Car Review: BMW introduces the X1 to America

It’s smaller than the competition, but the BMW X1 packs a punch nevertheless. Photo: BMW X1 Photo by Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, May 15, 2013 — The BMW X1 is a crossover SUV with the BMW moniker, which means first class in every way. Expect a capable engine on the 2013 BMW X1 with a large cabin, even though this BMW is smaller than other crossovers in its class.

Just introduced for 2013 in the BMW American lineup.

Just introduced for 2013 in the BMW American lineup.

All new for 2013, the BMW X1 comes in as a sibling to the X3 and was actually introduced to the European market several years ago.

With about zero to 60 in a short six seconds, competition for this BMW stands with the  Acura RDX, Infiniti EX and the Mazda CX-5.

With three trims on the 2013 BMW X1, the choice of trim will correspond to the engine you choose from the sDrive28i, xDrive28i or the xDrive35i.

On the sDrive28i trim, you get 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, fog lamps, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic climate control, eight-way manual front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seats along with audio goodies like Bluetooth phone connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface, an HD radio, and iPod/USB audio interface. This trim in the xDrive28i will also give you all-wheel drive and hill descent control.

A bit more powerful is the xDrive35i trim with 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights with washers, a panoramic sunroof, and eight-way power front seats. You can also opt for a number of features and packages starting with the Premium package that adds the panoramic sunroof and power seats to the 28i and a keyless ignition/entry, front-seat power lumbar support, auto-dimming mirrors, and leather upholstery.

There is a Cold Weather package with heated front seats and steering wheel and on the 28i trim, you also get added headlight washers. For the Lighting package, the addition is adaptive xenon headlights to the 28i and automatic high beams and interior ambient lighting for any of the three trims.

There is a Technology package with a navigation system and finally a Driver Assistance package that will give you front/rear park assist and a rearview camera. In addition to those packages, there are also what is called “Design Lines” with alterations that can be made in regard to wheels, body trim and sport seats.

Under the hood, the 2013 BMW X1 has a variety of options. The X1 sDrive has rear-wheel drive and the 28i and xDrive has all-wheel drive while the 28i is a turbocharged 2.liter inline-4 with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. You will get it in an eight-speed automatic so expect a stop/start system that turns off the engine when the car is stopped to allow for better fuel economy.

The X1 xDrive35i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine that pumps out 300 horsepower and 300 pound feet of torque with a six-speed automatic engine, coming in as an all-wheel drive.

Safety considerations on the 2013 BMW X1 include antilock disc brakes with an automatic brake drying, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, and stability/traction control. Some of the options, depending on packages, are front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.

Inside this BMW, it’s typical as expected from this brand with easy to read gauges and dials and a tough feel with good quality materials used throughout. Take note of the iDrive electronics interface, allowing for better functionality.

You will likely also appreciate the comfortable seats, which are bucket seats that feel good and provide just the right amount of support. Legroom is ample in the front seats, but a bit tighter for the taller passenger sitting in the back. Overall, it is 14.8 cubic feet with the seats up and when folded down for more cargo you get 47.7 cubic feet.

The BMW brand always feels good, so this new introduction in the American market is a repeat of that, but particularly when you opt for the turbo with extra gears that add punch either of the four or six-speed variety, allowing the driver to indeed take the show on the road.

Should You Need to Know: The X1 is leaner and also six-and-a-half inches shorter in length; that’s nearly six inches shorter in height than its X3 brother. 

Miles Per Gallon: The BMW X1 xDrive28i I drove got 22 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: For the BMW X1 xDrive28i trim, cost is $45,595 with several of the option packages also included into the price as well.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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