A front-wheel-drive crossover with a three-cylinder engine couldn’t be any further from the “ultimate driving machine” ethos, but we just checked the calendar and realized the 1980s are long gone. In 2023, an automaker must adapt to trends and sell people what they want, which is mainly crossovers. At the end of the day, most customers don’t necessarily care whether the engine sends power to the front, rear, or both axles and how many cylinders it has.

Except for enthusiasts and purists, a front-wheel-drive BMW with a small 1.5-liter engine isn’t really an issue. For those people, the M2, M3, and M4 all still have inline-six engines routing power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Those who are shopping for a compact crossover in the premium segment are interested in the comfort, practicality, and technology offered by the product. Of course, they also care about the badge.

The X1 in sDrive20i guise is the entry point to BMW’s vast X lineup. With 136 horsepower and 230 Newton-meters (170 pound-feet) of torque, it’s safe to say you won’t be taking down the record for the fastest production crossover around the Nürburgring. This Individual Blue Bay Lagoon example in xLine guise was put through its paces by Performance Drive, shortly after they ran similar tests with a more potent xDrive20i.

The Australian journalists did what the vast majority of X1 sDrive20i owners won’t, which is to push hard the little BMW crossover. It did 0 to 100 km/h (62 km/h) in 8.55 seconds with launch control and 9.29 seconds without it. For the sake of comparison, the Munich-based automaker quotes a sprint time of 9.2 seconds, so the real-world test showed the entry-level X1 was quicker than claimed.

Additional tests included accelerating from 60 to 110 km/h (37 to 69 mph), which took 6.27 seconds while the quarter mile was done after 16.40 seconds at a trap speed of 140.7 km/h (87.4 mph).

Those interested in the X1 with more zest will have to wait for the M35i as it’ll more than double the horsepower, surpassing the 300-hp mark. It’s coming out later this year with standard xDrive and a quad exhaust system.

Source: PDriveTV / YouTube