Kuyper: Performance, handling highlight BMW’s X1

A 2-liter, 228-horsepower inline turbocharged four-cylinder engine is mated to a shiftable eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2018 BMW X1 xDrive28i SUV.
A 2-liter, 228-horsepower inline turbocharged four-cylinder engine is mated to a shiftable eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2018 BMW X1 xDrive28i SUV.

A rear-wheel-drive sport manufacturer, BMW’s first front-wheel-drive vehicle for sale in the United States was the 2016-17 X1.

The FWD X1 remains on sale in 2018. Not much has changed from year-to-year and this is good.

The compact SUV still can zip from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds while carrying a vehicle weight of more than 3,500 pounds. The 6.5 seconds is reported by automotive press members. The manufacturer claims a zero to 60 mph time of 6.3 seconds. No matter if its 6.3 or 6.5 seconds, this performance is the best in its compact class of SUVs. The 228-horsepower four-cylinder engine is turbocharged. Power is distributed to front or, if all-wheel-drive, to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Powertrains represent BMW’s mark of distinction and the X1 proves it. Other strong points are handling and braking. The ride is somewhat stiff but sporty. One can get used to the flat seats as they are spacious and comfortable.

The weight of 3,500 pounds is heavy for a small SUV and reflects a variety of mechanical and structural features not normally found on a vehicle of this size, including the largest cargo volume in the compact class of luxury SUVs. It is 58.7 cubic feet with the split and flexible rear seats folded down.

For 2018, FWD continues to be offered along with the four-wheel-drive X1, which cost $33,900 and $35,900, respectively.

A drawback is that an X1 can easily surpass $40,000 depending on options chosen. A $2,500 convenience package includes power folding mirrors, keyless entry, panoramic moonroof, ambient lighting, more lumbar support and a year’s subscription to satellite radio. Navigation is a $900 option and Apple CarPlay is a $300 option. Perhaps those two are the only options necessary. Apple CarPlay is good for smartphone use with the various apps.

Standard fare includes a lot, such as heated front seats and steering wheel; roof rails in satin aluminum; power tailgate; power express windows; door locks; front seats; steering wheel and exterior heated mirrors; and the choices to drive the vehicle in either Eco Pro, Comfort or Sport mode.

The introduction of FWD and AWD in the 2016 model, rolled out in 2015, gives the X1 more allure to those who live in cold wintry climates and do not want to contend with a rear-wheel-drive vehicle on icy, snowy streets and roads.


Vehicle: 2018 BMW X1 xDrive 28i model

Type: four-wheel-drive, five-passenger, entry-level small luxury sport utility vehicle

Price: $35,900

Engine: 2-liter, 228-horsepower turbocharged inline four-cylinder

Transmission: eight-speed shiftable automatic

Fuel tank: 16.1 gallons

Fuel: premium

Wheels (alloy), 225 tires: 18-inch runflats

Length, width, height in inches: 175.4, 71.7, 62.9

Weight: 3,542 pounds

Payload: 899 pounds

Leg room: 40.4 inches front, 37 inches rear

Cargo 27.1 cubic feet rear seat up, 58.7 cubic feet rear seat down

Warranty: 4 year/50,000 miles with roadside assistance


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