The 2014 BMW X1 offers sharp handling and exciting performance which are rarities for a small crossover SUV. Powered by the same turbocharged 4- or 6-cylinder engines as the larger X3, the X1 is a joy to drive. With quick acceleration, nimble handling, the choice or rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive and laudable fuel-efficiency to boot, the X1 packs a lot of fun and versatility into a tidy package. The 2014 BMW X1 is offered in three trim levels: sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive35i. The sDrive designation indicates rear-wheel drive, while xDrive models are all-wheel drive.
Release date, Price, Specs, Redesign, Compare, 2015, 2016
The BMW X1 is in the smallest class of SUVs. The X1 measures 176.5 inches in overall length and rides on a 108.7-inch wheelbase. It’s 70.8 inches wide (not including mirrors), 60.8 inches tall. While there is marked similarity between the BMW X1 and X3, the X1 is considerably smaller than the X3: 2.1 inches less wheelbase, 6.5 inches shorter overall, 3.3 inches in width, and 4.6 inches in height. It’s the modest vertical dimension that gives the X1 a sporty look, a little less SUV in appearance, a little more traditional sport wagon.
Like most BMWs, the X1’s exterior is all but devoid of trim. A modest character crease bisects the door handles just below the beltline, but beyond that the surfaces are unadorned; the proportions convey a sporty character, and the twin grilles say BMW in unmistakable terms. The standard roof rails reinforce the crossover theme, and the standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels fill the wheel wells, reinforcing the ultimate driving machine message. On the other hand, the low rolling resistance all-season run-flat tires dilute that message. More aggressive 18-inch wheels and performance tires area available.
While the X1 has been around for awhile in other markets, BMW has done some sprucing for the U.S. model, which sports new side mirrors with integrated turn signal repeaters and restyling at the rear.
The X1’s petite exterior dimensions do exact some penalty inside. While headroom is abundant, rear-seat knee room is not, and the rear center seat is uninhabitable except for a child seat.
Cargo room behind the split rear seatbacks is modest at 27.6 cubic feet, and with the rear seatbacks folded flat it expands to an equally modest 63.3 cubic feet. Then again, if you need a really big cargo hold, the X1 is probably not the right choice, something that applies to its competitors as well.
Interior materials are premium throughout, perhaps a notch better than you’d find in a 1 Series coupe or sedan. BMW has made a few updates here, too, with design enhancements to the center console, center stack, and dashboard. Soft touch surfaces abound, and the leather-clad front seats embrace occupants with a blend of comfort, lateral support, and adjustability that make journeys a pleasure, whatever their duration.
The rear-drive X1 sDrive28i and all-wheel-drive xDrive28i are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 240 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard, as is a stop-start system that shuts off the engine when stopped to save fuel.
According to BMW, the X1 sDrive28i will go from zero to 60 mph in a swift 6.2 seconds, with the xDrive version just 0.1 second behind. EPA-estimated fuel economy is impressive at 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined for the sDrive, and 22/33/26 for the xDrive.
The X1 xDrive35i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, matched to a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard. In Edmunds testing, the X1 xDrive35i sprinted to 60 mph in a quick 5.8 seconds. The EPA estimates stand at 18/27/21, which is actually better than some less powerful rivals.
2014 BMW X1 Price
The 2014 BMW X1 has a tempting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,695 for an sDrive28i model. The all-wheel-drive xDrive28i starts at $33,395, while the top-line xDrive35i goes for $39,495. Options can lift these prices by thousands, and unless you want your exterior paint in non-metallic white or black, expect to pay an extra $550 just for another choice of hue.