2018 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Class: Premium Subcompact Crossover
Miles Driven: 463
Fuel Used: 19.2 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 24.1 mpg
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Driving mix: 40% city, 60% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/31/25 (city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium gasoline recommended
2018 base price (2019 base price is $34,950): $35,900 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on 2018 test car (standard/optional equipment has been changed slightly for 2019): Sunset Orange Metallic paint ($550), Convenience Package ($2500), heated front seats and steering wheel ($550), LED headlamps with cornering lights ($950), Park Distance Control ($800), Apple CarPlay compatibility ($300), wireless device charging ($500), navigation system ($950)
Price as tested: $43,995
The great: High-quality cabin trimmings; good passenger and cargo room within tidy exterior dimensions
The good: Lively acceleration; responsive handling
The not so good: Front-door apertures are small; some expected luxury features aren’t standard
The BMW X1 is a paragon of vehicle stability control—maybe just not in the way you’re thinking.
Released in its current form as a 2016 model, the only appreciable change to this premium compact crossover was the addition of a front-wheel-drive version for 2017. Virtually nothing new was done to the X1 for 2018, and minor trim changes are as much as the Bavarians had in mind for ’19. So even if Consumer Guide did get a very-late-arriving all-wheel-drive 2018 X1 to test, what we saw is (more or less) what you’ll get if you elect to buy its successor.
X1 is a mini sport-ute that’s also a Mini sport-ute. It shares a platform and a powerteam with the Mini Cooper Countryman—don’t forget that these two brands are corporate cousins. The X1 made some practical gains in passenger and cargo room by going this route for its second generation. In absolute terms it’s not huge inside—the X1 is on the big end of our premium subcompact SUV class, after all—but there is livable legroom and not bad headroom, and that goes for both rows. From the Caveats Department, rear seat backs are decidedly upright, and just two adults will fit in them.
Surroundings are pleasant but not overly plush. Standard upholstery is SensaTec leatherette (genuine leather costs extra), but the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. Soft surfaces are in evidence throughout the cabin. Controls are a mix of “vintage” BMW analog speedometer and tachometer dials in front of the driver with modern—but not universally beloved—iDrive console control and 6.5-inch dash screen for audio, navigation, and other infotainment functions. (Note that the Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity and navigation system that were options on the 2018 test truck have been made standard for 2019, though BMW is picking up the CarPlay hookup for just a year.) The automatic climate-control system employs convenient dials to set temperatures, with buttons—some repetitive-push—to manage system functions like fan speed, vent selection, etc.
There are several repositories for passengers’ personal items scattered around the cabin. However, the optional wireless charger in CG’s test vehicle filled one of them; it occupies the small space within the padded central armrest that’s positioned above the center console. In back there’s pretty good load space for a little ute. Liftover for cargo loading is fairly low, and the floor is flat, with cubbies in the rear corners for incidentals, and a little bit of underfloor space. When the need arises for additional cargo capacity, the rear seats fold flat in a 40/20/40 break.
The list of 2018 X1 xDrive28i standard features also logged 18-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate, fog lights, memory driver’s seat, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and AM/FM/CD audio with HD radio. The $35,900 starting price jumped to $43,995 with delivery and options like heated front seats and steering wheel, LED headlights, Sunset Orange Metallic paint, and a $2500 Convenience Package with a panoramic moonroof, satellite radio, and more. From that list some shoppers may find things that they would assume would be included in a luxury-nameplate vehicle without having to spend an extra dime.
One included premium touch is under the hood. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 228 horsepower, which matches the output of the Mini Countryman’s high-performance John Cooper Works model. Acceleration that is quite lively in the base “Comfort” mode becomes a degree more vivid in “Sport” mode, with different throttle response and shift behavior from the 8-speed automatic transmission. Highway cruising is quiet but commanding. There’s also an “ECO PRO” mode to tone down power delivery in the service of fuel economy. EPA fuel-mileage estimates for 22 mpg in city driving, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. CG editors’ collective 24 mpg neared the combined figure, though with a slight majority of highway driving that probably should have nudged fuel economy a little higher. While on the road, the AWD X1 rides comfortably most of the time and handles with precision.
As it moves into 2019 and the current X1’s fourth model year, BMW seems to be sticking with what it thinks works. Compact-SUV shoppers who value a rewarding driving experience higher than being catered to by luxuries may agree with that decision.