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BMW X1: Jalopnik's Buyer's Guide

Illustration for article titled BMW X1: Jalopnik's Buyer's Guide

For a while now, the BMW X1 has been the cheapest way to own a new car with a blue and white Bavarian flag on the hood. It’s also been pretty fun to drive. But now there’s a new one. What do you need to know before you buy an X1? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in our Buyer’s Guide.


The BMW X1 has been BMW’s least expensive model in the U.S. for years now. It’s not cheap, per se, but it is a BMW that regular people can actually afford, and it’s also a BMW that regular people would want to own.

That’s because the X1 sits squarely in America’s cash-cow automotive segment. CUVs are the Black Friday X-Box deals of the automotive world. People are trampling each other to get their grubby paws on those Okay At Everything But Excellent At Nothing-mobiles.

But despite crossovers’ tendencies to be boring to drive, the first-gen X1 impressed us. Matt Hardigree wrote a few nice words in his X1 review: “Somewhere between a 1-Series hatch and 3-Series wagon in size, the X1 is a nice balance of sporty, capable, and luxurious.”

Whether the new X1 will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps remains to be seen.

What’s New About The 2016 BMW X1

Illustration for article titled BMW X1: Jalopnik's Buyer's Guide

The BMW X1 is all-new for 2016 and ditches the old E91 3 Series-based platform in favor of a Mini-based front-wheel drive platform. Seems like a step backwards to you? If you’re an enthusiast, the answer is probably “yes,” but if you’re one of the thousands of people who are actually going to buy an X1, there’s a good chance you don’t care which wheels are getting the twist.

On, and there’s also no longer an inline-six option, instead there’s only one engine option for now and it’s probably the least surprising engine of all time: a 2.0-liter turbo inline four with Auto Start-Stop.


That engine cranks out 228 ponies and sends those stallions prancing through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This setup promises better efficiency than the outgoing model.

In addition to the new powertrain and platform, there’s all new styling inside and out and significantly increased interior volume.


There’s only one model for 2016, the X1 xDrive28i, but a front-wheel drive sDrive version is reportedly on its way.

Which One We’d Buy

There’s only one BMW X1 to choose from for 2016, so we don’t have much of a choice here. How would we spec our X1 xDrive28i? We’d probably slap some heated seats in there and call it a day.


The M Sport Package does get you sport seats, an aero kit, an M steering wheel, a “sport automatic transmission,” and some bigger wheels, but at $2,450 for mostly appearance bits, it’s a bit much.

BMW also charges extra for any paint that isn’t non-metallic black or white, so we’d have to throw out another $550 for that. Our toasty-seated Chestnut Bronze Metallic X1 would come in at a total of $36,895 with destination.


For that money, we’re getting a 228 horsepower all-wheel drive CUV with an 8-speed automatic transmission, leatherette seats, selectable drive modes, fog lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, power front seats, floor mats, automatic climate control, Dynamic Cruise Control, 7-speaker audio system with 205-watt amplifier and the iDrive system with 6.5-inch center screen. That pricing is about in-line with competition like the Lexus NX.

[Build Your Own BMW X1]

Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $34,800 Top Speed: 130 MPH

Acceleration: 6.3s to 60

MPG: 22 city/ 32 hwy / 26 combined

Engines: 2.0-liter turbo I4

Max Horsepower/Torque: 228 hp/258 lb-ft [3.0L]

Curb Weight: 3,660 pounds IIHS Rating: Not Yet Rated

Transmissions: 8-speed automatic

Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, AWD

Photo credit: BMW



I recently spent some time in Menards trying to choose the best toilet seat. They have, like, DOZENS of the things for sale. I finally realized even the best toilet seat is still a toilet seat, picked a shiny white one, and went home.

So yes, if you must have one of these $35,000 appliances (It’s a BMW!) I’m sure this is the best one, but I still don’t see the point.