Jeremy Clarkson Hates the X1 (& The Sun Still Comes Up)

So Jeremey Clarkson hates the BMW X1. He calls the engine something “from a canal boat ” and says it looks like a “Hyundai that’s been subjected to a thousand years of wind erosion “. Fair enough, that ‘s one man ‘s opinion. But just for a second lets assume that the 2.0 liter diesel in the does sound like an engine from a canal boat. Since we ‘re from the US and don ‘t see a lot of canal boats we ‘ll just assume they all have 177 bhp and get 35 mpg combined like the 2.0L diesel.

Now lets look at the eroded Hyundai. Taking a step back and thinking about what erosion does in general, we figured the best place to find something similar to a 1000 year old eroded hyundai would naturally be Wikipedia. Looking at what erosion does to earth (and assuming the natural materials found in a Hyundai would be similar) we feel like there are many representative images found on the Wikipedia page on erosion. Now turning our attention back to the X1 and comparing it to what we found on Wikipedia, we have to come to the conclusion that Clarkson was using some form of sarcasm when describing his dislike of the X1.

So there you have it. A journalist in the UK doesn ‘t like the look of the BMW X1. Apparently that is news worthy of not only of BimmerFile but most of the automotive web.

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  • jayparry

    Haha BMWers should be able to take criticism :). In truth, that model wasnt doing it for him. In truth a Diesel rear wheel drive SUV isnt for many, which is why USA should get the gas AWD only!

    But if the interior is truly cheap then that is fair criticism i havent sat in one. I cant wait for it to come here, but truly need a magnifying glass to understand the difference between the X1 and X3

  • D

    I still like it, and can’t wait for that 2.0L diesel.

  • ChaCha

    Big deal. So Clarkson dosen’t like the X1? I recalled he dosen’t like the 1 series and now we already have 1 million 1 series sold.

  • dan

    Who the hell is Clarkasso?

  • Nathaniel

    Clarkson has a hate-on for BMWs. Fair enough. He loved the E39, and then the E60 happened, and the M6… enough to put anyone off BMWs. It has put many people off them, actually. He’s driven enough cars to know what he’s talking about. It’s not hard to compare vehicles, and if it doesn’t stack up, it doesn’t stack up.

    BMW is overstretching themselves with the X1. It’s not their segment and it’s cheapening the brand. Bringing only the top-end X1 (as they will, in line with BMWNA’s policy) will make BMW convinced that there is no room in the US for cheap cars, as the 335d’s comparatively (vs EU Diesel sales) unimpressive sales have.

  • Kris

    Someone at next-doors company drives an X1. Each time I see it coming out of the underground garage it’s ugliness slaps me in the face. It’s looks just doesn’t get any better with time.

    From a numbers point of view the X1 might make sense. There are always suckers customers that will buy anything with a BMW logo on it (Z3, X3 I’m looking at you).

    Is this the same brand that gave us the 2002tii, E21, E28, E46 … ? Munich is losing it if you ask me.

  • RJ

    @ChaCha….if you read the article, Clarkson absolutely loves the 135i….pretty much says it’s everything a BMW should be.

    Looking at the pix of the X1, it is pretty ugly, IMHO.

  • I expect the X1 to be a huge hit in the US, and if BMW continues the tradition of bringing a new technology/motor with a new model launch we should see the X1 receive a turbo 4 cylinder (produces more than the current I6 NA and gets better MPG) or auto stop start.

    The X1 is based on the E91 3 Series so the materials/cluster etc. are not all that different. The X1 can be equipped with a Nav system, unlike what he states.

    We must remember Clarkson is polarizing and does things to get people upset- this is the same guy that tested the X6 offroad and in the snow with High Performance Summer tires, then blamed the poor results of the vehicle on its substandard design. His main objective always seems to be to push Land Rovers- Nothing with HP summer tires is going to go up an incline on wet grass or snow, it does not matter who makes it.

    The next generation X3 has grown in size to E53 size to make room for the X1, we will see the X3 soon and it will not look like the X1. BMW essentially skipped a generation with the X3.


  • lava

    I find the proportions odd – the length of the nose compared to the cabin, perhaps fine on a car, desirable even, just looks kind of odd here.

  • adc

    As an owner of an X3, I definitely understand about challenging looks (to put it mildly) – in this respect, the X1 is actually better than the X3. Even the interior seems to be miles better, not sure what the fuss is about.

    Thing is, we didn’t buy the X3 for its looks, but for its utility, space, price and driving dynamics. With the Sport Package it handles significantly better than many sport sedans – you can literally shame a whole bunch of them on a twisty road. And you are essentially getting 5 series space at 3 series price. The bonus was that it turned out to be the most reliable BMW we’ve owned so far.

    I think the X1 will offer very similar things (with perhaps even better ride/handling) but at a lower price point. I can guarantee that for buyers with cash on hand, Clarkson’s opinion will matter not one bit.

    Instead, the make or break decision will be made based on price, financing options, utility (and for many, badge). We’ll take a close look at it to see if it’s worth retiring the X3 for it, when it arrives in the US.

  • broadstreetbob

    Clarkson doesn’t have a “hate-on” for BMW, just BMW SAVs. In his recent review of the X5M, Clarkson said, “The M5 is biblically good and the current M3, divine.” He also gives credit where due noting, “There is simply no other big SUV that goes, steers, stops or turns even half as well as [the X5M].” But he concludes, “I don’t really think the X5M makes much sense except on a track, where it doesn’t make half as much sense as the cheaper, better M5…” And that’s the point in all this. Why make a half-assed mini-SUV like the X1, that is expensive, useless offroad, has a small interior and doesn’t perform particularly well? BMW should focus on what it does well, e.g., building cars like the 135i, M3 and M5. I can’t imagine who would buy X1.

  • RJ

    @Michael …. if BMW does bring new tech to the US with the X1 launch, e.g. a turbo four, will the bulk of X1 buyers even know / care what’s under the hood? We had the European poll results a few weeks back suggesting that most 1er buyers thought the car was FWD. I bet a number of X1 buyers will think they have the “V6” (LOL!) under the hood, just like on their BMW 3 series. You just have to wonder if the typical X1 buyer will really care…they just may be buying the badge as noted by adc.

  • Ben

    I like the X1 but I hate the wheels on the brown X1. Those should be tossed.

  • Natextr

    No Nav? Hmm, I see it in the above pictures… That said, as long as the X1 has at least one decent engine choice, I’ll consider it when my current 3er sedan goes away in 2012 since the new 3er might: A) not even come in a wagon and B) even if it does, it probably won’t be ready at that point as the wagon is usually at least 1/2 year behind the release of a new sedan model.