The 2014 BMW X1's sharp handling and exciting performance are rarities for a small crossover SUV. However, it doesn't offer much utility and, when typically optioned, it's a questionable value alongside its roomier competitors in this price range.
One of Edmunds
Strong engines; sport sedan-like handling; quick acceleration; good fuel economy.
Small cargo capacity; less rear-seat room than other small luxury crossovers; automatic stop-start system is intrusive.
What's New for 2014
The 2014 BMW X1 receives minor updates to trim and equipment levels.
Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 BMW X1 SUV
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What's New for 2014
The 2014 BMW X1 receives minor updates to trim and equipment levels.
If you're looking for sporty performance, respectable utility and a luxurious vibe that's all wrapped up in a small package, the 2014 BMW X1 is a great place to start your search. The X1 was introduced to the United States last year and, despite a few key competitors, it remains a stand-out in the compact luxury crossover class.
The BMW X1 is as well-equipped and fun to drive as any other small BMW. It is essentially a smaller version of the X3, and the X1 uses the same engines as its big brother. Those engines include a strong yet efficient turbocharged four-cylinder or an even more powerful 300-horsepower turbocharged inline-6. The X1 is also 6.6 inches shorter in length and 5 inches shorter in height than the X3, and those dimensions help deliver sportiness and agility that many larger rivals can't provide.
Due to its petite dimensions, though, the X1 does have a few drawbacks. The most obvious of these is its lack of interior cargo space. With less than 15 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, long family vacations will pose a problem. And while small children will be OK in the back, there's really not enough headroom or legroom to comfortably accommodate adults or even infants in rear-facing car seats. Another consideration is the price of options on the 2014 BMW X1. Base prices for the X1 are attractively low, but the bottom line rises quickly as most upgrades are grouped in expensive packages. Granted, this is also the case on many other premium-brand crossovers, but it stands out on the X1, which can easily end up costing you as much as, or more than, competitors with more space and comparable equipment.
Among these roomier rivals are the Acura RDX, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class. None of them match the X1's raw athleticism, but the Audi is still pretty sporty and the Acura offers V6 power for about the same price as a four-cylinder X1. Another option is the Infiniti QX50 (formerly known as the EX37), which is similar in size to the X1 (albeit with a bit more cargo space), though its gas mileage isn't as good. If you want something more stylish, you could also consider the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque or, on the bargain end of the spectrum, the Mini Cooper Countryman. Overall, though, we like the 2014 BMW X1 because it actually delivers on its promise of being small, and this translates to classic BMW levels of performance in a compact luxury crossover. For consumers who don't need a lot of space, the X1 is worth a test-drive.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 BMW X1 is offered in three trim levels: sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive35i. The sDrive designation indicates rear-wheel drive, while xDrive models are all-wheel drive.
The sDrive28i comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic climate control, eight-way manual front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio input, HD radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. The xDrive28i adds all-wheel drive and hill descent control.
Besides its more powerful engine, the xDrive35i adds 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof and eight-way power front seats (with driver memory settings).
Although there are a handful of individual options, most available features are bundled into option packages, many of which must be purchased in combination with each other.
The Premium package adds the panoramic sunroof and power seats to the 28i as well as keyless ignition/entry, front-seat power lumbar support, auto-dimming mirrors and leather upholstery. The Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. A Lighting package adds the adaptive xenon headlights to the 28i as well as automatic high beams and interior ambient lighting for all. Opt for the Technology package and your X1 will have an 8.8-inch display, a navigation system, Bluetooth audio connectivity, iPhone app integration (including Pandora and Stitcher) and BMW Remote Services (which allows both Apple and Android users to lock the car remotely and turn on the climate control, among various other tasks).
The Driver Assistance package (which requires the Technology package) adds a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. The Ultimate package includes all the features of the Premium, Technology and Driver Assistance packages.
In addition to those packages there's a trio of "Design Lines." Two are mostly cosmetic: the xLine (Y-spoke 18-inch wheels and dark copper body accents) and the Sport Line (double-spoke 18-inch wheels, black body trim and multi-adjustable sport seats). The M Sport Line features enhancements such as an aero body kit; a choice of 18- or 19-inch wheels; a sport-tuned suspension; paddle shifters; a higher top speed limiter; and the multi-adjustable sport seats as well as cosmetic tweaks such as blackout window frames, unique door sills, unique red leather upholstery and wood/aluminum cabin accents.
Powertrains and Performance
The rear-drive X1 sDrive28i and all-wheel-drive xDrive28i are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 240 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard, as is a stop-start system that shuts off the engine when stopped to save fuel.
According to BMW, the X1 sDrive28i will go from zero to 60 mph in a swift 6.2 seconds, with the xDrive version just 0.1 second behind. EPA-estimated fuel economy is impressive at 27 mpg combined (23 mpg city/34 mpg highway) for the sDrive, and 26 mpg combined (22 mpg city/33 mpg highway) for the xDrive.
The X1 xDrive35i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, matched to a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard. In Edmunds testing, the X1 xDrive35i sprinted to 60 mph in a quick 5.8 seconds. The EPA estimates stand at 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city/27 mpg highway), which is actually better than some less powerful rivals.
Every 2014 BMW X1 comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with automatic brake drying), brake standby, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints and stability/traction control and (on xDrive versions) hill descent control.
Optional equipment includes front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Also available is the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance.
In Edmunds brake testing, the X1 stopped from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is similar to the larger and heavier X3. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the X1 received the best possible rating of "Good" in frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests. It received the second-worst rating of "Marginal" in the Institute's new small overlap front crash test, but few vehicles have been subjected to this test, and a majority received a similar rating or worse.
Interior Design and Special Features
The X1's cabin is typical BMW, meaning clear gauges, sensible ergonomics and solid build and materials quality throughout. BMW's iDrive electronics interface might seem complicated before you acclimate yourself, but overall, it works quite well for controlling various audio, navigation and smartphone functions, thanks to its straightforward menu design and fast processing times.
The driving position is more SUV than sedan. You sit high and peer down the X1's sculpted hood. The steering wheel is chunky and contributes to the sensation that this is a driver's car rather than a grocery getter. We've found that the base seats in the sDrive28i provide poor lumbar support and lateral bolstering, so we recommend opting for the available sport seats, which solve both of these problems. The rear seat is a bit flat (to allow it to fold down somewhat flat), and as expected, legroom and headroom for taller adults is tight. Nor is the X1 a good choice for parents with very small children, as bulky rear-facing child safety seats will likely force you to move the front seats uncomfortably far forward.
With the rear seats up, cargo capacity rates 14.8 cubic feet. Fold them down and space opens up to 47.7 cubes. Almost any other small luxury crossover SUV offers more.
Despite our love for BMW's fantastic turbocharged six-cylinder, the base 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine is still well suited to the X1's nimble character. Although the four-cylinder doesn't provide the same brute strength or throaty soundtrack as the six, it is smooth and passing power is more than sufficient. It's also impressively fuel-efficient. You also get an auto stop-start function to help save gas, but it can be an annoyance in heavy traffic, because the engine doesn't restart as quickly or smoothly as we'd like when transitioning between the brake pedal and the gas (fortunately, you can manually disable this feature).
While the optional M Sport Line upgrades give the X1 sharp reflexes on twisty back roads, the standard suspension provides enough capability to keep most drivers happy. 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 2014 BMW X1 is undeniably impressive.
My first BMW and I'm now caught in the Takata airbag mess. BMW felt it was safe enough for me to drive but not take in trade, "they also have a stop sale on any affected models". I contacted BMW and asked for and got a rental car. The dealer now has my BMW and at this point I have doubts about if and when I will ever see it again and I'm sure I will take a beating when I trade or sell it if and when I do. Do yourself a favor go to safercar.gov and check the vehicle ID number of ANY CAR you have or are looking to buy to check for open recalls! Avoid any car with a TAKADA airbag open recall like the plague. On the bright side I have a rental 2016 VW Jetta 1.4 that is almost as peppy as my BMW, has a better quieter ride is way more roomy and it is getting between 36-38 MPG. (The BMW only got 23 MPG average) I could almost buy three VW's for what I paid for my X1 BMW . NEVER AGAIN LESSON LEARNED.. Foot Note: Several manufacturers are still making cars with these deadly inflators buyer beware!!!!!
by Albert Wimmer on Apr 18, 2016 Vehicle: 2014 BMW X1
Drives very nimbly. Steering is easy on arthritic hands; in fact, that was one of the reasons we replaced a perfect 330xi. The only complaint I have is that the trunk release is near the trunk release and not easily reachable.
This is a great lil X1 and at a great price point for a 2014 used BMW. I downsized from my 2005 X5 which I loved and miss very much (had 160k miles and never a major repair or problem). I've always been happy with BMW's. I've owned 7, 5, 3 and X series throughout the last 20 or so years. The reason I down sized is because I'm a commuter and was looking for something that can give me 30mpg on the hwy. It was the BMW or Subaru. I've also enjoyed Subaru's and nowadays these are my only two choices of go to vehicles for cars as a daily driver. I'm a car enthusiast and have owned Ferrari, Mercedes, Lexus and plenty other luxury and sports cars. I'm not posting to brag I'm posting so the reader knows I have choices and know about many cars from first hand driving experience. This X1 is great in handling around town. I got this due to it's looks, compact size for ease of downtown parking, cargo area for placing travel bags, groceries and 60/40 split that I can slide in my surfboard. The only reason I didn't choose the Subaru is I really don't visit the snow that much. But if you get the X1 in the xDrive it'll be a very close match. I got the sDrive because it feels more like driving a sports car with that real wheel power and cutting in tight corners when I punch it around the twisties and I like that feeling. Go for the Ultimate Package as it'll include many features like Navigation, Rear Camera and Parking Distance Control.
What I miss is having that extra space or elbow room when I have passengers and sitting much higher up (comparing with my old X5). What I love better is the newer electronics and fuel efficiency and having the Ultimate Package amenities. If you're looking into a used X1 then go with 2014 or 2015 model years. 2013 was the first year this model hit the US and the 2016 has been completely redesigned in and out. The deals are on the 2014 for all the lease returns that hit and chances are you'll still get the 4 year/50k miles free maintenance plan that's remaining and Certified Pre-Owned near bumper to bumper warranty if you buy it from a BMW dealer. All the BMW dealerships I checked out actually had better deals compared to other car lots.
Base model X1, 2.8xDrive (very basic interior)
+ sporty feel and drive
+ great handling and feel on windy roads and highway
- tight feel up front 6ft male
- tight leg room for adult, tight leg room for 10 y/o male behind 6ft driver
- Unless low price is most important or harsh, but sporty drive is wanted, strongly consider 2016 model!
I have the 2014 xDrive28i model. The seats are cheap and not comfortable for a long drive. The acceleration is more like a Ford Escort than a BMW. The sales guy said it is because it is a 4 cylinder. No excuse. The BMW engineers should be ashamed of what they created. The navigation is ok, but feels more like my 2004 Infiniti G35 than a 2014. The steering and suspension are stiff. This is good for me. It's very loud on the road. You hear everything. The tires wear down very quickly. The dealer was telling me to replace them at around 13,000 miles. Ridiculous. Anyone, besides my kids, who gets into the car has a little trouble, no matter how I position the passenger seat. I've taken the car to the dealer a dozen times over the past 2 years for different problems (wiper blades not contacting windshield, bluetooth wouldn't connect, valve cover leaking oil onto intake manifold, and the list goes on). Thankfully, I only have one year left on my lease. It kills me to have to drive this car for that long, but it's the commitment/mistake I made. I feel like I got taken by the BMW logo. Won't happen again.
I purchased a new Acura RDX and traded it after 6 months for an X1. I missed the BMW driving dynamics and this car delivers! The steering is meant to be heavy and an engaging drive. Those who want softer should look to Acura or Lexus. The X1 is not as luxurious as the 3 or 5 series but the price tag makes up for it. I have the Premium and Tech packages, it has everything I wanted in features. Love the handling and hatchback style. So happy to be back in a BMW!
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