Premium compact SUV; Built in
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $20,300 – $30,900*

2014 BMW X1

2014 BMW X1

2014 BMW X1

2014 BMW X1

  • Acceleration
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Passenger room
  • Acceleration (ECO PRO mode)
  • Ride (M Sport Package)

This “premium-subcompact SUV” distills much of what we like about BMW’s X3 and X5 crossovers into a smaller package that’s surprisingly accessible to those of lesser means.


BMW called X1 a “Sub-Compact Premium SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle).” We can go along with that, though we’d still call this an SUV. Smaller in size and price than the X3, X1 actually borrowed much of its basic design from the premium-compact 1-Series cars. While BMW built the larger X3, X5, and X6 SUVs in the United States, the X1 was made in BMW’s native Germany.

Since X1 was smaller than every other vehicle in our premium-compact-SUV category, assigning direct competition was difficult. As such, we’d take price into consideration as well. Key rivals would have included the Audi Q5 and Infiniti EX37 as well as the redesigned-for-2013 Acura RDX.

As with the rest of BMW’s SUVs, X1 model names were code for the engine and drive wheels. It came as the rear-drive sDrive28i, along with the all-wheel drive xDrive28 and xDrive35i.

Standard on all 28i versions were automatic climate control, vinyl upholstery, Bluetooth wireless cell-phone link, and rain-sensing wipers. The xDrive model got hill-descent control in addition to all-wheel drive.

The xDrive35i had the same equipment as the xDrive28i and added power front seats with driver-seat memory, power sunroof, and steering-linked adaptive xenon headlights.

We mentioned it above, but it bears repeating here. The X1 sDrive28i was rear-wheel drive. The xDrive versions were all-wheel drive. 28i was powered by a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the 35i had a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder. An automatic transmission was standard across the board: an 8-speed for the 28i and a 6-speed for the 35i.

Standard on all X1s was a drive-mode selector that included what BMW calls ECO PRO, which softened throttle response as a way of encouraging more fuel-efficient driving. All 4-cylinder models included engine idle stop/start as a fuel-saving measure. In most situations, whenever the driver stopped the vehicle, the gas engine would shut off. It restarted again when the brake pedal was released.

The 2013 BMW X1 included a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features.

Yearly Updates

2013 X1
The X1 gained BMW Assist eCall and BMW TeleService as standard equipment for 2014.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

The 28i is powered by a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the 35i has a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder. An automatic transmission is standard across the board: an 8-speed for the 28i and a 6-speed for the 35i. The X1 sDrive28i is rear-wheel drive. The xDrive versions are all-wheel drive.

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
8-speed automatic


Turbocharged dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


Road Test

A rear-wheel-drive sDrive28i is the only X1 made available for us to evaluate so far. It’s quite sprightly with the drive selector in its standard setting. ECO PRO mode dulls throttle response and acceleration considerably. Some testers say that the drop in performance is not worth whatever fuel savings might be realized. The engine idle stop/start system received similarly mixed reviews. Though somewhat smoother in operation than other BMWs we’ve recently driven, the restart doesn’t always occur instantaneously and happens with a noticeable shudder throughout the cabin. Our test X1 never stalled, but it sometimes felt like it might.

Quite good, given X1’s power and rapid acceleration. In Consumer Guide testing, our rear-drive example averaged 25.2 mpg. All X1s require premium-grade gasoline.

Our sDrive28i test car was equipped with the optional M Sport Package, which includes a firmer suspension and low-profile tires. With this configuration, the ride is a mixed bag. It’s pretty comfortable most of the time, but the sport suspension doesn’t do a great job of absorbing bumps. There’s more hobby-horse pitching than we would like, and we observed some disconcerting secondary motions over sharp ruts and freeway rumble strips.

One of the best handling compact SUVs available. Crisp turn-in, minimal body lean, excellent grip, and strong brakes, all BMW hallmarks, are present here. If we had one gripe, it’s that the steering feels a touch too heavy at parking-lot speeds.

X1 is quieter than you would expect, even when shod with the M Sport Package’s performance tires. Wind noise is minimal, too. The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has a distinct BMW-like sound to it. Fans will love it. The uninitiated will need acclimation.

Models equipped with the optional navigation system include BMW’s iDrive interface, which also governs the audio system. It works quite well here, better than some cars that use a touchscreen for their navigation/infotainment systems. Recent hardware upgrades to iDrive make it respond much more quickly to user inputs. The climate controls are separate and simple to operate.

It might be one of the least costly BMWs, but the company did not skimp on the X1’s interior. The materials, detail finish, and assembly quality would not look out of place on an X5 SUV or 5-Series sedan. The cargo area doesn’t quite show the same level of polish as the passenger compartment, which is a touch disappointing.

X1 is small on the outside, but the front-seating area is quite spacious. Legroom is excellent thanks to generous seat travel. Headroom is similarly generous, even beneath the housing of the optional panoramic sunroof. Our only quibble is that the center armrest is mounted a bit too far back for optimal driver and passenger comfort.

There’s a bit more space in the back seat than in the BMW 3-Series Sedan. A 6-footer will fit, provided the front seat is moved up sufficiently. Headroom is as generous, as it is up front, even with the optional sunroof.

With the rear seat backs raised, there’s about as much space as in a small hatchback (think Audi A3). When folded, the load floor is completely flat, and the low floor makes loading larger items a breeze. The cargo area sports a shallow under-floor organizer and two side pockets to carry smaller doodads. In-cabin storage consists of a small bin front of the shifter, a somewhat cramped console box, decently sized glovebox, and massive door pockets.


Model Tested: N/A

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 7
Ride Quality - 4
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 5

Total: 62


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.7 176.5 70.8 60.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
47.7 16.6 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 40.0 41.4 34.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine misfire
Description: Faulty engine-position management may cause engine to go to reduced power mode. (2013-14)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak near cooling lines. (2013-14)
Electrical problem
Description: Engine may run poorly or not start because of damage to a wiring harness.(2013-14)

Recall History

2013-14 X1
Description: Brake power assist may fail resulting in a reduction of braking power.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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