12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 BMW X1 - Four Seasons Introduction

July 31, 2013
2013 BMW X1 Front Right Side View 2
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We've been waiting for some time to get a BMW X1 crossover for a Four Seasons test. It's not that our order was lost in the mail or that we picked a long list of zany special-order options. We've simply been waiting for the X1 with the rest of North America. The X1 has been on sale abroad since 2009, and it's been a hit -- so much so that BMW delayed bringing the X1 to the United States until manufacturing capacity could be increased.
But, as they say, good things come to those who wait. We had our first crack behind the wheel of a federalized X1 last summer, and we found that it didn't drive like a typical crossover. Instead, its tactile, communicative steering and agile frame reminded us of some of our favorite rear-wheel-drive BMW coupes and sedans -- no surprise, considering the X1 itself is derived from the previous iteration of the BMW 3-series. Better yet, North American X1s are the only ones offered with BMW's 300-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 shoehorned into the engine compartment.
Despite that unique engine option, we opted to live with four-cylinder power for the next year. Our 2014 X1 xDrive28i is powered by the same 240-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 as our former Four Seasons 2012 BMW 328i sedan. Here, it's mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Why choose four over six? Pricing, for starters -- an xDrive35i is nearly $6000 more expensive than an X1 xDrive28i. Fuel economy was another consideration. Our X1 xDrive28i is EPA rated at 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. The X1 xDrive35i manages just 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. However, as enthusiasts, we chose this configuration for its power steering hardware: the xDrive28i uses traditional hydraulic steering assist, which typically provides better feel.
A 2014 X1 xDrive28i starts at a surprisingly reasonable $32,500, but adding options can quickly escalate that figure. Our X1's $41,075 price tag -- which includes $925 in destination fees -- is proof. The most pricey option was the Ultimate Package: for $6150, the package adds a slew of niceties, including leather-clad seating, push-button start and entry, a rear-view camera and park assist, auto-dimming mirrors, ambient interior lighting, a panoramic moonroof, navigation and BMWConnect services, and a year's subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio. The deep midnight blue metallic paint ran an extra $550, and Servotronic -- BMW-speak for variable-assist power steering -- added another $225. To silence those who kvetched about sitting on ice-cold leather in winter with our Four Seasons 2011 BMW 535i, we also ponied up $700 for the cold weather package, which adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and retractable headlamp washers.
Will we find ourselves as enamored with our X1 several months down the line, or will we regret not springing for the larger inline-six? Time -- twelve months, specifically -- will tell.

Long-Term 2014 BMW X1 Reviews to Date:

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2013 BMW X1 - Four Seasons Introduction
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