BMW's compact X1 crossover packs big luxury in a small package
BMW's X1 has been redesigned, well, actually totally reimagined for the 2016 model year.
What used to be a smallish, but tall, wagon thing is now a full on compact crossover, with a more SUV-like profile.
More visual mask and more interior space than the competing Mercedes GLA250 and the Audi Q3.
Meanwhile, within that larger body, the wheel base has actually been shrunk.
Which, almost contradictorily means this bigger vehicle handles more nimbly in the city.
Now I'm a huge fan of small wagons, probably more than most, and I'm always sad to see one leave the US market.
But BMW's got a pretty good vehicle here and I think I like it more than the previous model.
Let's hop behind the wheel and see what I'm talking about.
Now, the X1 upright stance for today, a more commanding view of the road, which means you can see further down the field while you're driving.
Thing which is good for safety.
One of the other things that I like is the way the dashboard sort of slopes down and away from the driver, which really frees up a lot of visual space.
That, working with the gigantic panoramic moon roof above and a generous, glassy greenhouse surround means this vehicle feels really big an airy on the inside.
It's a great car if you're claustrophobic.
One of the things that I'm not really loving about the X1 are these seats.
They're kind of small and kind of hard, and I just can't really seem to get comfortable in them.
I kind of feel like I'm sitting on top of the seat as opposed to down in a nice sporty bucket, which is a shame because the X1 handling is really good and these seats are kind of just almost ruining [UNKNOWN] it for me.
And that's when we got BMW iDrive entertainment system with a kind of [UNKNOWN] 0.5 inh screen.
The graphics are crisp and fast.
Unfortunately Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not available for this generation which is a shame if it's like me you're not a huge fan of BMW iDrive's sort of really complicated menu structure Our driver aid package includes a semi-autonomous parallel parking system that's a little bit more finicky than the system I've seen in some American cars.
But what we don't have is the really big driver rate plus package that's gonna include things like lane departure prevention.
And Ford collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and autonomous breaking.
Now the XDrive 28i is the only powertrain available on the X1 for this generation which means under the hood we have BMW's modular 2.0 liter turbo charged inline four.
When I say modular it means that it's basically the same engine as BMW's inline 6 but with two cylinders lopped off the end.
Output is stated at 228 hoarse power and 258 pounds torque which is very respectable for a vehicle this size.
It's better than pretty much everything else in the class including the Mercedes Benz.
On the road, the X1 feels very sport, actually.
Everything from the suspension to that xDrive all wheel drive system really works together to make this car feel very responsive around Around a corner, and that engine is a great one.
We also have an ECO PRO mode, which doesn't really feel that great, it sort of dials all of the fun out of the system.
But it's your best way of getting at that EPA estimated 23 city, 34 highway, and 27 combined miles per gallon.
Which, coincidentally, is also better than everything else in the class, including the Audi Q3.
If I've got one complaint about the X-1, it's that around town its gas and brake pedal feel almost too responsive.
It's a bit herky-jerky in stop-an-go traffic.
That, combined with the Eco Pro mode anti-idling stop-start system means that the car just sort of feels a little bit rough at really low speeds.
Meaning it's maybe not as good of a city car as BMW wants to think it is.
That said, if you're into sporty driving, you're looking at an SUV that feels like it was built for grand touring driving and corner carving like this.
More efficient than the Audi, more powerful than the Benz, more spacious than either the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive28i, yes, that's a very long name.
Starts at $34,800.
But as equipped here, easily sails north of $45,000.
And yes, that's a lot of money, I know.
But this is a premium compact SUV.
And it's not a terrible price for this level of small luxury.
And for the money, I think it's the best that the class has to offer.
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