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BMW X1 Performance

Automotive journalists say the 2015 BMW X1’s base four-cylinder engine delivers zippy acceleration. The base X1 also earns better fuel economy estimates than most SUVs in the class, and critics praise the X1’s sharp handling and cushioned ride.

  • "Though it's the baby of the family, the X1 retains BMW's performance-meets-luxury persona, plus good fuel economy. Available in rear-drive or all-wheel drive and endowed with the same turbocharged 4- or 6-cylinder engines as its larger siblings, the X1 has spry acceleration and BMW's renowned dynamic handling that set it apart from rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Acura RDX and Buick Encore." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Being such a small SUV also helps the X1 feel nimble, whether it's around town or on your favorite back roads. In this way, the X1 definitely remains true to its BMW badge." -- Edmunds
  • "For anyone who prefers a spirited driving character in his little ute, the X1 is a good thing." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "In fact, it drives much like a BMW car." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 BMW X1 sDrive28i and xDrive28i come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. A 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard in the X1 xDrive35i. The base 2015 BMW X1 sDrive28i earns an EPA-estimated 23/34 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class.

Automotive journalists say the X1’s base engine delivers ample power for quick acceleration around town or on the highway. While some reviewers think the more powerful six-cylinder engine makes the X1 more engaging to drive, others say it doesn’t feel much stronger than the base engine. Critics also report that the 2015 X1’s start-stop system, which shuts the engine off when the vehicle is stopped to conserve fuel, doesn’t operate as quickly or as smoothly as they would like.

  • "You might think the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the best choice for fuel economy and you'd be right, but it's actually a spirited engine that delivers swift acceleration. Still, it can't match the entertainment you'll get from BMW's 300-horsepower turbocharged inline-6." -- Edmunds
  • "Whether scooting around the city or hauling down the highway, power delivery is excellent with either the feisty 4-cylinder that's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission or the stout 6-cylinder engine that uses a 6-speed." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "My biggest qualm, though, is with the start-stop system. We've gotten to the point where most manufactures have seamless transitions between full stop/engine-off and the engine winding back up. Perhaps it's my habit of wandering off the brake pedal at stops, but I noticed the start-stop working multiple times." -- Jalopnik (2013)
  • "BMW says the six is a full second faster to 60 mph (achieving the stunt in 5.3 seconds versus 6.3 for the four-wheel drive four-cylinder) but it sure doesn't feel faster. The four-cylinder xDrive28i is definitely the X1 to get." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 BMW X1’s small stature and low ride height makes its handling much sportier than that of larger BMW crossovers like the X3, test drivers say. They are also impressed that the X1’s sharp handling doesn’t compromise ride comfort. A few automotive journalists also report that the BMW X1 has strong brakes and responsive steering. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

  • "Despite its nimble handling, the X1 is commendably comfortable on the open road." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's a fine balance of low-speed ride comfort and high-speed stability, and the X1's smaller size and lower stance makes it feel noticeably more agile and responsive than the X3. It never quite replicates the sedan experience you'd get in the BMW 3 Series (a notably tough act to follow), but for a crossover, the 2015 BMW X1 is undeniably impressive." -- Edmunds
  • "The brakes were responsive and linear and easily capable of hauling the car down from triple-digit speeds without any drama." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "The steering was communicative, the suspension taut but never rough." -- The Los Angeles Times (2013)
Review Last Updated: 8/27/15

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