2018 BMW X1 Review By Larry Nutson; Enjoy The Drive
2018 BMW X1
Urban form and function
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
BMW, that German maker of sporty sedans, is riding the wave of SUV popularity with a full range of X-series models. BMW refers to its lineup of crossover SUVs as Sports Activity Vehicles, or SAVs. The X-Series range offers X1, X3 and X5 derivates aimed to be utilitarian and the X2, X4 and X6 aimed to be sporty yet functional. The X1 Is the entry to BMW’s X-series.
The X1 was redesigned in 2016 and is unchanged for 2018 except for some option packaging revisions. The only power plant is a 228-horsepower 2.0-L turbocharged I-4 coupled to an 8-speed automatic.
The front-wheel drive X1 sDrive28i is priced at $33,900. The all-wheel drive X1 xDrive28i is $2,000 more at $35,900. Option choices can quickly drive the price upward. The Sunset Orange Metallic xDrive 28i I recently drove topped out at $43,995.
Various options are offered in Luxury, M Sport, Driving Assistance and Convenience Packages. Leather interior trim, heated front seats and steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, navigation, head-up display, and power-folding outside mirrors all can be had.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 25 mpg combined with 21 city mpg and 31 highway mpg. The X1 has decent fuel economy and I felt the overall performance from the engine and transmission to be quite good and responsive. BMW says zero to 60 mph comes in 6.3 seconds in the xDrive model, which should meet most everyone’s needs very adequately. The sDrive model takes 0.3 seconds longer. Driving modes can be changed to sport, comfort or the efficient eco-pro.
Optional driver-assistance safety features include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Parking Assistant helps the driver to find parallel parking spaces and park the vehicle.
One option that caught my eye is a no-charge choice of performance tires over the standard all-season tires. Also, you can opt to not get run-flat tires and then you additionally get a space-saver spare plus a jack and lug wrench.
The interior is very much BMW with good looks and high-quality materials. Centered on the dashboard is a 6.5 inch multimedia screen above the HVAC vents. This is upgraded to a 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch Touch Control Display if a navigation system is selected and BMW's iDrive controller is used for both. Seating positions are a bit elevated. I would have liked if the front seat bottom cushion was a bit longer or had a pull-out extender for more upper leg support.
The 5-passenger X1 is nicely compact and makes for a city-friendly transport. A hands-free power liftgate opens to 27.1 cu.ft. of cargo space that expands to 57.1 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded. The reclining rear seats slide fore and aft to give the advantage to the folks in the rear seat or the cargo in the way back.
The X1’s more sporty and higher priced sibling is the X2 which rides on the same platform but is a bit shorter, yet wider. It’s cargo volume is also slightly less due to its reduced length and coupe-like roofline.
BMW’s driving dynamics along with good overall design and technology that you can use make the X1 a decent entry in the market. If your looking for an upscale compact crossover SUV, with lots of comfort and a well-finished interior as well as good performance both these BMW models deserve a look.
Check out more details and information on the 2018 BMW model line-up here at www.bmwusa.com.
Epilogue: I put the final touches on this BMW X1 write-up during travel with my wife to the southern reaches of continental Europe. There is no replacement for real driving experiences to quickly bring into the present the reasons why vehicle size and packaging is so important. We were driving in some mountainous areas with, in many instances, roads that barely let two compact size cars pass in opposite directions. A vehicle much larger than an X1 would be a real challenge to drive, maneuver and park in many a hamlet we came across. With the forecasted trend in the U.S. for continued growth in urban-living and more crowding in our cities, along with many U.S. cities giving infrastructure priorities to pedestrians, bicycles, public transportation and then private cars, in that order, it is becoming increasingly more evident that vehicles larger than compact will only be practical out in the wide open spaces.
To borrow a phrase from another manufacturer: think small!
© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy