Could BMW X1 become BMW’s best-selling SUV?

BMW X1 | September 29th, 2015 by 14
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The brand new F48 BMW X1 made big headlines by being the first front-wheel drive based BMW SUV in the brand’s storied history. The switch from …

The brand new F48 BMW X1 made big headlines by being the first front-wheel drive based BMW SUV in the brand’s storied history. The switch from rear-wheel drive to a front-wheel drive-based platform was largely a practical one, not a one based on performance. We all know that rear-wheel drive is better for performance, but that’s not the X1’s main objective. The idea of switching the X1’s driven wheels is that it’s less expensive to make, more compact which leads to better interior and cargo space and the majority of customers can’t tell the difference.

The small SUV segment is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, segment on the market right now. Customers flock to these small utility vehicles each and every year. So it’s a very important segment for BMW, even it enthusiasts bemoan such a thing. Currently, BMW sells a ton of X3 and X5 SUVs. The X6 and X4 not so much, but then again, those are niche vehicles and aren’t expected to sell as much as their more mainstream siblings. But the X1 might become a more enticing package than other BMW SUVs, especially more than the X3.

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Most customers who buy smallish SUVs, even luxury SUVs, are after more practical traits than performance ones. Things like space, comfort, safety, features and price. Being that all X1’s in the US market will be sold with xDrive all-wheel drive, US customers won’t know or care about which driven wheels the X1 defaults to without xDrive. But they will notice that the new X1 also offers more interior and cargo space over the previous car, offers excellent fuel economy, decent performance and loads of comfort at a great price. So for that kind of buyer, which most small SUV buyers are, the F48 BMW X1 is an excellent package, even if enthusiasts might claim the 3 Series wagon to be the superior car.

With that in mind, and the fact that the X1 is one of BMW’s cheapest vehicles and its cheapest SUV, the X1 is going to fly off of dealer lots. People want crossovers more than anything else and with the X1 being one of the most affordable BMWs, even more so than the 3 Series, it’s a no-brainer for most customers. It’s even possible that many customers will get out of their 3 Series and get into the X1. due to its superior value proposition. With that said, what’s to stop the X1 from becoming BMW’s best-selling SUV, and maybe even best-selling car?

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The new X1 is all things for most BMW customers. It’s an incredibly practical package at a low price, something anyone can get behind. But it’s actually still fun to drive and has decent performance. The X1 might be one of BMW’s best deals, even for enthusiasts with small families. The majority of customers don’t care about front-wheel drive and many enthusiasts can get over it, understanding the decision behind it. So the F48 BMW X1 may just take the sales lead over cars like the X5 and X3.

14 responses to “Could BMW X1 become BMW’s best-selling SUV?”

  1. Chris Llana says:

    “We all know that rear-wheel drive is better for performance . . .”


    If you read this July 29, 2015 BMWBlog post, you know that a FWD Honda Civic beat a BMW RWD F80 M3 around a race track. Hmmm.

    • dc says:

      So I guess I’ll have to buy the BMW for its looks. We also know the Civic is the fastest car on the road because invariably they are the ones cutting into the gap in front of me & other cars.

    • dc says:

      Explains why race cars are fwd. Oh, they’re not, are they?

    • FilipMPower says:

      Not a very reliable source. The M3 wasn’t driven properly, besides, the track is very narrow and favors short wheelbase cars, I bet on a real racetrack such as the nordschleife or spa, the m3 will beat it significantly.

    • Senne says:

      It “beats” the M3 cause that guy can’t drive a RWD car properly!! He’s sliding around the track. Anyone knows that costs time. If you’d put someone in the M3 for a fare comparison the results would’ve been different!

  2. Lucky13 says:

    In response to the Civic test, what do you expect when he starts the test already moving 60 mph? The BMW would have picked up 1.5 seconds to 60 if they started from a stop. A tiny track that penalizes power with tiny straights so anybody can stage a test. Next time test around a coffee stand in a parking lot and the Civic will probably win again. I will never ever own a front wheel drive again because try pulling a hard right from a stop to merge with traffic going 50 and you will have zero traction. I knew w from owning a Mini S Clubman you can’t get traction when you need it in the real world.

  3. CorpFedTaxCPA says:

    I think, and I may be wrong, X1 sales will mostly come from cannibalizing 328xi sales. When my 328xi lease is up in 3 years, i will slightly trade up to the X1 if the Tesla Model III is a bust or economically unfeasible (i.e. the tax credit expired or not applicable).

    • Jimbo says:

      I don’t understand your logic. You’re talking about three entirely different segments and price ranges. X1 28i starts from $35k, base. 3 Series 28i xDrive starts from $40k. Cheapest Tesla currently available is $57k.

      If someone is in the market for a +$65k sedan (Tesla with options), X1 would not be in their short list. This is purely based on numbers and budget by the way. Not practicality, use, etc. That opens a whole new discussion.

      • Chris Llana says:

        The Tesla Model 3 goes on sale late-2017 (call it 2018) for $35,000 before government incentives ($7500 Federal tax credit, plus any state rebates—e.g. $2500 in CA).

  4. Teemus I says:

    This sure will sell like crazy..It has what it takes to do it.

  5. IceDree says:

    If priced right, well equipped & was available in large quantities (as opposed to a Waiting List) yea, I could see it becoming BMW’s best seller

  6. Senne says:

    Don’t exaggerate… The X1 will propably sell well, maybe the best selling X, but best selling BMW… I don’t think that will happen.

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