2016 BMW X1: Small but Mighty

03.23.16 - 2016 BMW X1

In the automotive industry we have seen vehicles continually get smaller, especially the SUVs that make up a large portion of the market now. The BMW X1 is the smallest SUV offered by BMW and is a lot less utility than it is a larger car to drive. In fact this vehicle is small enough that BMW has classified it as an SAV or Sport Activity Vehicle, taking away the thought of any utility at all from this little machine. What you get with the X1 is a higher ride height than the sedans but the driving dynamics of the sports sedans to make it a well-blended vehicle for you to enjoy.

Using AWD and the small wheelbase to go along with the perfect steering and suspension from BMW the X1 is a vehicle you can have a lot of fun driving. This is an active and energetic machine that can handle weaving through traffic and dancing on rocks and gravel with the use if the BMW AWD system in place. Because this is such a lightweight SUV BMW chose to drop the higher power offering and stick with one engine that gives you more than enough enthusiasm for the ride.

As a smaller SUV you can’t expect to fit many passengers inside, but the X1 does give you two rows of space and good cargo room for the size it brings. This amounts to excellent fuel mileage as well that allows you to enjoy this little player on any terrain. You also see a more rugged appearance than before to allow you to enjoy the ride in many ways. For this second generation model the X1 has been fully redesigned for 2016 to give us a larger exterior and more room on the inside while adding all the modern features we want to enjoy. Gone are the RWD and six-cylinder variations to have only one trim offered, which is perfect for this vehicle.

Other than the enthusiastic driving of this little beauty you can enjoy driving a BMW SUV for under $40,000. The starting price is under $36,000 to give you a great place to begin. If you feel you need to have several options added to your SUV the price can reach up in the mid-$40,000 range, but it won’t go much higher than that, giving you a great drive from one of the most respected names in driving at a price you can easily afford. Who doesn’t love that deal?

As mentioned, there is only one powertrain left on the X1. This starts with the power of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that gives you 228 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. This little engine is attached to an eight-speed Aisin automatic transmission and gives you standard AWD to have the most control possible while returning fuel mileage of 22 city/32 hwy mpg. This powertrain has a sport mode for a stiffer steering feel and better throttle response but also makes use of the comfort and eco modes to enjoy smooth and enjoyable driving when not trying to set any speed or performance records.

The standard features you will enjoy at the base price include eight-way power front seats, automatic climate control, a power tailgate, rain sensing windshield wipers, push button ignition, 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, a seven-speaker audio system with USB input and Bluetooth audio streaming, the BMW Assist eCall emergency request system with an SOS button, complimentary scheduled maintenance for four years/50,000 miles and roadside assistance for four years to give you everything you cold want at the price of the base model.

For those of you who want to step up and have a bit more to enjoy on your X1 the optional features list is where you want to shop. These options include a variety of exterior paint colors (black and white are the only standard colors), a rearview camera, a higher resolution 8.8-inch monitor, a panoramic moonroof, a navigation system, leather interior, heated front seats, a twelve-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, lane departure warning, front collision warning, automatic emergency braking and active cruise control. With this long list of great added features you will have an X1 that is fully loaded and lots of fun to drive that also gives you the information you need as a driver to stay safe.

When you look at all the features you see on this X1 there are two that stand out as the favorites. These two are the power tailgate and the cargo space. The tailgate is great as you can open and close it with the push of a button as well as using the Comfort Access hands-free options which only requires you to swipe your leg in order to open the rear hatch. The cargo room is increased eleven cubic feet over the previous model to 58.7 cubic feet when the 40/20/40 spilt rear seat is folded down. There are even extra bins under the front seats to give you space for more small items to be secure.

On the inside of this SUV you will enjoy the fact there is more space for you and your passengers which amounts to a full 1.5 inches of extra leg room for the rear seat riders. If you add the sliding rear seat you can even increase this by another inch for more comfort. The dash is sleek and uncluttered while giving you all the controls you need, making for a great look and a commanding presence even in a small vehicle.

The X1 is a but larger than before and on the outside it has been redesigned to look tougher and ride higher. The ride was increased by 1.7 inches for more clearance and the design gives it an imposing feeling. The signature kidney grills are featured up front for instant recognition of this small but mighty SUV. Whether this is an SAV, as BMW calls it, or it still fits in with other SUVs is up for your own interpretation, but this is a vehicle that can be a lot of fun to drive and comes with a great price and fuel efficiency to make it one you will feel is a smart investment.

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