Introduced for 2013, BMW's smallest crossover enjoyed a total redesign three years later, with a bolder look, more space, and entirely different, Mini-derived foundation. In its current form, the X1 feels like a proper, if junior, member of the German brand's utility-vehicle family. BMW bills the X1 as a “sports activity vehicle.” Previously, only BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system was available, but the 2017 X1 also comes with front-wheel drive.
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2017 BMW X1 Overview
What's New for 2017
For the second-generation X1’s second season, little has changed. A standard suspension is now included on the X1. The optional M Sport Package now includes an M Sport suspension. Sport seats are now a standalone option.
Choosing Your BMW X1
As redesigned for 2016, the X1 moved to an all-new front-drive platform, shared with the Mini. (First-generation X1s had a rear-drive platform, like most BMWs.)
Taller and wider than before, the current X1 is still within the limits for the smallest class of luxury crossovers. Passengers sit relatively higher than in the pre-2016 generation, and rear occupants get ample legroom—not always true for vehicles of this size. Measuring 175.4 inches long, the X1 rides a 105.1-inch wheelbase. A sliding and reclining rear seat is available as an option.
Each X1 contains BMW's 228-horsepower turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine, developing 250 pound-feet of torque and matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Priced at $34,095 (including destination charge), the X1 sDrive 28i has front-wheel drive. For $2,000 more, the X1 xDrive 28i gets BMW’s all-wheel drive system.
Fuel economy is estimated at 23/32 mpg (city/highway) with front-drive, and 22/31 mpg (city/highway) with xDrive all-wheel drive.
Standard features include selectable driving modes, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate, satin aluminum roof rails, automatic climate control, multifunction steering column, BMW iDrive control, 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a seven-speaker sound system with HD radio and Bluetooth streaming. SensaTec leatherette upholstery is standard, and power front seats include driver memory.
- The $1,550 Luxury Package adds Dakota leather seating and wood or brushed aluminum interior trim, along with satellite radio and lumbar support. Models so equipped are eligible for the $3,250 Premium Package, which brings a panoramic moonroof, keyless access, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, LED headlights with cornering lights, and ambient interior lighting.
- Heated front seats are available as part of the Cold Weather package.
- For $2,550, the Technology package includes navigation with real-time traffic data, numerous online services, integrated smartphone apps, and a head-up display.
- The $1,150 Driver Assistance Package tacks on front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and an automated parking system.
- Starting at $700, the Driver Assistance Plus version turns to active-safety features, including lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation, and pedestrian detection, along with automatic high beams and speed-limit data. Adaptive cruise control can be added.
- Finally, BMW’s M Sport Package ($2,450) includes 19-inch double-spoke wheels, a sport transmission, sport seats, M Sport suspension, M steering wheel, aerodynamic body kit, Shadowline exterior trim, and aluminum or wood interior trim.
Some option-package features can be added individually, which may help keep total cost down. Standalone options include navigation and Harman Kardon premium sound.
Although we’d prefer it to be standard, the sliding/reclining rear seat is a worthy option at $300. Because the interior feels so inviting when adorned with wood and leather, we also like the Luxury Package. Arguably most important is the Driver Assistance Plus group of active-safety items. We're dismayed by the fact that a fully loaded X1 could cost as much as some seven-passenger luxury crossovers. Then again, despite its Mini foundation, the X1 is undeniably a BMW.
2017 BMW X1 Review
BMW's smallest crossover SUV offers robust performance and surprising interior space for its size. Buyers who want a sporty driving experience but can't sacrifice utility will find a lot to like in the X1.
Pricing and Equipment
The X1 starts at $34,095 with front-wheel drive, or $36,095 (both prices include BMW's $995 destination charge) with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. The base price includes plenty of desirable features:
- Power front seats with driver memory
- Adaptive cruise control
- A power liftgate
- Automatic wipers
- Selectable driving modes
- HD radio and Bluetooth streaming audio
Most buyers will want the $1,500 Luxury Package, which adds leather seats and wood or aluminum interior trim. The $3,250 Premium Package goes further into luxury territory with a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition, power-folding mirrors, and upgraded lighting. The $2,850 Driver Assistance Plus pack brings advanced safety technology, like an automated parking system and automatic emergency braking, to the X1. Buyers who want an extra dose of handling and performance can add the $2,450 M Sport package.
Every X1 carries a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 228 horsepower, matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
- The engine feels just right for a luxury crossover of this size. According to BMW, the X1 hits 60 mph in about 6.3 seconds, and yet it earns an EPA rating of 26 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
- BMW purists might scoff at the X1's standard front-wheel drive – the company made its name with sporty rear-drivers, after all – but the reality is that it provides a stable, familiar driving experience to customers outside the frozen north who don't need (or want) to spring for the xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
- There's a flip side to front-wheel drive – while the X1 handles very well for a crossover, it lacks the rock-solid feel and agility BMW purists prize.
- The transmission is reluctant to downshift when the driver calls for more power. We had to select Sport model to keep the X1 on its toes while traversing hilly roads.
- Rear leg and head room exceeds our expectations, and the wide door cutouts make the space feel bigger than it actually is.
- With the rear seats folded, the X1 accommodates up to 58.7 cubic feet of stuff. That's a significant advantage over other small luxury crossovers, which tend of focus on style rather than utility.
- The front seats feel under-stuffed for average adults. Thigh and back support are mysteriously lacking from this BMW. An upgrade to the optional sport seats is definitely in order.
- The X1's low starting price shows up inside. Some materials would look at home in a mass-market crossover. The optional wood trim classes things up, but not to the level we expect in a BMW.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The BMW X1 offers decent ground clearance and the all-wheel drive system responds instantly to changing surface conditions. It's not a true off-roader, but the X1 can certainly handle gravel and dirt without getting into trouble.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
As is the case with a lot of BMWs, the X1's price can increase rapidly.
The Bottom Line
The BMW X1 impresses us with its sporty performance and overall capability, but its luxury quotient might not be high enough for buyers who want something truly special.
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