Consumer Reports: “2013 BMW X1 proves polarizing”

Videos | March 20th, 2013 by 7
bmw x1 images 111 750x500 Consumer Reports: 2013 BMW X1 proves polarizing

Consumer Reports give their take on the 2013 BMW X1 and as they described it, “you either hate it or love it”, no middle ground. …

Consumer Reports give their take on the 2013 BMW X1 and as they described it, “you either hate it or love it”, no middle ground.

Consumer Reports team was split in two:

Camp #1 views the X1 as basically a last-generation 3 Series wagon (which it is). That’s an inherently good thing. But that wagon was never offered in the United States with a potent engine, and it usually stickered for well over $40,000.

The X1 neatly solves both of those problems. It has the same powerful and efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as our 2013 Top Pick Sports Sedan, the 328i. It also has laudable old-school BMW steering feedback, something missing from the current 3 Series. And our modestly-equipped X1 stickered for $38,795–$1,700 less than the 325xi wagon we tested way back in 2006! What’s not to like?

bmw x1 images 111 655x436 Consumer Reports: 2013 BMW X1 proves polarizing

and the opposition….

Camp #2 counters–strongly–that the X1 isn’t really much car for the money. It looks sort of odd. The steering effort is crazy heavy, particularly when parking. There’s not much rear-seat room or cargo space. And some of the interior bits look cheap. If you skip the optional iDrive and its attendant expensive option packages, there’s better connectivity in a $17,000 Kia. And nearly $39,000 buys a much more practical vehicle, like the super-easy-to-live-with Acura RDX. One Subaru Outback-owning member of our staff got out of the X1, shook her head, and said “I can’t believe this car costs this much.”


BMWBLOG’s Chuck Vossler is currently testing the X1 in the snow in Colorado and we will have a full report in the upcoming weeks.

7 responses to “Consumer Reports: “2013 BMW X1 proves polarizing””

  1. Tom says:

    I think all the comments are accurate and valid. Ultimately, it comes down to personal taste.

  2. Lucky13 says:

    Overall it’s a pretty dumb review if you read the complete review and could apply to any BMW. Two examples are it says it should come standard with a rear view camera ( not aware of any BMW’s that do). Another example which is really dumb is it says for the same money you could buy a bigger vehicle. That’s about as dumb of a statement as I’ve ever read. I guess all cars should be sold by size now, if you can buy a Sonata for $22k a 3 series should be the same if they are the same price. Why buy an X5 if you can get a Suburban for the same price. Shouldn’t they be encouraging people to go smaller and better gas mileage? Rear visibility bad, I’ve read every car magazine review of the X1 and have never seen that one mentioned. Heavy steering, that’s called steering feel and why I bought one. They do have to admit it handles great and will fly. Not everyone wants a big vehicle Consumer Reports so yes there is a big market for smaller SUV’s.

  3. Kommodore says:

    I’ve been driving one as a loaner, while the 335i is in the shop. It’s the SDrive28i.

    I do concur with the handling. It’s surprisingly good. And, I found it really roomy. Especially compared to my E92. At least, it felt that way.

    The plastics aren’t the best, but honestly, if I had kids, I think hard plastics are easier to clean or deal with then a full leather dash! It feels like a fun vehicle to go to the beach in.

    It felt pretty torquey around town for what it is, the motor seems really happy, and the 8 speed gear box is very smooth. However, I felt that the manual shift option is pretty much a waste, I’d rather leave it in D, and save the fun driving for my manual 335.

    It’s also, comfortable. I really want to describe it as a really eager couch. I like to say my 335 has sporting intentions, and the X1 has sporting aspirations, haha. It’s not quite as good, but it’s definitely entertaining. A happy donkey. I also got used to the looks of it too. Perhaps I’m slowly being corrupted? So confused…

    Would I buy one? I dunno. I feel like I’d want to test out a few more options first. The other thing is dealing with the eventual carbon build up from that DI motor, which BMW have not implemented a solution for. I can say, that I definitely do not hate it.

  4. June says:

    Just took delivery of a new BMW X1 a month or so ago. Love everything about the car as it suits my needs to a T. The steering is so stiff – heavy when parking, backing up etc. that when I get home I have to take pain killers because my upper arms are very sore. I thought I would get used to this but it is still a huge problem. Therefore I will be selling the car.

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