BF Video Review: The BMW X1 sDrive 28i

Something strange happened recently during the week we had the new X1 sDrive 28i. We sort of (unexpectedly) fell in love with it. The X1 was suppose to be a known quantity: yet another iteration on the cross-over. On paper its exactly something that should excite us. However with a good weight to power ratio, decent utility and surprising price, it maybe the hidden gem of the BMW line-up.

So instead of doing the usual written review I decided to simply hop in the X1 and explain why it maybe the surprise hit of the current BMW line-up.

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  • Dave

    Thanks for the review Gabe!

    As you point out, the X1 makes a very convincing case for itself when spec’d head-to-head with the F31. As much as I would love to have an F31, BMWUSA did not do it any favors with the way it was priced.

  • Charlie Victor

    Nice review. I was given an RWD X1 as a loaner last week when the ActiveE went in for its bi-monthly checkup, and was really impressed with it – so much that I’m considering getting one. The Auto-Start-Stop took a little getting used to, but I didn’t find it as intrusive as I had feared it would be – and of course you can disable it. The power of the standard turbo four and the 8-speed auto make for a deceptively quick little ute. Even the neighborhood teenager was impressed at the X1’s get-up-and-go. Don’t remember what sort of mpg I got, but since I kept being surprised at how fast I was driving, it probably wasn’t record-setting. (It was a loaner, after all!)

    Like the one you reviewed, mine didn’t have the upgraded sound system either. Having never heard the one that costs an extra $875, I have no basis for comparison except to say that the stock system in the X1 sounds better to me than the HK system in my MINI Clubman does.

    One odd thing I did notice was that it has no dipstick for either the engine oil or the transmission fluid. The instrument panel has a display that the driver can call up for the oil level, but nothing at all for the tranny (that I could see). I suspect that most people won’t even notice the lack of a dipstick, but as one who still likes to do his own vehicle maintenance, I miss it.

  • SoCalDrvr

    Great post, thanks. Two questions: does the sDrive MSport also get “Performance Control” (which I understand to be a form of torque vectoring); and have you compared the hydraulic steering on the xDrive version to the sDrive’s electric rack?

    I would be just as interested in the sDrive as you seem to be (especially living in Southern California), but those two features are what (I have been led to believe) really make the x1 a fun drive – but I fear they can only be had with xDrive.

  • 330Driver

    Great review! I enjoyed also that you put up a video as well. One observation, though. I think that I know why this car is $10,000 less than the F31: it’s based on the previous platform. A colleague of mine has an X1 — it looks and feels exactly like my E90, like a re-bodied E90. That’s not to knock the car — I also think it’s pretty great. I also applaud BMW for not throwing away a well-sorted, mature platform!

    The “previous generation-ness” of the car is pretty clear. It uses the older key fob, it has a RWD platform (we know that they’re moving to FWD for the next generation), and it uses the E90 cluster (much as the current 1-er coupe does). I think that it really is the old 3-Series and not the current 1, though, that they’ve used as a basis. Since the F30 & X3’s have grown, they had to call this car an X1. …..That’s my hypothesis!