12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2014 BMW X1 xDrive28i - Empire State of Mind

October 24, 2013
2014 BMW X1 XDrive28i Front Left Side View
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Long-Term 2014 BMW X1 Update - FALL 2013 (1 OF 1)
Miles to Date: 5,344
After a brief stay in Michigan, our Four Seasons BMW X1 xDrive28i was quickly dispatched to our two editors based in New York.
"You know me, I'm the first to bemoan every new SUV or crossover that hits the market," writes Jamie Kitman, Automobile's New York bureau chief and noted SUV-phobe. "There are too many of them, they all look the same, and they're overpriced relative to the better-handling, often more practical sedans that they almost all owe their existence to.
"Then there's the new BMW X1, which I find myself really liking in spite of its/my-self. For one thing, it's based on a pretty small car, which if you're going to go soft-roading seems to be the most acceptable stratagem; you may be riding high in a fantasyland in your SUV, but you're not harming anyone by doing so. Still, at 3800 pounds the X1 is a bit porky, weighing almost 600 pounds more than a front-wheel-drive Mazda CX-5. But it's a hell of an improvement next to BMW's 5225-pound X6, which won't seat any more passengers. Or carry much more luggage, except in that it telegraphs a lot more about its owner's wealth.
2014 BMW X1 XDrive28i Front Left Side View
"The other thing that excuses the X1 in my opinion is that as crossovers go, it has foregone form for function -- that is, rather than aping the rugged SUV meme, it lines up squarely in the clown car camp, where practicality rules the day. I'm not talking about the 1- or 2-clown clown machine, like the short-lived Suzuki X-90. I'm talking seriously practical clown car, with room for the whole clown family and their collapsible minibike. Things like the Mitsubishi Expo of years ago; they looked goofy, but they sure had a lot of room, including head, shoulder, and cargo room.
"To me, the BMW X1 is not an object of desire but rather an object of considerable utility. Its price -- $41,000 as tested -- isn't very cheap, but it doesn't feel too cheap, either (though I did manage to brutally pinch my left pinky finger while releasing the driver's interior door handle). Its performance is on the sedate side with the standard four-cylinder turbo engine. And the economy hasn't been anything to write home to mother about, even with its stop/start function active, but it's not terrible. After 256 miles of mixed city and suburban driving, with a fair bit of highway miles thrown in, it showed 23.7 mpg.
"The X1 rear-drive chassis is composed and faithful more than it is inspiring, but it will process and execute all requests quite nicely. In that sense, it is a true BMW. That its body style is dictated in part by function rings a long-lost BMW chord, too."
Senior editor Joe Lorio isn't so sure about Kitman's take on the X1's aesthetics, noting "one look at the X1 makes you instantly realize how awkwardly proportioned other small crossovers are." Still, he does echo Kitman's comments on how well the X1 drives.
"While some other crossovers can be made to handle as well as passenger cars, you still feel as if you driving an SUV. The X1 is different," Lorio writes. "Driving home the other day on the hilly twists and turns of the country roads near my house, it felt exactly as if I were driving a BMW station wagon. That is a good thing. I like the heft and precision of the X1's steering, but it seems nervous on-center. The ride quality is also quite firm, which is fast becoming a BMW character trait.
"The direct-injected turbo four sounds positively diesel-like from outside -- and even sometimes from inside -- particularly at light throttle. It does sufficiently motivate the X1, however. You'd move up to the six-cylinder more for its sound and smoothness than for its power. I got an indicated 28 mpg on my drive from Michigan to New York, which is pretty disappointing for such a small SUV. Here at home, the auto stop/start system is coming into play quite often, although not when the A/C is working hard. After a stop, the engine chugs to life quite noticeably; this is not one of the smoothest auto stop/start systems out there.
"Besides the long drive home from Michigan, I made another highway trip, this time upstate with a party of three. Closer to home, I've been ferrying middle-school kids around. My passengers report that the rear seat is tight but acceptable. Trying it myself, I find the X1 back bench much less roomy than a 3-series sedan. On my ultra-long drive, I had no complaints about front-seat comfort. Stowage space, however, is painfully lacking. The panoramic sunroof really brightens this otherwise drab interior. And unlike the sunroofs in most cars today, you can actually drive with this one open even at freeway speeds with no buffeting.
"The promise of the crossover -- as much as there is one -- is to occupy the middle ground between a passenger car and an SUV. Most, however, hew much more closely to the SUV end of that spectrum. The X1 is an exception. Much more than others of its ilk, it is closer in look and feel to a passenger car (or, more accurately, a BMW station wagon). It really does seem to split the difference between car and SUV."
Body style 4-door hatchback
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.) $33,425
Price As tested $41,075
Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
Displacement 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
Power 241 hp @ 5000-6500 rpm
Torque 258 (369 w/overboost) lb-ft @ 1250-4800 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive All-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 22/33/26 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Hydraulically assisted
Lock-to-lock 3.3 turns
Turning circle 38.7 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs
Wheels 17-inch aluminum
Tires Goodyear Eagle LS2
Tire size 225/50R-17 94H
Headroom F/R 41.3/39.7 in
Legroom F/R 41.4/34.9 in
Shoulder room F/R 55.0/54.6 in
Wheelbase 108.7 in
Track F/R 59.1/60.2 in
L x W x H 176.5 x 70.8 x 60.8 in
Passenger capacity 98.0 cu ft
Cargo capacity 27.6/63.3 cu ft
Weight 3726 lb
Weight dist. F/R 50.6/49.4 %
Fuel capacity 16.6 gal
Est. fuel range 430 miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Halogen fog lights LED taillights Matte-black roof rails Rain-sensing windshield wipers Leather-wrapped steering wheel Leatherette-trimmed interior Tilt-and-telescopic steering column Cruise control Bluetooth USB port Automatic climate control Adjustable front armrest
Midnight Blue metallic paint $550
Cold weather package $700 Retractable headlights washer Heated steering wheel and front seats
Servotronic steering $250
Ultimate package $6150 Homelink Keyless entry and ignition Rearview camera Panoramic sunroof Auto-dimming rearview mirror and exterior mirrors Power front seats w/lumbar support Front and rear parking assist Interior ambient lighting Navigation Voice control SiriusXM satellite radio and traffic w/one-year trial subscription BMW Online and BMW Apps

Long-Term 2014 BMW X1 Reviews to Date:

FALL 2013
2014 BMW X1 xDrive28i - Empire State of Mind
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Comments

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  • "I'm the first to bemoan every new SUV," writes Jamie Kitman, "but I find myself really liking [the X1] in spite of myself."
  • Senior editor Joe Lorio not only drove the X1 from Michigan to New York, but also took a trip to upstate NY with three passengers in tow. "They report the rear seat is tight but acceptable," he writes.
  • "More than any of its ilk, the X1 is closer and look and feel to a BMW station wagon," writes Lorio.
  • Start/stop helps save fuel in stop-and-go city traffic, but it isn't one of the smoothest systems on the market.
  • Despite its compact dimensions, our X1 still managed to haul a washing machine.

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Cost to Own
Depreciation
40.6%
Depreciation
$16412
Insurance
$7350
Fuel Cost
$9623
Financing
$3455
Maintenance
$1690
Repair Costs
$1439
State Fees
$464
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own