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2016 BMW X1: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader July 2016

The subcompact luxury-SUV segment is heating up, with several new challengers joining the market in the last few years. But perhaps the forefather of the compact luxury SUV is the BMW X1, which has already earned its first full redesign with an all-new model this year.

The 2016 BMW X1 makes some major changes compared to last year's version. The biggest is to its design, which no longer looks like a station wagon on steroids but rather a smaller version of the brand's popular X3 and X5, which will likely please SUV lovers.

But the X1's other major change comes to its drivetrain: Although all models sold in the U.S. now come standard with all-wheel drive, this BMW now rides on a front-wheel-drive platform that it shares with the MINI Cooper Countryman. In making the switch to the new platform, the X1 also loses its available 6-cylinder engine.

In other words, the latest X1 is a totally different animal than the outgoing model, and we suspect the new edition aligns more closely with the needs and desires of shoppers interested in a compact luxury crossover.

What's New for 2016?

The X1 is fully redesigned for 2016. In addition to offering new equipment and features, it boasts a new look, a new platform and newly standard all-wheel drive. It also loses last year's 6-cylinder engine.

What We Like

Handsome new design; potent performance; standard all-wheel drive; reasonable pricing; good gas mileage

What We Don't

Not as sporty as the outgoing model; front-wheel-drive platform seems uncharacteristic of BMW

How Much?

$35,800

Fuel Economy

The X1 is offered with one powertrain: a 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is an impressive 22 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 BMW X1 is offered with one trim level, dubbed the xDrive28i, which starts from $35,800 with shipping.

Standard features include all-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual power front seats, vinyl upholstery, automatic climate control, automatic wipers, push-button starting, a power lift gate, BMW's iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-in center screen, a USB port for music, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 7-speaker stereo and SirusXM satellite radio.

As in most BMW models, options are plentiful. The Cold Weather Package brings heated seats and a heated steering wheel, while the Driver Assistance Package offers adaptive cruise control, a backup camera, parking sensors and an automated parking system. The Premium Package adds keyless access and a panoramic sunroof, while the Luxury Package brings improved upholstery and trim. Other options include larger alloy wheels, a navigation system and a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system.

Safety

The X1 comes standard with anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags and stability control. Safety options are abundant, ranging from simple features like a backup camera and parking sensors to modern gadgets like adaptive cruise control, an automated parking system, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and automatic forward-collision braking.

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet crash-tested the X1, the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the SUV its coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation after strong scores in all of the firm's crash tests.

Behind the Wheel

Even though the X1 offers a modest 228 horsepower, it's surprisingly spry. The crossover goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds, and steering is sharp and predictable. Although we're surprised to find ourselves saying this, we don't really miss the SUV's rear-wheel-drive architecture. But we do miss the available 6-cylinder engine, which gave the X1 even more oomph for drivers who don't want to upgrade to something with the size and price of an X3.

If it's comfort you're interested in, we suspect you'll also be impressed with the X1. It boasts a surprisingly relaxing ride, with smooth shifts, comfortable seats and compliant suspension. An upcoming M Sport package will likely increase ride harshness a bit, though it will do so with an improvement in handling.

The exception to all the comfort, however, comes in back. While legroom is acceptable, you don't want to try to fit three adults in the X1's back seat, and we suspect shoppers who carry around multiple rear passengers with any frequency will likely want to upgrade to at least an X3.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Audi Q3 -- Audi's subcompact crossover is handsome, sporty and well-priced, though it's lacking some of the X1's available equipment.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA -- The attractively priced GLA offers a lot of equipment and a potent turbocharged engine. But many shoppers will likely find its design to resemble a station wagon more than an SUV.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque -- The sporty Evoque oozes style and presence, which is rare in the compact-crossover class. But its aging design doesn't offer as much equipment as the X1.

Used BMW X3 -- If you like the X1 but want more power, space and performance, consider an X3. Of course, prices are higher, so you'll probably want to consider a used or certified pre-owned model.

Autotrader's Advice

The X1 is an impressive subcompact luxury crossover. It's only offered in one trim level, but we'd add at least the Driver Assistance Plus package to get all the best driver-safety aids.

Find a BMW X1 for sale

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Used 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Used 2016 BMW X1
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Used 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Used 2016 BMW X1
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Certified 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Certified 2016 BMW X1
$29,991
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Certified 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i
Certified 2016 BMW X1
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 BMW X1: New Car Review - Autotrader