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Even though it's only been in the lineup for two years, the BMW X1 fits in well with BMW's current lineup of crossover vehicles. The smallest of the lot, the X1 is sized ideally for urban dwellers that want a higher seating position and all-weather traction to go with the prestigious badge, but don't need the off-road pretensions and don't mind the sticky sticker price.
The 2014 BMW X1 appeals to rugged instincts, or perhaps more appropriately, adds confidence to those with snowy driveways. It has a tall ride height, decent amount of ground clearance, and a "go get 'em" look, yet with its shorter wheelbase and small back seat, it's a full step smaller than the X3 crossover, which should still be your choice if you're planning to have adults ride in the back seat. In the world of utility-vehicle styling, it seems that there are two schools of thought: You either go softer, more carlike, and understated (crossovers), or you go the assertive, aggressive, rugged route. The 2014 BMW X1 clearly congresses with the crossovers.
The X1 is a tall wagon, with the barest minimum of references to the SUV world. There's a bulge at the grille, some roof rails, and a little more ground clearance than you'd get in a sport wagon. The sides are curved and glassy, with its only straight edge at its sills. With four-cylinder xDrive28i versions of the 2014 BMW X1, you have a choice of rear-wheel drive (sDrive28i) or all-wheel-drive (xDrive28i). But if you crave excess, there's a turbocharged in-line six and included AWD in the X1 xDrive35i.
Altogether, that drivetrain's expected to generate 0-60 mph times of 5.3 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph; but the xDrive28i is surprisingly quick, too, and can do the 60-mph dash in as little as 6.2 seconds. With the four, the X1 feels perky and plenty strong, with 240 horsepower at 5000 rpm and peak torque of 260 pound-feet at 1250 rpm through 4800 rpm. It's coupled only with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift controls and stop/start.
The X1 is sized more like the subcompact crossovers available today than the compacts that are familiar to more buyers. By rough comparison, it's more Escape, Countryman, and Evoque, than X3, GLK or Q5, with a suitably tall roofline that also makes it something of a last-generation BMW 3-Series wagon. Inside, that comparison makes sense, because the X1's interior space measures up for most adults. Headroom is never really in question, and neither is elbow room. The center console isn't so wide that it claims too much space, but it does make solid contact with front-passenger legs on a regular basis.
It's from the center console back where you start noticing the X1's shorter cabin. Some difficult storage choices have obviously been made, as the USB port carves out a lump of its own from the bin that lies ahead of the shifter, leaving room for one cupholder behind the lever--which forces a second cupholder to hang precariously off the right side of the console. It's at times like these where you feel for a culture not raised on 64-ounce beverages--but front passengers who repeatedly bang their knees against the cupholder when getting in won't make these choices seem all that forgivable. Door pockets do help make up the difference for other items though.
The back seat does its best to overcome the short wheelbase span. It reclines for long-distance comfort and flips forward for cargo flexibility. Even when four adults are seated, there's enough legroom, but clearly not enough space for three across. For children, that's no problem.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.