Replaced our 325iT because the new "Sportwagons" only came in AWD - out of our price range, heavy, and lower performance. A base model is affordable by BMW standards, but to get the rear-view camera, we had to buy the costly nav and "driver assist" packages. (This may not be true with the new X1 that's on the Mini chassis.) The best interior (IMO) is the extra cost Terra/Petrol leather (Milk chocolate with white/blue piping) which only came with the extra cost XLine Package that included 18 inch lower profile (harsher riding and more expensive to replace) tires. Not really for a large family of large people, but for our purposes, occasionally carrying four normal size adults, it's perfect. All that said, we stretched our budget for a well optioned car with a sticker of $49,500 and we love it. Downside: It came with run-flat tires, unrepairable, harder-riding and expensive to replace. The newer X1s can be had with a limited-service spare and non-run-flat tires.
Very cool good looking high build quality vehicle with peppy engine and precise steering with good road feel but still highly comfortable and luxurious. If you are not looking for a big vehicle, then this is definitely the one to get since it is more practical than a sedan like 3-series, but with all its fun. It is not cheap as some people suggest - if you add up all the options that are standard on 3-series, it gets more expensive than a 3-series. So in that sense it is better since the options are just that - optional.
I know that everyone is jumping in the small crossover SUV pool but the X-1 (in my opinion) doesn't really strike me as an SUV. What it strikes me as is a 3 Series of 2 generations ago, re-imagined as a sport hatchback. I've had mine for a couple months and I really couldn't be happier with my decision. Mine is loaded: Ultimate package, X-Line package, Adaptive Xenon Lighting package, Cold-weather package, etc. but I bought it as a dealer demo with 6,800 miles on it so it was about $8,000 or so below sticker. We are empty-nesters and my wife has a Ford Explorer so I really could have gotten by with a smaller sport sedan or even a coupe (I test drove both). However, I am a cyclist and backpacker so having a bit more utility in the vehicle I drive every day kind of put the X-1 over the top for me. Plus the price was lower than a 3 series or a 228i AND I really don't feel like I gave up much in the way of driving dynamics. With 240hp and 260 lb/ft of torque, there is simply gobs of power on tap in this 3,500 lb car. I got the rwd version (we don't get much snow if any) so it handles like a true German sports sedan. It's shorter (nose-to-tail), narrower and lighter than the 3 Series wagon and it's like 9 inches shorter (in height) than the X3 so it really is more of a hatchback than a wagon or SUV. I also like that it has 7" of ground clearance: not enough to introduce too much lean in the corners, but enough to not have to worry about hitting curbs and parking barriers in parking lots. It's a very nice touring car on your favorite 2 lane hwy (or even the interstate) and it scoots around town or back roads as zippy as you want to. It has plenty of headroom in front and back. Negatives? Leg room in the back is a bit tight for adults, only 2 will comfortably ride in the back (due to the transmission tunnel), and there's a bit too much wind and road noise on the interstate for a BMW (in my opinion--having owned BMWs before). All of that I can live with because the virtues of this car far outweigh the negatives.
I love my 2015 X1, and more so after driving a 2016. The 2015 X1 has a unique style and look that maintained classic BMW driver focused interior and handling. The Valencia orange makes the curves on the exterior pop. She handles beautifully and has been very dependable. The new X1 interior drives me nuts! It's cheesy! The 2015 is sleek and serious compared to the weird seat and dash configuration in the newer models. The 2015 knows what it's about and the 2016 is confused by trying to satisfy all the criticisms of the ignorant American car critics!
After 2000 miles in good and bad weather, I would say I'm satisfied but not amazed with the X1. This SAV is responsive and handles well. I was impressed with the stability in snow and ice. My disappointment is mostly with the base bluetooth interface. Old technology and not what should be standard on a premium vehicle. Like the transmission, hate the shifter. Is it a great value? Is it the best vehicle of its type? Perhaps not. It is my 5th BMW and 2nd currently owned. (Z4) something keeps bringing me back. If not the ultimate driving machine, it's a drivers vehicle and you don't get that from a subaru. Enough said. Update: 24,000 miles, MPG is avg24. On highway not any better. Gear selector is terrible and for this price point the Bluetooth should be much better. Overall, it's okay just not great. Least inspired of the 5 BMWs I've owned.