2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i Lengthy-Time period Wrap-Up

From the October 2014 challenge of Automobile and Driver.

In case you’re into fantasy, the calendar runneth over with conventions you may attend dressed as a sci-fi or comic-book character. Who doesn’t look good as Yoda? However in case you simply wish to go someplace in costume, you may merely sit in site visitors in a contemporary crossover, pretending to be totally engaged within the “energetic out of doors life-style” that automotive entrepreneurs so fastidiously craft round such automobiles, and no person will name you a weirdo.

It’s into this costumed realm that BMW inserts its smallest crossover, the X1. This diminutive machine borrows its underpinnings from the E91 (previous-generation) 3-series station wagon. It’s taller and extra outdoorsy-looking than any wagon, although, and BMW hopes the “X” within the mannequin title additionally flips the swap in shoppers’ brains from “wagon = leprosy spreader” to “not a wagon = purchase.” Truly, there are formally two Xs within the title. Ours was an X1 xDrive28i, the lowercase “x” denoting four-wheel drive. Additional proof that the X1 is a wagon in disguise: That is the one capital-X mannequin that BMW affords with out lowercase-x four-wheel drive (the X1 sDrive28i drives solely its rear wheels; at $31,725, it’s the most cost effective mannequin in BMW’s present lineup).

However as a result of we’re situated in New Nunavut (a.okay.a. Ann Arbor, a.okay.a. Moscow on the Huron), we ordered our extended-stay X1 with four-wheel drive. We additionally ordered it with all the pieces however shift paddles and Servotronic variable-assist steering. Some staffers wished for the latter, because the steering was reasonably heavy at parking-lot speeds. We did add the Premium package deal (upgraded leather-based, keyless entry, and energy entrance seats), Driver Help package deal (rearview digital camera and proximity beeping), and the Expertise package deal (voice-controlled navi­ga­tion with real-time site visitors data). Verify all of these containers individually and also you’ll be handed a $7400 upcharge. However if you would like all three, you may simply test one field, the Final package deal, for a reduced $6650.


After which there’s the $3000 M Sport package deal (stiffer suspension, Pirelli P Zero run-flats, sport seats, and totally different fascias and rockers), $600 19-inch wheels, $500 heated entrance seats, $350 satellite tv for pc radio, and $875 Harman/Kardon surround-sound system. We’re not large on self-sacrifice.

Paint colours aside from black or white price $550, and for causes no person remembers, we selected Valencia Orange. So we ended up with an X1 costing $47,370 and painted to seem like highway barrel. That may look like rather a lot for a compact crossover, however it’s about $6000 lower than BMW asks for the present 3-series wagon with the identical degree of apparatus. Consider the X1 as a funds various. Or, given its tweener styling and seating place, consider it as high-water pants—a well-known article hiked up a few inches.

With these pants held up by the M Sport’s stiffer suspenders, roll was properly managed, and the Pirellis helped our long-term un-wagon cease from 70 mph in simply 151 toes. That’s a major 38 toes lower than we recorded in an earlier check of the same X1 fitted with all-season Pirelli Cinturatos, and higher than any current-generation 3- or 4-series we’ve examined.

Electronic device, Technology, Line, Gadget, Electronics, Parallel, Machine, Multimedia, Display device, Digital camera,

The proportions could also be totally different, however on the within, the place it issues essentially the most, the X1 is not that a lot totally different from the 3-series wagon.


Sadly, the P Zeros didn’t assist enhance a lot on that different X1’s 0.82-g skidpad lap, mustering simply 0.84 g when new and 0.86 g as soon as we’d diminished the tread blocks with use. Regardless of being one of many final BMWs with hydraulic steering, the X1 doesn’t have a very talkative helm, and its tendency towards understeer doesn’t make {that a} very enjoyable 0.86 g.

We’re mystified as to how a bit factor just like the X1 might presumably weigh 3824 kilos. And but, even towards that mass, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder feels robust. Its nice low-end torque and full-bodied, even pull from any rpm hucked the X1 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and thru the quarter-mile in 14.6 at 95 mph. The engine and ZF eight-speed automated are an awesome pairing, the latter orchestrating easy and imperceptible handoffs from one gear to the following.

Combining the game suspension with the biggest out there wheels and tires, the sidewalls of which have been pared all the way down to minimal top, turned out to be a nasty thought. Virtually everybody who drove the X1 complained about its harsh journey. The X1’s tidy measurement and upright seating place could make it a really perfect city cruiser, however the warty roads round southeast Michigan simply made it disagreeable. And when a pothole inevi­tably poked a gap in a run-flat Pirelli, we discovered neither a spare nor a can of Repair-A-Flat within the trunk. The proprietor’s handbook mentioned, “Use the Power, dummy!” or phrases to that impact, so we limped the tripedal X1 on, grumbling that the supposed pain-deferment provided by run-flats is just one extra chip within the dying artwork of self sufficiency.


The logbook bloated with complaints about different refinement points. Noise from wind, the highway, and chilly brakes within the winter have been frequent targets, as was seat consolation. Whereas we preferred the cabin’s glorious outward visibility, we discovered the entrance seats too onerous and the rears too small for all however the youngest youngsters. However no function was so loathed because the stop-start system. On restarts, the engine sends an uncouth jolt by means of the X1’s construction. At lengthy lights, it generally refired whereas the automobile was nonetheless stationary, and the driving force felt a sudden tug towards the brake pedal. Fortunately, there’s a button to disable it.

At a light-weight in Chicago, our X1 skilled a good ruder jolt. Regardless of our eye-searing paint job, the driving force of a Nissan Altima failed to note the stopped BMW and slammed into it from behind, folding the tail pipe below the automobile and denting the hatch. The X1’s reputation in Europe meant that elements have been sluggish to reach, as all the pieces BMW might produce was going onto new automobiles, we have been instructed. And so our Flori­da Sunkist wagonoid spent almost a month on the physique store. And a month after we paid that $3655 invoice, we wrote one other test, this time for $468 for a brand new windshield. Ten days later, we took the X1 to the dealership for a brand new right-front wheel bearing, changed below guarantee.

Due to BMW’s Final Service program, which covers scheduled upkeep for the primary 4 years or 50,000 miles, our non-damage-related prices have been nil. We took the X1 in for 4 providers. At 11,766 and 22,571 miles, our vendor administered scheduled oil adjustments and inspections. At 29,090, we took it in forward of schedule as a result of BMW dealerships are extra frequent in our space than they’re round Darby, Montana, the place John Phillips held the X1 in isolation for 5 months. And with 39,780 miles exhibiting, it went in for a last service, throughout which technicians addressed a recall referring to the brake system’s vacuum pump.


Pushed by the consumption camshaft, the pump may not get sufficient lubrication and may fail, leaving the X1 with unboosted Mannequin A brakes. A brand new spring governing the oil move into the pump set issues proper, and, in an act of supreme benevolence, the vendor even changed our lacking rear wiper freed from cost. For the second time. One of the best rationalization we are able to provide you with is that it’s weak to automated automobile washes.

Over the course of its 40,000 miles, the X1 didn’t win many associates. BMW’s different crossovers proceed to astound us with agility that defies their measurement. However with its flinty journey (okay, partially our fault) and boring steering, the X1 shouldn’t be as partaking because the 3-series wagon it’s making an attempt so onerous to not be. Our on-line employees simply added an arresting Estoril Blue wagon to its long-term fleet. Nowhere in that automobile’s logbook does anybody say they need BMW had dressed it as much as seem like a crossover. —Jared Gall


John Phillips: The journey is unacceptably impolite. It’s not obligatory for me to really feel each single pebble and highway irregularity.

Jeff Sabatini: One of the best factor concerning the X1 is that BMW appears to have made a clerical error in its pricing. You may get the equal of a 3-series wagon for an $8000 low cost on a base MSRP.

Mike Sutton: It’s mainly a $50K Nissan Juke.

Alexander Stoklosa: I miss out on why anybody would spend almost $50,000 on one thing that’s much less helpful than a Mazda CX-5.

Erik Johnson: The stop-start system’s harshness is embarrassing.

Eddie Alterman: This could have been the good individual’s strategy to get a brand new E91 wagon. It’s by some means lower than the sum of its elements.

Don Sherman: Concluding ages in the past that four-wheel drive is for wimps, I’d purchase the rear-drive model of the X1 to clip $1700 off the value.

Aaron Robinson: This automobile makes me despise Michigan, its journey is so unhealthy. It brings out the worst of the damaged roads.

Daniel Pund: Say what you need about this jacked-up wagon, however at the least our M Sport model doesn’t carry simulated skid plates and the ribbed plastic cladding of another pseudo-SUVs.

Juli Burke: To totally shut down the automobile, you must push the ignition button twice: first to cease the engine, then to show off the equipment.

Each time onlookers ask about our long-term BMW X1 xDrive28i, we astonish them with two details: First, this crossover—it appears to be like to us like a wagon, however for the love of the pharaohs, don’t point out that to Individuals—weighs an astounding 3824 kilos. Second, though the X1 is the most cost effective car in BMW’s fleet—rear-wheel-drive variations begin at $31,725—the as-tested value of our all-wheel-drive instance pokes the stratosphere at $47,370.

The surprising sticker is partly our fault. We optioned up our X1 to incorporate extras such because the $3000 M Sport Line package deal, $600 19-inch wheels, and the $6650 Premium package deal that provides a monster sunroof and energy entrance seats. (Shouldn’t all BMWs have energy seats?) Nonetheless, 47 grand is just Godzilla cash for an all-wheel-drive wannabe SUV that’s barely smaller in exterior dimensions than a Mazda CX-5 or Nissan Rogue.

We final reported on our X1 when its odometer confirmed 20,217 miles, again in July 2013. Six months later, our Valencia Orange X1—the paint was one other $550—has racked up 12,462 further miles and has visited Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, South Dakota, Wyoming, Quebec, and Montana. At none of these locations did anybody reward the X1’s peculiar proportions—“an anteater nostril hooked up to a fridge,” provided one heartless Montanan. Peculiar form or not, the bodywork evinced nary a flaw till the X1 was cruelly rear-ended by a Nissan Altima in Chicago at 24,105 miles. Our X1 sauntered away with mere bruises, however the Altima was spewing fluids and limping like a rodeo clown—apparently mortally wounded. Repairs for the X1 price $3655. We additionally cracked the windshield at 26,749 miles, which set us again $468. And at 28,643 miles, we needed to rectify a coffee-grinder rumbling emanating from the right-front wheel. Yep, a failed wheel bearing, which BMW changed free of charge, with an apology.


Relationship Constructing

Our marriage to the X1, like all marriages, has weathered some rocky shoals. For starters, the automated stop-start system is confounding. It transmits a too-harsh shudder by means of the automobile on startup, and it will not work in any respect if the ambient temp is under 37 levels Fahrenheit. Neither will it work in “sop-and-go site visitors,” because the proprietor’s handbook describes it. Actually? Which signifies that, in our fingers, we’ve left the system largely disabled.

We even have points with the steering. At freeway speeds, it weights up properly and is sufficiently correct if considerably numb. However at parking-lot speeds, the steering is so heavy that you just’ll wish to apply each fingers for leverage, as if gripping an ax deal with. It’d do wonders to your biceps, however we’re now questioning if BMW’s Servotronic variable help may need been the higher route.


However our largest beef is that the X1’s journey is brittle, creeping up on abrasive. Sure, we have been the fellows who ordered the M Sport Line package deal with its dictatorial underpinnings, however there are many different M-badged BMWs that don’t lacerate your kidneys. On high of that, the game seats—though properly bolstered—are slender and as onerous as cold-rolled metal. After a three-hour stint, one in all your cheeks will doubtless go numb. At fuel stops, we bought right into a routine of performing leaping jacks to revive feeling. And one last gripe: We’re making an attempt our hardest to embrace a BMW motivated by 4 cylinders, however we’d have a neater time of it if the mileage exceeded 24 mpg.

Slap and Tickle

On the upside, the X1 evinces wondrous roll management and is a pleasure within the hills. It attains 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, which makes us marvel how fast it may need been if it have been 358 kilos lighter—the burden of a Subaru Forester 2.5i. With the rear seats flattened, the cargo bay swallowed a 64-gallon trash can. The Eco Professional system, which softens throttle tip-in and encourages untimely upshifts, works superbly as a snow-and-ice setting. The X1 sits up excessive, with huge headroom and a giant slab of a windshield affording panoramic sightlines down vary. Its platform feels as assured as an Eagle Scout. Aside from our personal self-inflicted harm, the automobile has up to now been an affordable date.

However nearly each editor who has pushed our Valencia orange greater than 500 miles has mentioned, “Not unhealthy, however for $47,000, I’d reasonably have a 328i xDrive sports activities wagon [starting at $42,375].” Our marriage to the X1 clearly received’t finish in divorce, however tune in 7321 miles from now, when a compelled separation is remitted. Let’s see who will get the final phrase. —John Phillips

Months in Fleet: 13 months
Present Mileage: 32,679 miles Common Gasoline Economic system: 24 mpg
Gasoline Tank Dimension: 16.6 gallons Gasoline Vary: 382 miles
Service: $140 Regular Put on: $0 Restore: $0
Harm and Destruction: $4123

By now, everyone knows that everybody is meant to be driving smaller automobiles. However we’re not doing an excellent job of it. At nearly each redesign, vehicles and vans acquire measurement, mass, or each. Even the smallest automobiles usually get larger when redesigned, making a cycle whereby the underside slot opens up, able to be stuffed by a brand new, smaller mannequin. Inside BMW’s SUV lineup, the X3 was the little man, however after a few redesigns, it had grown sufficient to open up area beneath it for its personal little brother.

Enter the X1, BMW’s latest and smallest mannequin line. By giving it an alphanumeric label starting with an “X,” BMW signifies that it considers this a crossover. But it surely appears to be like an terrible lot like a wagon, and its suspension is an terrible lot like that of a 1-series, which is in flip very like that of an E90 3-series. We have been pondering of the X1 as a 3-series wagon, however then BMW launched the newest 3-series wagon. So now the X1 is again to being a tiny crossover that, with its tall windshield and ethereal greenhouse, appears to be like sort of like a startled station wagon.


Going for Broke

“Startled” additionally precisely describes many staffers’ reactions to our X1’s sticker. At a base value of $31,725, the X1 is the most cost effective car in BMW’s present lineup. All-wheel-drive four-cylinder X1s carry an entry value of $33,395. The one possibility not on ours, nonetheless, is the Servotronic variable-assist energy steering. For $250, we bought BMW Apps smartphone integration, which nearly all of us are morally against on the grounds that smartphone apps are tremendously distracting irrespective of the way you work together with them. Satellite tv for pc radio price $350, although we’ve already upgraded to a Harman/Kardon sound system for $875. For $3000, the M Sport line provides a firmer sport suspension, M wheels, an aerodynamic physique package, sport entrance seats, and numerous different trim bits, however it took one other $500 to get these seats heated and one other $600 so as to add an inch to the wheels, making them 19s. Valencia Orange paint (it has already gotten us waved at by one DPW truck driver) was $550, and although the $6650 Final package deal features a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, Consolation Entry keyless entry, navigation with real-time site visitors data, USB and iPod adapters, and voice controls, it’s not so final that it contains xenon headlights, automated high-beams, or ambient lighting. That stuff is included within the $1200 Lighting package deal. Our as-tested value: $47,370.

Its midwinter arrival coinciding with a glut of machines extra preferable for highway journeys, the X1’s mileage accumulation bought off to a sluggish begin. To this point, its largest outing has been a jaunt throughout the border to Montreal for a marriage. The journey gave us ample time to ponder that mixture of 19-inch wheels and sport suspension. On tough roads, it makes for lots of harsh impacts and a not-so-smooth journey. And the 225/40-19s’ quick sidewalls make them reasonably weak. One notably indignant pothole, encountered proper after the summer time tires went on, price us our left entrance Pirelli P Zero run-flat and $435 for a brand new one.


We’ve had one cease for normal upkeep—an oil change at 11,766 miles that was coated below BMW’s Final Service free-maintenance program—and two different vendor visits for small fixes, each coated below guarantee. With 5439 miles on the clock, the correct taillight bulb burned out. For the reason that bulb is built-in into the housing, although, the complete meeting wanted to get replaced. About 7000 miles later, we seen that the X1’s tiny rear-window wiper blade was lacking. No downside. On the dealership, new blades are “free to house.”

A Acquainted 4

The high-visibility orange dinghy’s tidy measurement, giant greenhouse, and tallish seating place make it an awesome automobile for city commuting, though our noticed gas financial system of 23 mpg trails that of our long-term 328i—it has the identical 2.0-liter turbo 4—by 4 mpg. No small a part of that discrepancy is owed to the X’s 3824-pound curb weight, which surpasses the three’s by simply shy of 400 kilos. The ten-or-so-percent dollop of additional mass dings the X1’s efficiency as effectively, with 0 to 60 mph taking 6.0 seconds in contrast with the 328i’s 5.6 and the quarter-mile passing in 14.6 at 95 mph as a substitute of 14.2 at 100. However, though the X1’s 0.84-g skidpad efficiency trails that of the 3-series by 0.04, the X1’s 151-foot cease from 70 mph is 14 toes shorter than the 328i’s efficiency (little question aided by the X1’s optionally available ultra-sticky P Zero summer-only tires). In each automobiles, the automated stop-start engine operate has drawn criticism for being too harsh. Fortuitously, there’s a button on the sprint to show it off. Bummer that extra vehicles don’t have sprint buttons that immediately repair the issues we complain about. We’ll add extra such buttons to our want record (and maybe discover extra concerning the automobile to like, like, and respect) because the X1’s keep continues. —Jared Gall

Months in Fleet: 7 months
Present Mileage: 20,217 miles Common Gasoline Economic system: 23 mpg
Gasoline Tank Dimension: 16.6 gallons Gasoline Vary: 382 miles
Service: $0 Regular Put on: $0 Restore: $0
Harm and Destruction: $435


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