The BMW X1: US Market Details

Over the last month we have received a lot of inquiries into the X1, specifically in regards to the US market. While details remain scarce we have some new information that may answer some of your questions.

The X1 is BMW ‘s latest foray into the small crossover market, something that was made possible by increasing the size of the X5 and X3 when compared to the first generation vehicles. The X1 shares much of its structure and technology with the beloved E91 3 Series Wagon. In other words, the X1 does not have much of anything new for us stateside that we have not already seen as far as packaging for the price.

We like to think of the X1 as basically a wagon on steroids- which is a bit smaller than the older X3. With love it or hate it styling and enough space for two children in boosters to sit comfortably in the back it will be BMWs entry level 4 door model (since we do not see the 1 Series 5-door hatch)

There have been rumors since the initial EU launch that it would hit the US sometime after the F25 X3 launch. We are hearing from sources, much like the 1M/// Coupe, that the X1 will be destined for dealers showrooms in May of 2011 as a 2012 model. At that time our sources indicate it will be powered by the naturally aspirated N52 inline six in 28i form and only be offered in xDrive (though a rear wheel drive version is still on the table). We expect the choices of powertrain to be along the same lines as what we have seen with the latest 3 Series wagon as the markets are not all that different.

We would not be surprised to see only a single engine choice from the onset, with a four cylinder turbo and possibility of a diesel offering at a later date. Details surrounding the 4 cylinder turbos and future diesels remains limited though if the original rumors were correct, the fall of 2011 will see the launch for a 4 cylinder turbos model (perhaps with 23i or 25i nomenclature). As with all other BMW models, BMW can easily make model specific changes in March and September.

Pricing will be highly competitive and be right around the $30,000 mark with limited options. The X1 will sell well but it has been positioned in both space and pricing to not steal sales of the more prestigious (and more profitable) X3. The X1 will unlike the other X models be built by BMW in Germany.

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  • Tom

    So nothing new from what we already knew. Thanks.

    • Info keeps changing on this launch so we will keep you updated as we hear more. Though we feel strongly that the X1 will launch as a 2012.

  • Bimmer1

    Do you really think that BMW is going to bring the 4 cyl. back to the US as the debut engine in an SAV? I doubt it. I’d put my money on the N52 or N55 being the engine options.

    • Considering the president of BMWNA has said they (4 cylinders) are coming in 2011 and BMWs history of launching new motors in new vehicles – we think it highly likely to come in the X1.

      The turbo four will have more performance than the current naturally aspirated six so why not put it in a crossover? The X1 is more car than anything else.

      The X1 will be the lowest priced 4 door in the lineup, so a 4 banger would be appropriate as well.

      Audi is using 4 cylinders and doing just fine with it, the majority of people have no clue what is under the hood; let alone what to do with it.

      If not in the X1, what model would the 4 cylinders come? The last year of the 1?


  • cmac

    Saw an X1 in France earlier this year, is as big as the outgoing X3, looked nice. As far a motors, why not a diesel?

  • Dan C.

    So… take the 328i Wagon, use the same engine and make the it heavier. Doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

  • Micah

    Any info on whether it will be available with a manual transmission?


    Anyone think this will conquest sales from the MINI Countryman? How will they differ dimensionally?

  • mellowmcs

    I would rather have the diesel engine in the X3.

  • BimmerX1

    Since half a year I drive a bmw x1 1.8 s drive 2.0 ltr. with manual 6 gear. no X-drive, but rear wheel drive. I am really happy with my “little X”.

    Jan (the Netherlands)

  • Evan

    They can keep brining all of these over as long as they keep bringing over the Tourings too. Which I know they have said no to doing due to poor sales. No more GTs or Xs unless we get the Tourings over here too. Better proportions, lower center of gravity, better drives.

    I also welcome a BMW-designed turbo four. They did an excellent job on the MINI’s Prince turbo, so I expect a BMW 2L Turbo Four to be just as great. I will also confess that I’m addicted to naturally aspirated Inline 6-cylinder engines….

  • Drill

    @ ITWRKS, just based off of sitting in both X1 and Countryman and without looking up any dimensions, I’d say that the X1 still comes out a bit bigger than the Countryman, especially behind the rear seats.

  • Drill

    OK, after a quick search (and some math, so bear with me…) it appears that in exterior dimensions the X1 is about 14 inches longer, 0.4 inches wider and 0.8 inches shorter than the Countryman.

  • Herr26

    For europe In 2011 The BMW X3 will receive two new four cylinders one petrol and one diesel both turbo charged. They will of course debut within the new BMW 1er (F20) and then the new BMW 3er (F30) and eventually the X1.

    The X1 will launch in the US market with the xDrive 28i at first.

    The new X3 will receive the US compatible diesel six cylinder diesel from the X5 for the US market to compliment the bigger X5 in 2011.

  • mellowmcs

    Herr26- Would that be the same turbo diesel with the same 6speed transmission currently available in the US or the new turbo I6 with the new 8speed transmission in the X5 4.0d available in europe?