2013 BMW X1 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong engines
  • sedan-like dynamics
  • quick acceleration
  • good fuel economy.
  • Limited cargo capacity
  • less rear seat room than other small luxury crossovers
  • automatic stop-start system is intrusive.
Other years
List Price Range
$8,500 - $13,900

Used X1 for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 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.

Vehicle overview

Looking for a fun-to-drive small luxury crossover that offers respectable utility along with dimensions that are actually small? Then you need to put the 2013 BMW X1 on your test-drive list. Smaller than its X3 brother but still related to both the 1 Series and 3 Series, the X1 offers the impressive performance you'd rightly expect from such a pedigree. And the X1's notably leaner dimensions -- it's 6.5 inches shorter in length and nearly 5 inches shorter in height than an X3 -- give it a more agile demeanor than its larger and heavier crossover rivals.

Although new to the U.S. market this year, the BMW X1 has been on sale in Europe for more than three years. This entry-level model sports plenty of power, as buyers can choose between a 240-horsepower turbocharged inline-4 engine and a 300-hp turbocharged inline-6 -- the same engines BMW offers for the much heavier X3. Either way, the baby Bimmer manages to be both quick and fuel-efficient. With the four-cylinder engine in place, the X1 gets to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and can deliver an EPA-calibrated 33 mpg. When the inline-6 is the engine of choice, 60 mph appears in 5.3 seconds and 24 mpg highway is the EPA number.

That's all pretty impressive, but the X1 does have a couple drawbacks. As you can likely deduce, the X1's smaller size translates to less interior room, particularly for cargo and rear passengers. It's also worth noting that while the BMW X1 sports an attractive base price, the bottom line can quickly escalate, as most optional features are grouped into expensive option packages.

The BMW X1 falls between smaller, agile crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and larger, more luxurious crossovers like the Audi Q5. You might consider the Acura RDX or Infiniti EX, both of which make driving and passenger comfort top priorities. For more overall practicality, the BMW X3 might be a stronger choice. Overall, we're impressed with the 2013 BMW X1 simply because it effectively combines a useful passenger package with the driving dynamics you expect from a BMW.

2013 BMW X1 models

The 2013 BMW X1 is offered in three trim levels that correspond to engine choice and whether it is rear-wheel drive (sDrive) or all-wheel drive (xDrive). Thus there are the sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive35i.

The sDrive28i comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, 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, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, 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 with washers, 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. Furthermore, some packages require another to be purchased as well.

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, leather upholstery and a garage opener for all trims. The Cold Weather package includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and, for the 28i, headlight washers. A Lighting package adds the adaptive xenon headlights to the 28i as well as automatic high beams and interior ambient lighting for all. A navigation system and BMW's Assist Safety telematics system come with the Technology package. The Driver Assistance package includes front/rear park assist and a rearview camera.

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 performance enhancements such as an aero body kit, double-spoke 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, a higher top speed limit, multi-adjustable sport seats as well as cosmetic tweaks such as blackout window frames, unique door sills and wood/aluminum cabin accents.

2013 Highlights

The 2013 BMW X1 is an all-new compact crossover that slots under the X3 in BMW's model lineup.

Performance & mpg

The X1 sDrive (rear-wheel drive) 28i and xDrive (all-wheel drive) 28i are powered by a turbocharged 2.liter inline-4 that produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard, as is a stop-start system that shuts off the engine to save fuel during periods when the vehicle is at rest.

According to BMW, the X1 sDrive28i will go from zero to 60 mph in a swift 6.2 seconds, with the all-wheel-drive xDrive version just 0.1 second behind. EPA-estimated fuel economy is impressive at 24 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for the sDrive, and 22/33/26 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 18/27/21, which is actually better than some less powerful rivals.


Every 2013 BMW X1 comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with automatic brake drying), 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.


We've always been huge admirers of BMW's inline-6, but for once, it's not the best choice. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 feels like a perfect match for the X1's nimble character. Although the four isn't quite as smooth or melodious as the six, it could never be described as harsh. The extra gears of the eight-speed transmission make a positive difference in making the most of the small engine's power.

The X1 28i model also benefits from a fuel-saving stop-start feature not seen in the xDrive35i, and although its intended contribution to fuel efficiency is admirable, its operation is not endearing. The engine and steering wheel shudder noticeably when the engine shuts down and again when it automatically refires when your foot moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator. The sensation can be disquieting and annoying, but thankfully you can manually disable this feature if you so choose.

Even without the optional M Sport suspension, the 2013 BMW X1 handles itself well on winding roads. There's a fine balance of low-speed ride comfort and high-speed stability. With its smaller dimensions and lower center of gravity, the X1 feels significantly more agile and responsive than the X3. It never quite replicates the sedan experience -- partly because BMW's 3 Series sedan is so sublime -- but for a crossover, the 2013 X1 is undeniably impressive.


The X1's cabin is typical BMW, meaning clear gauges, sensible ergonomics and solid build and materials quality throughout. BMW's iDrive electronics interface works well for controlling various infotainment and vehicle configuration functions. Like all such systems, it can seem complicated before you acclimate yourself.

Up front, the well-shaped buckets provide proper support, and legroom is generous. The rear seat is a bit flat in comparison (to allow it to fold down somewhat flat), and as expected, legroom for taller adults is a bit tight back there. The driving position is more SUV than sedan. You sit high and peer down the sculptured hood. The wheel is chunky and the elegant dials are instantly familiar.

With the rear seats up, cargo capacity rates 14.8 cubic feet (about the same as a midsize sedan). Fold them down and space opens up to 47.7 cubes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 BMW X1.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great Vehicle
My wife and I wanted a new vehicle that would be good on gas, fun to drive, 4 wheel drive, and have room for kids. This car meets all of the above. It has been great on gas for an SUV/SAV. When you drive the car you feel safe and solid. It is a pleasure to drive. The all-wheel drive system is awesome. We drove in the snow/ice and noticed no slippage of the wheels. Driving the same roads a few minutes later with my front wheel drive car I noticed a good amount of tire slippage. This car is built very well. The engine has plenty of power even though it is a 4 cylinder! The warranty is also another selling point for us. This vehicle is worth every penny!
X1 perfect and fun
David Miller,11/17/2015
sDrive28i 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
A small SUV with decent ground clearance in the 2WD version, it is perfect for two people and a pet to take on forest service roads to remote fly fishing spots, will hold bikes with the front tires mounted, accelerates briskly, gets good gas mileage, handles very well, and cruises effortlessly. At 50,000 miles we have had zero problems. At 60,000 miles still no repairs required.
Great fun to drive
xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I have a 2013 X1 x28i Overall its a lot of fun to drive both acceleration and handling. It is not really a SUV so if you are expecting a lot of space in the back, you have to put the seats down (which is a bit of a hassle) It has room for 4 passengers (can do 5 in a pinch) but can't do luggage for 4 I have had good gas mileage (high 20's) and good reliability There are some design features that are engineered not designed (cup holder is added on) but overall a good car Update - I traded my X1 in and my wife now has one (long story - I now have a 328XD and Maureen traded an older X3 for the X1) I would reaffirm my statement that the car is not really a SUV if you want to bring a lot of stuff around, but it is certainly a great car to drive. It has been very reliable for both of us. Be sure to get a backup camera And the standard lights are poore
Love this X1 as it handles great!
xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
If you want a great handling X1, go for the older model without the servotronic electronic steering, pre July 2014 production. Great road feedback!

Features & Specs

See all Used 2013 BMW X1 features & specs
More about the 2013 BMW X1
More About This Model

It's a curious paradox that as the average American continues to get bigger, their automobile is shrinking around them. When the BMW X1 was originally unveiled in 2009, it was deemed unsuitable for the U.S. market. BMW's product planners saw little appeal in a crossover that was no bigger than a 3 Series sedan but cost north of $30K.

Times have changed considerably since then. The success of premium compact SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque has convinced BMW that soccer moms are ready for a crossover with a smaller cross. That thinking suddenly made the X1 look like a good fit in the U.S., so to coincide with the vehicle's midlife face-lift, BMW is introducing the refreshed X1 to the States to see just how small Americans are willing to go.

Smaller, yet You Might Not Notice
At 176.5 inches long and 70.8 inches wide, the 2013 BMW X1 is 6.6 inches shorter and 3.4 inches narrower than the BMW X3. The wheelbase is also 1.9 inches shorter as well so the accommodations inside are predictably less generous. There's still enough room for four adults, however, and kids won't think twice about sitting in the backseats. Its cargo capacity of 14.8 cubic feet is similar to an average sedan in this category, and it can expand to 47.7 cubic feet with the seats folded.

BMW has come to appreciate that the X1 is not so much a stepping stone to the X3 as a credible alternative. Modest yet effective revisions to the exterior are joined by an interior makeover that takes the X1 upmarket. It still can't match the designer chic of the Evoque, but it no longer feels like a cast-off by comparison. The X1 has found its role in life.

The dashboard is typical BMW, logically arranged and angled subtly toward the driver. Opt for satellite navigation and it's enlivened by an iDrive control system. Storage space is adequate, but the clip-on cupholder still looks like a panicky afterthought, as do the USB input ports, which are bolted on to the fascia. You never escape the feeling that this car is a generation behind the new 3 Series.

In common with the new 3 Series, BMW is offering a series of "Lines" to help customers distinguish their new chariot (and part with more cash). The xLine seeks to bolster the X1's "activity" credentials with undertray guards, matte silver slats for the kidney grille and side skirt covers. The alternative is the Sport Line, which boasts alternative alloys, sport seats and black gloss detailing.

BMW is anxious to emphasize that these "Lines" should not be confused with the M Sport "Package," which boasts suspension and tire upgrades. In other words, Lines are for those who want to look the part, while packages are for buyers who want a little more substance.

Speaking of Substance
The entry-level model will be the rear-wheel-drive sDrive28i that uses BMW's new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine (an all-wheel-drive xDrive28i will be available as well). This engine is also used to fine effect in the new 3 Series and boasts 240 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,250-4,800 rpm. ZF's ubiquitous eight-speed auto is standard, and BMW claims the sDrive28i is good for zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds (the xDrive28i is 0.1 second slower).

To make the X1 a little more interesting, BMW also decided to offer the crossover with its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder. Available with all-wheel drive only, the xDrive35i is a U.S.-specific product that caters to our penchant for small cars with powerful engines. It's only available with a six-speed ZF auto and delivers 300 hp at 5,800 rpm and 300 lb-ft from 1,200-1,500 rpm. BMW says it's enough for a 0-60-mph time of just 5.3 seconds.

We've always been huge admirers of the inline-6, but for once, it's not the best choice. The 2.0-liter turbo feels a natural foil for the X1's character. In the real world it does feel a little slower and although the four isn't quite as smooth or melodious as the six, it could never be described as harsh. The extra gears of the eight-speed transmission make a positive difference, too, and this model also benefits from Eco Pro efficiency modes and automatic start-stop technology, which are not offered in the xDrive35i.

BMW's own EPA estimates suggest the sDrive28i should achieve 28 mpg combined (25 mpg for the all-wheel-drive model) compared with 21 mpg for the xDrive35i. Throw in the purchase price differential of $8,000 and it becomes hard to make a case for the larger motor.

Feels Like a Proper BMW
BMW is keen to present the X1 as a vehicle that combines the dynamic attributes of its sedans with the style of a crossover. The driving position is more SUV than sedan. You sit high and peer down the sculptured hood. The wheel is chunky and elegant dials are instantly familiar.

There are some subtle differences between each model. The 28i's gearstick, for example, is the latest techno-knob from the new 3 Series, while the 35i soldiers on with a more basic setup. It's a not-so-subtle reminder that its technology is a generation behind.

The sDrive has BMW's EPS electrically assisted steering while, for packaging reasons, the xDrive pair offer hydraulically assisted steering. BMW's engineers are adamant that EPS offers greater scope for dynamic tuning as well as improving efficiency. This may well be true, but there can also be no denying that for now at least, the X1's hydraulic system remains the more consistent and engaging companion. At low speeds in particular, the EPS feels somewhat artificial.

Even without the optional M Sport suspension, the X1 is a decent steer. It's not overtly sporting but there's a fine balance of low-speed ride comfort and high-speed stability. Body roll is well suppressed and you can press on with a confidence and security worthy of the propeller badge. With its smaller dimensions and lower center of gravity, the X1 feels significantly more agile and responsive than the X3. It never quite replicates the sedan experience — partly because the new 3 Series is so sublime — but for a crossover, it's undeniably impressive. In this respect, its most obvious rival is the Land Rover Evoque, which is significantly more expensive.

Another Reason To Stay Small
Whether you choose rear- or all-wheel drive will depend on where you live and how versatile you want your crossover to be. In normal conditions, the sDrive should have little trouble handling the power of the 2.0-liter turbo. The army of stability and traction control systems also does a fine job of managing matters in extremes. An sDrive28i on standard suspension would be our choice unless you really need all-wheel drive.

The xDrive system uses an electronic multiplate clutch linked to sensors from the stability control system to apportion torque to all four wheels, working to counter the onset of under- or oversteer. A hill descent system is standard, which automatically controls the vehicle speed down steep inclines.

Opt for the M Sport package and you also get what BMW calls Performance Control. This delivers a 20-to-80 front-to-rear torque split in standard conditions in an attempt to replicate the feel of rear-wheel drive. It helps a bit, but again, the xDrive35i is a little on the overpowered side so it never feels quite like a true rear-driver.

Final Thoughts
In Europe, with prices starting at almost $10,000 less than an X3, the X1 has a role to play. In terms of size and features, its most obvious rival is the Evoque and while it lacks the Range Rover's panache, it's appreciably cheaper.

The face-lift has also done a fine job of righting the wrongs of the original car. It looks more purposeful on the outside and of higher quality on the inside. It also has the right engine lineup for the U.S., as the smaller engine delivers great mileage while the larger option has the necessary power to make this a seriously quick crossover.

Is there really room for a crossover like the X1 in America? A seemingly never-ending penchant for anything that sits higher than a sedan would indicate yes. Throw in a price point that opens the door for a larger chunk of the buying public compared to the 3 Series and the X1 should do just fine, even if it's a little small for a crossover.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report

Used 2013 BMW X1 Overview

The Used 2013 BMW X1 is offered in the following submodels: X1 SUV. Available styles include xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), sDrive28i 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 BMW X1?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 BMW X1 trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i is priced between $8,500 and$13,795 with odometer readings between 73339 and191800 miles.
  • The Used 2013 BMW X1 sDrive28i is priced between $13,900 and$13,900 with odometer readings between 60127 and60127 miles.
  • The Used 2013 BMW X1 xDrive35i is priced between $13,495 and$13,495 with odometer readings between 62209 and62209 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 BMW X1s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 BMW X1 for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2013 X1s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,500 and mileage as low as 60127 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 BMW X1.

Can't find a used 2013 BMW X1s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW X1 for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $23,280.

Find a used BMW for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,723.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW X1 for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $15,671.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,314.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 BMW X1?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW X1 lease specials