New BMW X1 review from Car Enthusiast

BMW X1 | October 1st, 2009 by 4
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Another day and more reviews of the new BMW X1. If so far most of the reviews have been positive, the people at Car Enthusiast had some mixed feelings about the car. One of the less attractive elements about the car is related to the X1 interior, most specifically, the quality of the materials used. Having seen the car at the Frankfurt Auto Show, we have to admit that we were a bit disappointed, maybe because we got so excited about the 5 GT and 7 Series interior, so we forgot that the X1 appeals to a different demographic and fits into a whole nother category.

The car was built as an entry level SAV and it shares some design elements with the 1 Series, another model considered to be an entry level for BMW, therefore, in a way, it is expected to have a less attractive interior when compared to the higher-end and more expensive BMWs.

But does it really disappoint? Truth is the BMW X1 was designed to be a fun car to drive, an urban car that can be used for weekend activities that might require extra cargo space. Interior luxury was probably not the top priority for BMW and that’s okay with us, as long as the car rides as a BMW and reminds us of that thrill that made us fall in love with the brand.

But let’s take a look at their review:

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“If you’ve got a problem, yo I’ll solve it,” rapped last decade’s most inspirational Caucasian hip-hop phenomenon. And those funky words must still ripple through the corridors of power at BMW’s Bavarian HQ, because the maker seems hell bent on creating a car for every need. The X1 is its latest niche filler, a pioneering car that wraps premium soft-roading in its smallest package yet; the X1 stands alone as the very first production small premium 4×4. It’s a nice, nice baby SUV.

Paradoxically though, the X1 isn’t a niche car at all – according to BMW it’s a car for absolutely everyone. Young people, parents and empty nesters unite: the X1 is the aspirational first step onto the Beemer SUV ladder, a school run-ready crossover, and a retirement wagon for active grandparents, all at once. But is it any good?

In the Metal

When the X1 was first unveiled in concept form some witnesses vocalised its apparent similarity in size to the BMW X3. Parked side-by-side, though, the junior car is markedly smaller – not massively, however, and its superior packaging means there’s only a marginal drop in perceived cabin space. The exterior design is an evolution of the newer X5’s, which means it shares the bigger car’s purposeful stance and aggressive detailing; the X1 is an as visually appealing as any recent BMW – assuming BMW visuals appeal to you.

Sadly, the exterior grandiloquence is not mimicked in the cabin: the X1 possibly has the poorest quality interior of the maker’s entire range. It’s about on a par with the 1 Series, but the car’s size and cost raise expectations so it feels disappointingly built down to a price. The lower level plastics, and even the instrument binnacle cowl, are all hollow, scratchy and relatively low rent. While the cabin is all arranged with BMW familiarity, familiar BMW tactility is missing.

Full Review