We Like: The translation of BMW styling; tons of interior space.
We Don’t Like: The narrow, flat front seats; chassis with an identity crisis.
The BMW X1 was easily the most controversial vehicle of the test. No other SUV or crossover provoked more argument or more polarized opinions. What one judge loved, the next hated. More time was spent debating whether the Mini-based X1 was finalist-worthy than any other contender, and it eventually missed the cut by the slimmest of margins.
Ed Loh and Alisa Priddle thought it handsome. Angus MacKenzie and Scott Evans disagreed. Frank Markus thought the interior looked rich. Jason Cammisa and Christian Seabaugh felt like it was full of cheap plastic. Chris Walton and Cammisa liked the handling. Most everyone else was unimpressed. Walton liked the steering feel. Seabaugh described it as a “Mini steering box on novocaine.” Seabaugh and Evans were unimpressed with the cargo space, but the rest found it reasonably large for the class.
There were some areas we (mostly) agreed on. Everyone but Seabaugh thought the rear seat was surprisingly spacious for a compact crossover. We agreed that the X1 comported itself on our off-road loop but that its ride over rough pavement was rather flinty.
The powertrain got mostly high marks, although Mark Rechtin encountered a few bad shifts and Markus thought the Sport mode could use work. Loh and Markus also remarked on how quiet the interior was at freeway speeds.
In all, we found the X1 confusing and unsure of itself. Is it a proper BMW? A Mini by way of Savile Row? Is it a nice little luxury crossover or badge engineering gone awry? One thing we could agree on: There was no consensus to advance it to the finals.
|2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||121.9 cu in/1,998 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||228 hp @ 5,000 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||258 lb-ft @ 1,450 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||16.3 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.0-in vented disc; 11.8-in vented disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||7.5 x 18 in cast aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||225/50R18 95V (M+S) Pirelli Cinturato P7 (run flat)|
|TRACK, F/R||61.5/61.5 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||175.4 x 71.7 x 62.9 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||7.2 in|
|APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE||Not available|
|TURNING CIRCLE||37.4 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,708 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||57/43%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||Not rated|
|HEADROOM, F/R||41.9/38.2/— in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||40.4/37.0/— in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||55.6/55.2/— in|
|CARGO VOLUME||—/27.1/58.7 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||3.9|
|QUARTER MILE||15.2 sec @ 90.5 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||122 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.85 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||26.8 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)|
|0.0-MI ROAD COURSE LAP||00.0 sec|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,600 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$42,895|
|AIRBAGS||Dual front, f/r curtain|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/Unlimited miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||16.1 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||21.2/33.0/25.3 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||22/32/26 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||153/105 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.76 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|