Think of the X1 as the baby in BMW's SUV family. Though smaller than the X3, it boasts the same potent engine choices and some of the best driving dynamics in its class. Priced in the low $30,000 range, the X1 is a tempting step up to luxury from mainstream crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.
You'll Like The 2014 BMW X1 If...
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.
You May Not Like The 2014 BMW X1 If...
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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 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.