Below are the test drive notes of Consumer Guide Automotive Editor Don Sikora. Also check out Consumer Guide Automotive’s complete review of the 2013 BMW X1.
Acceleration: X1 is rather quick from a stop, but ECO PRO really dulls the throttle dramatically. Stop-start system seems slightly better than in the new 3-Series, but that doesn’t mean it is seamless.
Fuel Economy: 27.93 mpg over 125 miles on premium. Rick Cotta drove approximately 20 miles of city, and I drove approximately 105 miles of nearly all highway.
Ride Quality: Mixed bag for this M Sport with sport suspension and 18-inch tires. It’s pretty comfortable most of the time, but at highway speed the car goes over some bumps rather than really absorbing them. It’s not really harsh, but it isn’t cushy either. Worst condition was on rippled concrete section of Edens Spur before tollbooth. There the X1 rocked front-to-back with more vertical motion than I’d like. Kinda like a 1-Series or a Fiat 500 Abarth.
Steering/Handling/Braking: Nice feel and seems reasonably sporty.
Quietness: Maybe a 7 [out of 10]? Seemed reasonably quiet on the highway for the little time I drove it when it wasn’t raining hard.
Controls: Typical BMW. Must say, iDrive is way better for controlling radio stuff than some of these lousy touchscreen radios we’ve had through here lately (I’m talking to you, Subaru BRZ) or even the nav/radio in our recently departed long-term 2012 Honda Civic. Simple climate controls. Steering wheel feels great.
Details: Probably an easy 7. Maybe a low 8 even. Interior looks really nice with rich two-tone, nice plastics, beautiful brushed metal trim, and even a little piano black. The cargo area isn’t finished all that great though; there’s more trunk mat material than carpeting back there.
Room/Comfort (front): Pretty comfortable overall, with good headroom and legroom. Comfy seat. Only quibble would be that the console armrest is kind of far back so it isn’t all that comfortable as an armrest.
Room/Comfort (rear): I could sit behind myself if I moved the front seat up (where I still had enough room to drive). Getting in wasn’t too bad, but getting out was trickier since it was difficult to swing my feet out the small door opening without, like, lying over on my side. Good headroom.
Cargo Capacity: Has a shallow underfloor organizer in back and two side pockets. Rear floor has two removable “straps” that lay on the floor and can hold stuff down that’s put under them. Rear seats are split, and they fold down easily. The resulting floor is flat. Decent interior small-item storage includes a small bin in front of the shifter, a console box, two cupholders (one on a stalk that stands off the side of the console), a glovebox, and door pockets. Door pockets (and at least one of the rear pockets) include stretchy bands mounted on panel that things can slip behind to be held in place.