By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
The 2014 X1 is BMW's smallest crossover SUV, slotting below the X3 in the luxury automaker's lineup. The X1 is also the least expensive of BMW's vehicles. With a starting price just shy of $31,000, the X1 is not substantially more than mainstream players in this segment such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, and comes in below slightly larger premium rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLK and Acura RDX. Powered by the same turbocharged 4- or 6-cylinder engines as the larger X3, the X1 is a joy to drive. With quick acceleration, nimble handling, the choice or rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive and laudable fuel-efficiency to boot, the X1 packs a lot of fun and versatility into a tidy package.
If you want a compact SUV with fine amenities and European badge appeal, the 2014 X1 is an excellent choice. Drivers who appreciate the ability to zip through traffic and past gas stations will find an ideal mate in BMW's smallest hauler.
Need room for more than five passengers or require extra real estate for child seats and the strollers that go with them? The X1 might be too small. Its larger X3 and X5 brothers would be happy to win you over, as would Acura's RDX, Cadillac's SRX, or Infiniti's 3-row JX.
Since it was just introduced to the U.S. last year, there are no major changes to the BMW X1 for 2014.
Driving Impressions The X1 feels more like a sports sedan than some lumbering SUV. Despite its taller ride height and added functionality, the X1 glistens with BMW's precision driving dynamics....That the X1 can return as much fun as it does while also obtaining highway fuel economy in the low-30-mpg range is automotive icing on the cake. As agile as the X1 is in corners, it's also commendably comfortable on the highway. There's nothing base about its base 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, which can launch the X1 to 60 mph in the mid-6-second range. Opt for the turbo 6-cylinder, and the X1 blasts from zero to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.
2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
This potent little mill is a superb example of modern-day power and efficiency. With the help of turbocharging and direct-injection technology, it boasts plenty of power (240 horsepower, to be exact), and high fuel economy (up to 34 mpg).
Suitable for The Ultimate Driving Machine, this feature-laden pack bundles biggies like a navigation system and panoramic moonroof with smaller but thoughtful touches such as ambient lighting hidden in the outer door handles and a voice-command feature that lets you record up to five minutes of spoken notes.
The 2014 X1 has the sophisticated cabin you'd expect in a BMW. Though the standard material for the X1's 5-passenger seating is leather-like "leatherette," the real thing is available for a plusher look and feel. Wood trim is standard in the top X1 and optional in others. The jet-fighter gear selector looks cool but can be confusing at first. Rear-seat legroom isn't plentiful, but passengers do have the ability to recline for added comfort. Though compact on the outside, the X1 offers 47.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the 40/20/40-split rear seats folded. With seats up, there's still 12.7 cubic feet of space, comparable to a car's trunk.Exterior
Keeping with the family resemblance of other X models, the X1 looks like a slightly smaller version of its X3 bigger brother. Up front is BMW's familiar twin-kidney grille setup, while a high beltline and upward-arching creases define the sides. In back, the X1's silver undertray peeks from beneath the bumper to give this utility vehicle a rugged-meets-sporty look. Its steeply raked rear window furthers the X1's sense of forward movement.
The 2014 BMW X1 is available in three trims: sDrive28i, xDrive28i, and the top-line xDrive35i. Slip into a base sDrive28i, and you'll still get a BMW well-equipped with dynamic cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic climate control, though you'll have to adjust the front seats manually. Audio entertainment in all X1s is provided by an 8-speaker, 180-watt AM/FM/CD system with HD radio and USB/auxiliary inputs. The xDrive28i nets all-wheel drive instead of rear-drive. The more powerful xDrive35i is loaded with power front seats, bright xenon headlights, a panoramic moonroof, and 18-inch wheels instead of 17-inchers. Two years of oil changes are also included on X1 models.
Lots of goodies can be had in the X1, many bundled into packages. Among the upgrades are a leather interior, 3-D navigation system with an 8.8-inch screen and an 80-gig hard drive, a great sounding harman/kardon premium sound system, and a rear-view camera. Those who routinely find themselves shivering will appreciate the Cold Weather Package with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a headlight washing system. M Sport goodies include an aerodynamics kit, sport suspension and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Owners of iPhones will be interested in an app that connects with Internet-based streaming audio and social networks.
Two engines are available in the 2014 BMW X1. The sDrive28i and xDrive28i models feature a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder that is plenty potent and fuel efficient to boot. Both of those models (sDrive equals rear-wheel drive, xDrive means all-wheel drive) are mated to a wonderful 8-speed automatic transmission and feature an auto start/stop function that cuts engine operation at idle. The function saves fuel, but its startup can be jarring. We opted to disable it. Those seeking the most power should look to the xDrive35i, which features a turbocharged 6-cylinder that puts out 300 horsepower, 60 more than the 4-cylinder. That larger engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All X1 models use premium fuel. BMW does not specify a tow rating for X1.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,500 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 22/33 mpg (all-wheel drive)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg
The 2014 BMW X1 has a tempting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,695 for an sDrive28i model. The all-wheel-drive xDrive28i starts at $33,395, while the top-line xDrive35i goes for $39,495. Options can lift these prices by thousands, and unless you want your exterior paint in non-metallic white or black, expect to pay an extra $550 just for another choice of hue. In comparison, the larger Acura RDX starts at over $35,000, the Infiniti EX is just over $37,000, and the Mercedes-Benz GLK is around $38,000. The smaller Buick Encore, on the other hand, starts around $25,000. To get the best deal on your BMW X1, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. Resale value of the 2014 X1 is expected to land below the Infiniti EX and slightly below the RDX and GLK.
By EAEromo (NY) on Thursday, November 21, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Personal Preference - My approximate mileage is 8,500
Pros: "Lively engine; bold styling; versatile."
Cons: "Somewhat spartan interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"For what it's worth, this car is one to consider for first time car shoppers. Bold styling that fills my eyes every time. Just as reference, I drove a 2003 Kia Spectra before this. It almost shares the same proportions. The interior is very well thought out in my opinion. Very conscious design. However, there are hard plastics in your arms distance. Not ultra luxurious but a comfortable place. The engine is one to give praise. 4 cylinder and turbocharged. Power does come on in a rubberband type effect. Once again, I was once in a Kia so power delivery was all new to me. This is a great choice for someone who might live in a rural area because of its crossover capabilities but versatile functions. I would look elsewhere if you live in a urban area."
By Brownbear (KY) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to Drive , good handling and comfortable"
Cons: "iDrive is a needlessly complicated"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was looking for a sports sedan. Picked the X1 because it had the feel of a BMW sports sedan with the added feature of extra room. It was a demo so got a great deal. The handling is what you would expect from a BMW sports sedan. The 4 cylinder turbo delivers good accelation and good gas mileage if you drive it easy. Got 33 mpg on highway on a long trip. Getting 23-26 mpg in everday driving. Took a little while to master all the electronic features on the iDrive. They are nice to have, but glad the car was discounted enough so I didn't feel like I paid that much extra for them. Could live without most and still enjoy the vehicle just as much. Great vehicle for my wife and I to cruise around the country in. We are planning several driving vacations in the coming year."
By Ydnarolf (CA) on Wednesday, October 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Maneuverability! Excellently priced!"
Cons: "A bit smaller."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car for my wife after she was involved in a car accident and have had it four days now and she is loving every minute of driving. Got the 2014 X1 X Drive with the panoramic moon/sunroof, memory driver seat, 18" run flat tires all for $35K out the door. I thought I negotiated well for the price since the sticker price was $34950. One tip for car buyers, decide on what model you want, research, stick to your price out the door (including sales tax and registration) and wait for the end of the month to shop. Dealers have to boost or achieve their quotas, therefore, much willing to deal. So far, everything has been great. The MPG is as advertised and it is so easy to maneuver. The panoramic moon/sunroof just makes it all better. This is her first BMW and surely not the last. The interior is roomy enough. She loves the memory feature on the driver seat as it makes it more convenient. The dashboard is a bit smaller that the other cars she owned. I will put in another review in about 10 months when we've had more miles driven."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By imua1 (HI) on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, peppy acceleration, good on gas"
Cons: "too many buttons, gadgets for pragmatic folks."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"High quality paint and materials. Engine sounds like a diesel at idle, esp on start up (was told by dealer this is normal). Drivers side mirror could not adjust inward enough for short people. BMW put out an SIB bulletin on how to fix...dealer fixed. As break in miles roll along, notice better power and gas milage. Sporty, fun to drive...little too much buttons, lights, and gadgets for pragmatic drivers."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By AD2677 (VA) on Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Superb handling; rock solid; fast."
Cons: "Could use more standard equipment."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Valencia Orange with M Sport Package, heated seats, Harmon Kardon stereo system, Bluetooth and BMW Assist. I didn't get any other options since I don't necessarily need them. The car (SUV perhaps) is great to drive. It's way faster than one might think considering it has a 2.0L inline 4, although it is turbocharged. Handling is excellent compared to any SUV and many cars for that matter. I've surprised myself along with many other drivers with the speed and agility of this car (it still has hydraulic power steering). It really puts a smile on my face everytime an on-ramp (or off-ramp) presents itself with no traffic to slow me down. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for compact SUV with great engine and handling."
11 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Oceanboy (OR) on Sunday, August 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, handling, seats, bluetooth"
Cons: "No temperature gauge."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the X1 Sdrive. My gas mileage is well above the stated mileage. Recently on a 410 mile stretch of road in Washington we achieved 37.46 mpg at 70 mph. The lowest mileage I have ever gotten is 25.4. The roads here involve large hills and many curves. Some of the most "twisty" roads I have ever experienced are handled with ease. The handling gives you confidence in curves. I will very soon be going in for the first service, but I have used very little oil and the tires, Goodyear, keep pressure better than any ires I have ever had."
12 people out of 13 found this review helpful