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 CMV on Monday, April 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "decent styling"
Cons: "engine, transmission, mileage, value for price"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"...traded in STI about a little over a year ago, and have regretted it ever since. It doesn't do anything particularly well and the one thing that I acquired it for (mileage) it is an epic failure (about 21.5 mpg in normal driving conditions). It's decently styled with the M-package, and the interior is well appointed but not for the premium paid. The engine is about 100 hp down from the weight of the car. The transmission always feels like it's one or two gears off. The stop/start is obnoxious and loud. And the engine sound on start up is like an old diesel without the torque or the mileage. It's a functional car about $20K too much for what you get. It is certainly less than an "ultimate driving machine"."
By cwbysfan1 on Tuesday, April 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good fuel economy, superb craftsmanship, Powerful"
Cons: "Passenger cup holder location, stereo interface"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Very fun car to drive and very functional. I have had it for over a year now and I am extremely satisfied. Between highway and city driving I am getting 26-27 mpg, and I don't always take it easy. The car is very fast with the twin turbo four cylinder engine. We ski, so the fold down center back seat comes in real handy when carrying skis. Overall a great car."
By Grace on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Awesome small SUV"
Cons: "Need a manual option"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased the X1 as I wanted a smaller and fuel efficient small SUV. Size is perfect for my husband and I to go one weekend camping or hiking trips. Ride is awesome as expected from a BMW. It is fast, quick to respond and just have a lot of personality. I love its versatility. My co-workers and friends love the car as well, in fact my boss bought the exact came car."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Newt on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great in the snow, powerful acceleration"
Cons: "Rough ride, road noise, backseat comfort"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Yeap. It's not an SUV or, as my teenage daughter likes to refer to it as, a station wagon. One of my young bloods at work asked me if it came with wood panels. Many wondered why I got rid of my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7L Hemi for this odd looking pocket rocket of a car. To put it bluntly the production and manufacturing design engineers at Jeep should spend a mandatory one-year overseas internship with any of the European auto makers to learn what it means to engineer and manufacture a vehicle where at least the seams of the vehicle all follow the same symmetry and width. The Jeep had too many seam variations and nothing lined-up nicely. There's something very intriguing about the 35i twin-turbo six that can't be explained unless you've been there. I've owned several cars in my life and can say without hesitation this engine is one of the most powerful stock engines I've had the pleasure pushing the pedal on. Now, the X1 itself is mildly comfortable at best. Despite full leather heated seats and steering wheel, the front driver's seat is not the most plush thing you'll ever sit in...especially if you're a person like me pushing the 50 mark and are in-need of something more comfy than a thin piece of padding. Slightly worse are the rear seats that are really not worth bothering with in my humble opinion. The back seats are best suited for holding ski gear and groceries. I originally bought this vehicle because come this fall it'll just be my wife and I. Both of your kids will be in college and only come home on their breaks; however, we've come to realize even on their short breaks we can not all fit into this car comfortably. Fine for short rides around town, but we're all really dreading the two trips across country this summer for two weddings. On a final note, this car is chocked full of odd cheap rubbing and cracking plastic sounds that I've not been able to isolate. Worse yet, there's an internal air leak/whisping sound in the upper left-hand corner of the driver-side window that dealership can not isolate. I've owned several BMWs and can say with certainty this one is the cheapest made one yet. The brakes are solid, the ride is harsh on any surface less than premium blacktop, and does relatively well on the MPGs (hard to keep in the low 20s because of the temptation to routinely place your foot into the floorboard so you can hear the screaming twins!!). Great daily, sure-footed commuter car for the often odd Colorado fall, winter, and spring driving conditions (snow, sleet, rain, ice, and slush). Looking forward to getting some time in this vehicle, then getting rid of it for my dream car...CPO'ed low mileage 2013 Audi A6 Prestige Quattro Sedan."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By doug91915 on Friday, March 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had Fords all my life, from a simple Escort GT in the 80's to a top of the line F-150 King Ranch. I was ready for a change. On line I looked up cars similar to what I was currently driving, a 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD. Although the Escape was a very nice car, it was not without it's set of challenges. When you add up all the minor annoyances and researched the vehicle in more depth, I realized I purchased an inferior product as compared to the BMW X1. I found the BMW X1 by chance. I didn't know they made an X1 and was I surprised to find out how all the hype over BMWs over the years definitely lived up to the aforementioned reputation. This is an exceptional crossover vehicle. The level of options for all price ranges was unbeatable and I never felt like I settled for anything whatsoever. I got a loaded version in the sDrive and couldn't be happier. It is zippy, fun to drive and very classy. I am so pleased I look into this vehicle and purchased one as a treat for my "mile-stone" birthday. Thank you BMW Doug"
By jalepeno on Thursday, January 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,700overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "fuel economy nowhere near stated"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I love driving this car. It's very responsive- accelerates sharply and turns on a dime. The X1 feels safe and it's comfortable. I wish it was available with a manual transmission. I am 6'4" and have plenty of room to drive or sit in the front passenger seat. Not true for the back seat. The cup holder for front seat passenger is intrusive to the passenger's space. However, our X1 is only averaging 23 MPG. Our driving is mostly highway and my wife, the primary driver, is a cautious driver. She doesn't push the car. The BMW dealer seems unconcerned with the mileage. We have brought it back numerous times, and have been told, "You know this is a high performance car, don't you?" We traded in a Lexus RX 350 for this car. The Lexus was an unresponsive log truck of an SUV- cushy comfortable and safe, but not fun to drive. It got 23 MPG. We traded the space of the Lexus for supposed increased fuel economy of the BMW. The BMW hasn't delivered and we'll will be looking elsewhere at the end of the lease."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful