswagen Touran (1T)
      Volkswagen Caddy (2K)
      SEAT Altea (5P)
      Volkswagen Golf Mk5 / GTI / R32 / Rabbit Mk5 (1K)
      Škoda Octavia Mk2 (1Z)
      Volkswagen Golf Plus (5M)
      SEAT Toledo Mk3 (5P)
      Volkswagen Jetta Mk5 (1K)
      SEAT León Mk2 (1P)
      Volkswagen Tiguan (5N)
      Volkswagen Scirocco (13)
      Volkswagen Golf Mk6 (5K)
      Škoda Yeti (5L)
      Volkswagen Jetta Mk6 (1K), (16)
      Audi Q3 (8U)
      Volkswagen Beetle (16)

      The costs of that have been spread way, way, further than BMW’s E9x, and the Q3 is light years ahead of the X1 in terms of interior, fit, and tech. I drove both when choosing my wife’s car, and we picked the Q3. The BMW felt cheap.

      I can’t speak for the Mercedes, the A/B/CLA/GLA, though quite evidently there have been corners cut there.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re right about cost-amortization. And I knew that. I was just on a roll. The PQ35 platform honestly isn’t bad. It wasn’t designed to be a cost-cutting measure (as was the Mercedes-Benz FWD platform); it’s just VW’s main platform. I’m pretty sure the previous and current Passat as well as the CC are on a modified version of that platform, too. My own Jetta SportWagen TDI is on that platform.

        I rest my case with the Mercedes-Benz though, especially after having driven the CLA-Class.

  • avatar

    The same older retired people who I thought would purchase the X1 are the same elderly people who actually HAVE purchased an X1, at least from my observation.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I see a white one of these coming at me on my morning commute. First thing I think of is that it’s some kind of Pontiac Torrent.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      It looks a lot like a Hyundai CUV, even after a Hyundai CUV pull up.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        That’s an awful thing to say, Hyundai is WAY better looking

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I’m not being sarcastic when I state that you’re right, IMO.

          Most (not all) CUVs are just ugly, and this is among the ugliest.

          Have you ever been stuck in really slow moving traffic and noticed the sea of nearly uniform ugliness and blah-ness formed by the rolling wave of ubiquitous CUVs all around?

          • 0 avatar

            “Have you ever been stuck in really slow moving traffic and noticed the sea of nearly uniform ugliness and blah-ness formed by the rolling wave of ubiquitous CUVs all around?”

            Not really, but I don’t have an axe to grind when it comes to CUVs, like you seem to. Some of them (like the CR-V and the Terrain) look awkward and won’t win any beauty contests, but that’s true of other body styles as well. Conversely, there are also CUVs that I think look absolutely gorgeous, such as the CX-5, Forester, and Touareg.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I admit that I dislike CUVs for the most part, partly due to their style, partly due to their massive premium pricing over their non-jacked platform mates (in many cases), and partly due their high COG.

            But that’s what makes a market. Given that they’re the fastest growing segment of the automotive landscape, and that people are willing to give automakers relatively outsized profits to purchase/lease one, mine is a minority view.

            I can appreciate the fact that many people prefer them for whatever reason (false sense of safety due to higher ride height, easier ingress/egress for those with back, knee, hip issues or just beaten bodies, etc.), so there’s that.

            I don’t understand why you feel compelled to inform me that my subjective dislike of most things CUV is wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’re certainly entitled to your opinion on something as subjective as to the looks of an automobile. I happen to agree. I think the most beautiful cars generally are the ones that offer the least utility. ie any expensive sports car looks far nicer then any minivan, but real world practicality dictates most of our automotive needs, thus regulating a lot of us to the reality of the CUV/SUV. That being said, I find this BMW a true penalty box style-wise in that real world

          • 0 avatar

            “I don’t understand why you feel compelled to inform me that my subjective dislike of most things CUV is wrong.”

            I never said it was wrong; I just pointed it out. I happen not to like *most* pickup trucks, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to drive such a large and encumbered vehicle when none of his needs demand it.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    A recent conversation at my local BMW dealership. The comment was that they new see the X1’s come in for issues. The X1 may be the best BMW car out there in terms of reliability.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    For what it’s worth, you can buy an X1 with RWD (sDrive) if you don’t want the extra weight and complexity of AWD (xDrive).

  • avatar
    another_pleb

    The cheapest new “vehicle” you can buy with a roundel is the G650GS.

    Facetiousness asside, I had a look around an X1 and thought that the interior plastics utter shite. It also came 3rd from the bottom in the UK’s 2014 JD Power survey:

    http://www.whatcar.com/awards/jdpower/2014/model/bmw_x1

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Here is the thing. I know too many people who loved BMW up until the service issues and dealer issues got them to decide the cars are great, but the hassles are too much. It’s one thing to pay extra money for the great machine, but nothing is worth the frustration. Usually, it takes less than three vehicles to figure this out.

    So, will the cheaper vehicle bring in enough extra customers to offset the reduced profit they will make off each customer by starting them with a cheaper car?

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    I had commented on this car in another thread, but once again when I had a Valencia Orange X1 sdrive28i (RWD) with the sport package as a loaner I was left really impressed.

    Interior was nothing to write home about but the handling, braking, and steering were top notch. The turbo 4 with the 8-spd is a great combo and provides plenty of punch. I enjoyed driving it far more than my friend’s 2014 base 320i.

    With the panoramic roof and supportive sport seats I would happily drive it everyday!

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      Drove one as a loaner. I was damned impressed.

      I’ll be in the market for a new car soon. I’d like something a little larger and a little quieter/softer than my 2003 325i sedan (sport package, 5spd manual), and I would prefer AWD (hilly roads in my neighborhood are impossible in the snow with RWD). The X1 loaner drove like my 325i, but with an awesome automatic (the 2010 3-wagon with a 6-speed auto shifted like poop). I’d pull the trigger in a heartbeat on an X1, but I’d like a little more room and a little more luxury (an X3 costs too much).

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “At a base price of $30,900, the BMW X1 is the cheapest new vehicle you can buy with a Roundel.”

    … and it looks it!

    God, I hate this car

  • avatar
    mjz

    Um, I don’t get it. She didn’t get the Volvo V60 because as a new immigrant, she had no credit history and couldn’t qualify for a lease/financing. So did she pay cash for the Bimmer? And if so, why didn’t she get the V60 if that’s what she wanted? At least the V60 is attractive. That X1 is an ugly lumpen looking thing. BMW “design cues” don’t translate well on it at all.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    I looked long and hard at getting an X1 with the 3 liter turbo 6. IT’s far and away the cheapest German rig you can get with 300 HP, and I’d swear it looks and drives just like any other wagon. But for the fact that I really wanted a 3rd pedal, I’d have gladly gone with the X1 instead of the S4.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      fracturecritical

      Same here. We would have bought one instead of our sportwagen if the BMW could have been had with a manual transmission. Although, to be honest, we would have preferred a 3-series wagon with a stick. I would have lowered it to wagon height anyway as it doesn’t share the ugly approach and departure angle increasing body work of basically every other lifted and ruined wagon out there.

      It’s nearly unforgivable that BMW doesn’t offer a manual wagon in the states anymore. Customers like my wife, who wants to buy new cars with manuals and prefers the driving characteristic of Euro cars, are exactly who they are losing to other brands. She will be making final call on every car purchase we make for our family for a long time as we are in our 30’s.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Muffy had said she wanted a CUV. Spiff hoped Muffy would want a Honda, Toyota, or a Ford. Spiff and Muffy went to go on test drives. The next to last test drive was a Ford Escape Platinum. A tad pricey thought Spiff. Then they went to the BMW dealer and test drove. Muffy adored the three letters “BMW”; Spiff thought “What the hell, Muffy will look good hauling Poppet and The Heir to practice. Muffy smiled at him and said “it’s a bit more than a loaded-up Ford; but so much nicer.” That my friends is how X1s get sold.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Or alternatively, despite the jealous ramblings of some of the B&B, they buy them because they love how they drive, like I did. And that even includes the latest generation of cars. Different does not mean inferior, just different.

      And really, are Camrys bought for any other reason than what is supposed to come with their badge? It’s just different priorities.

  • avatar
    Tummy

    If the range and size works for you, in the great state of Georgia, where we live, the BMW i3 is the cheapest BMW after tax incentives of $12,500 ($7,500 fed/$5,00 state). Beats the X1 by about $500 and you can currently get about $6,000 additional off MSRP. Plus you will never have to pay for gas again saving probably $200/mo more.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      While the i3 may actually be the BMW of electric cars in terms of driving experience, even with the range extender it is pretty compromised. If you are worried about $200/mo in gas, you really should not be buying a BMW to start with. A Leaf is MUCH cheaper, and realistically, a Prius C or some such tidler is even cheaper than that.

  • avatar
    PJmacgee

    Ours comfortably and efficiently handles the steep and curvy Colorado Rockies highways and byways, and with winter tires is competent on slickery surfaces. The N20/ZF 8-speed combo is great, believe the hype (pony up for the I6 if you don’t like clacky/diesel sounds in the parking lot though). We paid about $34k (with heated leather, keyless go, sunroof whatever package) which seems fair to me for what is basically a way nicer/faster/quieter/nimbler Subaru.

    Derek I think you must have driven one with the “Servotronic” steering (variable assist). Ours has ye old hydraulic setup (non-variable) and the steering is very heavy, like almost-no-power-steering heavy, but only slightly better feedback.

  • avatar
    redav

    When I was shopping for a my car this year, the X1 struck my fancy–it was a tall wagon, an SUV without being too SUVy. When I went to the BMW dealership, I got the worst salesman–a guy who couldn’t even get me into a test drive. The whole dealership experience was so underwhelming I gave up on them.

  • avatar
    ScottE5

    After logging two years and 25K miles on my 2013 x1 28i xDrive, I can report the following:

    1. The turbo four engine and 8sp ZF tranny are great dance partners – smooth when dawdling around town and plenty peppy when making those exciting and aggressive runs to Starbucks.

    2. My non-servotronic hydraulic steering is heavy but never tiresome with great road feel, entertaining in the dry and generating plenty of confidence when the snow and rain begin to fall.

    3. The interior quality is generally good but does have some cheap spots – most notably in the hard plastics underneath the dashboard.

    4. Outside of one minor rattle in said dashboard, the thing has been bulletproof.

    5. It ain’t pretty. But it’s not supposed to be. It’s a jacked up hatchback/wagon thingie with just enough badge snob jewelry and a quirkiness that makes it unique.

    6. It looks comically small when parked next to all the other ‘real’ crossovers and SUVs. Even so, its cargo capacity has never let us down – from mountain bikes to a nine drawer bedroom dresser – it hauls just fine.

    Even though it’s a bit of a Frankenstein cobbled together from various previous generation parts, it feels like a pretty honest effort, very solid, and slightly analog – which for me, is a good thing. It doesn’t exactly achieve cult level status, but it’s a premium car that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good balance of fun and practicality.

  • avatar
    Trick Fall

    Whenever I see these I think wagon more than I think CUV. I’m far too cheap to ever own a BMW again though.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Let’s all sing:

    “Buy one for your lady…

    “Buy one for your lady…

    “It’s the cheapest BMW there is…

    …And she’ll never know the difference.”

    Thank You, TTAC!! Good night!

  • avatar
    itsfred

    Another BMW X1 owner here – 28i X-Drive M-Sport I think the power, transmission, and steering of this car are basically excellent, and the features/quality are “perfectly good enough” if not state-of-the-art. However, if I had it to do again I would NOT buy the M-sport. After all this is a CUV or a wagon, not a true sports or rally car. Perhaps there are some handling benefits that accrue from the M-Sport features, but you pay a BIG price in ride quality – the car is unacceptably harsh on our irregular local roads and the engine quite buzzy. We also have a 528 with same motor and it’s amazingly smooth for a four, so I really didn’t expect the crudeness of the implementation in the M-Sport.

  • avatar
    JGlanton

    I just checked my car buying service and the base X1 S-drive is $27,380.
    X-drive is $29,035.

    That is typically a good indicator of what anyone with good negotiating skills can buy this car for. That is one inexpensive BMW.

    In comparison:
    A Forester XT Premium (AWD 2.0 Turbo) is $27,050.
    An Escape Titanium 4WD is $27,795.

    Pretty close!.

    For my own buying decision, I would choose the Forester for it’s interior utility: it’s the only one big enough to hold my stuff. I would have to get an X3 to get close. Then we reach the $40K threshold…

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