BMW X1

The BMW X1 is offered in two variations: The X1 sDrive28i is front-wheel drive, while the X1 xDrive28i features all-wheel drive. Both are powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged unit that makes 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic that sends power either to the front wheels or to all four wheels, depending upon the model. The combination should be good for 0-60 mph sprints in the low 6-second range. Thanks to turbocharging and a relatively light vehicle, fuel economy is respectable for the segment, with an EPA estimate of 26 mpg combined in the sDrive28i, while the xDrive28i returns 25 mpg combined.

Standard equipment levels are quite generous on the BMW X1, though there are still plenty of options and packages available to further enhance the vehicle. Highlights on the standard equipment list include power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control functions, a 7-speaker stereo, electronically adjustable heated exterior mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, dynamic cruise control, 18-inch wheels and tires, a 6.5-inch monitor, fog lamps, an automatic tailgate and an alarm.

Option packages include the M Sport package, which highlights the sportiness of the X1, as well as a Premium Package, which adds an extra level of luxury. The M Sport package includes updates to the transmission, including steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, sportier seats, a sportier steering wheel and stiffer suspension for better handling. The Premium package offers access to full LED headlights and huge panoramic moonroof.

A Driver Assistance Plus package offers speed limit info, active cruise control, park distance control, a Lane Departure Warning system, automatic high beams, a front collision warning system and a rear view camera. A parking Assistant system is also included that aids drivers when they are trying to parallel park.

Options on the BMW X1 are plentiful. Buyers willing to upgrade from the 6.5-inch screen to an 8.8-inch screen will also get access to BMW apps and real time traffic updates. The navigation system has a heads-up display function, allowing it to project data directly onto the windshield. 19-inch wheels make the car look lower and meaner, while a Harman Kardon stereo system includes 12 speakers and 360 watts of sound.

Editors' Review

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The of BMW's X1 compact crossover was a favorite of mine. Though marketed, perceived and sold as a small SUV -- or "SAV" (sports activity vehicle) in eye-rolling BMW-speak -- the vehicle actually looked, stood and drove more like a slightly enlarged hatchback or a small wagon. Its handling and performance are ultimately what wowed me, but I have to admit that the novelty of this covert wagon infiltrating the rapidly growing compact SUV market really cemented the X1's place in my heart.

BMW says that its buyers felt differently. They wanted more space, a more commanding seating position, and perhaps most importantly, they wanted their new small crossover to, well, actually look like a small SUV. Can't have the neighbors calling it a wagon -- eww. So, the BMW X1 has been totally redesigned for 2016. It's got a shorter wheelbase, is taller overall, and now boasts the more SUV-like design that buyers in this segment are looking for.

And though I'm sad to see the North American wagon die just a little bit more, even I have to admit after my drive that the new 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i is better than before.

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The Good The 2016 BMW X1 is powered by a potent, yet efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. All-wheel drive is standard and tuned, along with the suspension, for sporty driving characteristics. The X1 bests the competition for interior volume with a spacious cabin, a generous greenhouse and a massive optional panoramic moonroof.

The Bad Features that really should be standard at this price point (heated seats, rear camera) are paid options. The X1's front seats are hard little things that we found uncomfortable for extended drives. Anti-idling stop-start system makes low-speed city driving too jerky for our tastes.

The Bottom Line The BMW X1 xDrive28i is literally and figuratively bigger and better for 2016, boasting more power, more space and better efficiency than its competition. Unfortunately, the price tag is bigger, too.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 7

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