MotorTrend gets behind the wheel of the facelifted 2013 BMW X1.
Here are some of their first impressions:
“So how does the X1 drive? The xDrive 35i does seem to accelerate like one of those dangerous over-engined sleds from the ’60s, but without the danger. Funny thing is, eight-speed gearing and probably 300 pounds less weight make up for a good bit of the sDrive 28i’s 60-hp/45-lb-ft output deficit, making the acceleration lag feel like a whole lot less than the one second claimed by BMW (5.3 vs. 6.2). Our rear-driver also benefited from the M Sport package, and so felt perhaps a bit better buttoned-down, but still eager to understeer at the limit, and those limits were less clearly enunciated through the helm of the sDrive 28i, because that’s the only model to which electric power steering can be fitted.
The all-wheel-drive system crowds the electric motor, so all X1 xDrive models get BMW’s sublime hydraulic-assist steering — an endangered species to be protected and fostered. The six sounds sublime and has no detectable boost lag, but its aging six-speed is slower to shift and less engaging than the rapid-fire ZF eight-speed, which keeps the little N20 humming near its sweet spot. That’s why we’re guessing the slightly heavier xDrive28i might actually be the X1 to lust after. Couple xDrive with the M Sport package, and it gets a special performance programming algorithm that sends 80 percent of the torque to the rear during cornering, with a bit of braking to the inside wheel shunting torque outward to help rotate the car and ward off the understeer we felt in the rear-driver.”