Overall: The body says BMW, but the platform is based on the Mini line; the new X1 is one of the least financially painful ways to move up to a BMW.
Drivetrain: An all-new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission makes less horsepower but about the same torque as before; All-wheel-drive is all you can get, for now.
The small-luxury wagon brigade just welcomed a new member, or rather, a previous member that has been completely rehabilitated from stem to stern. The X1 replaces the not-so-old original that initially landed here for the 2013 model year (it had kicked around Europe and elsewhere for a few years previously). This time, BMW has mounted the X1 logo on a chassis developed for BMW’s Mini division, which means it’s essentially a front-wheel-drive model with added all-wheel drive hardware similar to that used on the Mini Countryman. The system turns the front wheels only in ideal conditions, but can shift up to 100 percent of the torque to the rear wheels when traction warrant. Keeping the new X1 xDrive28i on the go is an equally new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of peak torque. That compares to 240 horses and 260 pound-feet for the previous X1’s base turbo 2.0. By BMW’s measurements, the X1 will reach 60 mph from rest in 6.3 seconds, or about the same as before. A front-wheel-drive X1 will be heading our way later in the 2016 model year. The previously available xDrive35i along with its 300-horsepower six-cylinder engine has been excised from the lineup. All X1s come with the usual assortment of amenities plus power-adjustable front seats, keyless ignition, heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, fog lights and 18-inch run-flat tires (19-inch versions are optional). An M Sport option adds paddle shifters and a sport suspension and seats, while the Premium Package gets you a panoramic moonroof and LED headlights. Other extra-cost equipment includes a navigation system, 12-speaker Harmon Kardon sound audio plus an array of the latest in crash-avoidance technologies that are part of a Driver Assistance Package.
Base price (incl. destination): $35,800
Type: Four-door compact wagon
Base engine (hp): 2.0-liter DOHC I4, turbocharged (228)
Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
MPG (city/highway): 22/32
Weight (lb.): 3,660