The X1 that recently launched in the U.S. rides on the new global front-wheel drive BMW platform. Outside, its design is aggressive, although it is still clearly a BMW crossover that looks like a 7/8ths-scale X3 from most angles. More body-color painted accents make the new model stand out a bit more, and the restyled front end brings the X1's look in line with the rest of BMW's lineup.
Inside, the X1 is similarly updated with some enhanced materials and new styling. While modern and luxurious, the overall design doesn't break much new ground. BMW's familiar switchgear, including its iDrive interface and floating dash, are included. For the latest model year, the joystick-like gear selector has been replaced with something which looks a bit more conventional, however the functionality remains similar.
Measuring just 175.4 inches from head to toe, the X1 is BMW's smallest crossover. Although the rear seat area is a bit small, cargo room checks in at 17.8 cubic feet. A 40:20:40 split-folding rear seatback can be lowered to increase luggage capacity from to 54.7 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
The new X1 is available exclusively with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. Joining the two is an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0L engine produces 228 horsepower and 258lb-ft of torque. 60 mph comes in 6.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 130. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway and 26 combined.
The BMW X1 comes well-equipped in its most basic form. The X1 does not come in multiple trims, so customers must opt for packages if they want a more feature-rich experience.
Standard equipment on the X1 includes engine auto-stop start, hill descent control, an M Sport suspension, 18" aluminum wheels, matte chrome exterior trim, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with driver's memory, SensaTec (faux leather) upholstery, rain-sensing wipers with automatic headlamp control, a power liftgate, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, dynamic cruise control, USB and Bluetooth audio, iDrive with a 6.5-inch screen and a seven-speaker audio system with HD Radio, SiriusXM radio compatibility.
Several option packages are available for the X1. As there are no trim levels, customers must combine packages to get the features they want.
The Driver Assistance package adds parking assistant, park distance control and a rear view camera. Driver Assistance Plus adds BMW's "Active Driving Assistant" suite of safety features (lane departure warning, forward collision alert, city collision mitigation and pedestrian protection) and adaptive cruise control with automatic stop & go to this bundle.
The Luxury Package is centered around comfort and convenience features. It allows customers to add one of several different Dakota leather upholstery options along with the choice of oak grain, aluminum or "Fineline" trim.
Adding the Luxury Package also requires the addition of the Premium package, which includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror and side mirrors, keyless entry, lumbar support adjustment, satellite radio with a one-year subscription, a panoramic moonroof, LED lighting with cornering lights, power-folding mirrors and ambient lighting.
A Technology package adds a HUD, real-time traffic information, BMW online and connected apps, Navigation with a touchpad controller, enhanced USB and Smartphone integration and BMW Remote Services.
A Cold Weather package adds three-setting heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Stand-alone options include a Harman Kardon premium audio system, run-flat tire delete, several 18- and 19-inch wheel options, a panoramic moonroof (also available in a package) and sliding and reclining rear seats, among others.
There is no M Sport trim available for the new X1, but an M Sport package can be selected.
Standard equipment in the M Sport package includes a sport automatic transmission calibration, an exterior aero kit, an "M" steering wheel, sport seats, "Shadowline" dark exterior trim and high-gloss roof rails.
Shoppers can then customize the M Sport package with various M-exclusive trim, upholstery, wheel and exterior paint color options.
Safety features on the X1 include dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Also included is BMW Assist eCall, which automatically notifies a BMW call center in the event of a crash and can even predict the severity of occupant injuries.
Optional safety features are plentiful, including: adaptive headlights with cornering lights, high-Beam Assistant, park distance control, rear-view camera and cruise control with auto-braking. BMW's "Active Driving Assistant" suite of safety features (lane departure warning, forward collision alert, city collision mitigation and pedestrian protection) is also available in the Driver Assistance Plus package.
The X1 squares off against the Audi Q3. Other possible alternatives include slightly larger (and much more costly) models such as the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and the Range Rover Evoque Five-door.