By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 9.2
BMW’s 2017 X1 compact-luxury SUV (BMW likes to call it an SAV, short for Sports Activity Vehicle) may be the company’s smallest offering, but it is no less luxurious or capable than its larger X3 and X5 siblings. Blending the performance characteristics of a BMW 3 Series with the high ride height and all-wheel-drive (AWD) abilities of an SUV, the X1 is easily cross-shopped with a number of vehicles including the Buick Encore, Infiniti QX30, Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA. With available AWD and a host of modern driver-assist system, the X1 is all about safely having fun. But it’s the little SUV’s brutish exterior and 228-horsepower engine that BMW hopes will attract younger buyers to the family.
If you miss BMW’s small wagons, the 2017 X1 SUV might be a good substitute. Not as bulky as the larger X5, the X1 offers plenty of room for people and cargo plus possesses good maneuverability and visibility, all in a package that offers year-round driving fun.
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Fresh from a complete overhaul last year, the 2017 BMW X1 compact-luxury SUV sees one big change, that being the addition of a front-drive sDrive28i model to the lineup, a first for BMW. Sport seats are now a stand-alone option, while the M package adds the M sport suspension.
We tested the all-wheel-drive xDrive28i and found it to be quite lively and fun to drive. We’re curious to see how the new front-wheel-drive (FWD) sDrive28i compares, especially since it...
... represents BMW’s first front-drive/transverse-engine setup. BMW’s 2017 X1 crossover SUV is small and light, allowing its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to move it briskly when requested, yet this same combo returns good fuel economy in both city and highway driving. We did find that, unlike other BMW SUVs, the X1 isn’t as eager to be pushed hard at its limits. If you’re intending to do so, we suggest opting for the M Sport suspension. In light off-road conditions and with the right tires, the X1 can handle modest degrees of loose gravel, dirt roads and thick mud, but it’s no Jeep.
Part of the 2017 BMW X1’s standard-equipment roster includes a power-operated rear tailgate. Add the Comfort Access option and you can open the tailgate with a swipe of your leg, a real bonus when your arms are full.
MORE CARGO ROOM
Despite its rather modest dimensions, BMW’s X1 compact SUV for 2017 offers surprisingly good interior cargo space. Fold down the 40/20/40-split rear seats, and you’ll create 58.7 cubic feet of storage space. Small storage cubbies throughout the cabin further increase the X1’s cargo hauling abilities.
The BMW X1 for 2017 is a 2-row, 5-passenger SUV with plenty of room for people and cargo. Rear-seat passengers have excellent legroom unless the front passengers are so tall they have the front seats in their rearmost position. If this is the case, we recommend spending the additional $300 for the sliding rear-seat option that also reclines. Up front, power seats are standard. This baby BMW's dash is sleek and angular. Materials have a premium look and feel, such as the soft-touch dash and wood accents. The standard SensaTec fake-leather seating feels down-market, though.
Last year’s update injected the 2017 BMW X1 with noticeably more toughness in its design, making it look less like a tall wagon and more like a small SUV. For better or worse, the transformation worked. The X1’s 7.2 inches of ground clearance allows it to venture more securely off-road, while up front BMW's familiar kidney grille, standard LED daytime running lights and optional LED headlights make a strong visual statement and brightly guide your path. The M Sport Package adds further flair with an aerodynamic kit, sport suspension and high-gloss roof rails.
A base 2017 BMW X1 sDrive28i comes with front-wheel drive, while the xDrive28i includes all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 8-way-power front seats, automatic climate control, power tailgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, push-button ignition, and 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires. The standard infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch screen, 7-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio/CD player with USB input and Bluetooth audio streaming/phone connectivity. The X1 also includes BMW Assist eCall emergency-request system with an SOS button, complimentary scheduled maintenance for four years/50,000 miles, and roadside assistance for four years/unlimited miles.
As with most BMWs, there are plenty of ways to upgrade the X1, and they can make the vehicle's base price climb quickly. Even most of the X1's exterior paint colors are extra money, unless you go with non-metallic black or white. You'll also pay extra for a rearview camera, a feature that is becoming standard on mainstream SUVs such as the Honda CR-V. Other notable extras include a higher-resolution 8.8-inch monitor, panoramic moonroof, navigation, leather interior, heated front seats, and 12-speaker harman/kardon audio system. New driver-assistance features include lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and active cruise control.
The 2017 BMW X1 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 228 horsepower. BMW promises the X1 can hit the 0-60-mph benchmark in 6.3 seconds. A Sport mode livens throttle response and stiffens steering feel, while Comfort and Eco modes tone down settings. The X1 offers the option of front-wheel or all-wheel drive and uses an 8-speed Aisin automatic transmission. A start/stop system shuts off the engine at idle to save fuel. If you find the restarts jarring, it can be defeated. Premium gasoline is recommended.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
228 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (FWD), 22/31 mpg (AWD)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 BMW X1 sDrive28i has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $34,100, while the AWD xDrive28i bumps the price to just over $36,000. In reality, prices can easily go beyond that by thousands. Loaded, an X1 can hit the upper-$40,000 range. The BMW X1's starting price is in line those of the Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lincoln MKC, and a few hundred to several thousand dollars more than other compact SUVs such as the Buick Encore, Infiniti QX30 and Volkswagen Tiguan. Do check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new BMW X1. As for its resale value, we expect the 2017 BMW X1 to hold average values below those of the Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA, on par with the Audi Q3 and better than the Lincoln MKC and Buick Encore.