Even if you have your sights firmly set on a sports sedan, the 2014 BMW X1 sports activity vehicle – now available for test drives at Braman BMW West Palm Beach – is worth a closer look. Like a sports sedan, the styling is crisp and aggressive, but no sedan ever had as much headroom, front and rear, or the elevated view that lets you look out over traffic. And while the trunk space with the rear seats up is about what you’d expect from a sports sedan, in less time than it takes to tell it, you can flip them down and transform the X1 into a high-performance moving van.
The X1 was introduced to the United States last year and has become a stand-out in the compact luxury crossover class. The rear-drive X1 sDrive28i and all-wheel-drive xDrive28i are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 240 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard, as is a stop-start system that shuts off the engine when stopped to save fuel.
The X1 sDrive28i will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, with the xDrive version just 0.1 second behind. EPA-estimated fuel economy is impressive at 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined for the sDrive, and 22/33/26 for the xDrive.
The X1 xDrive35i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, matched to a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard. The X1 xDrive35i sprinted to 60 mph in a quick 5.8 seconds. The EPA estimates stand at 18/27/21, which is actually better than some less powerful rivals.
The 2014 BMW X1 is offered in three trim levels: sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive35i. The sDrive designation indicates rear-wheel drive, while xDrive models are all-wheel drive. The sDrive28i comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic climate control, eight-way manual front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio input, HD radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. The xDrive28i adds all-wheel drive and hill descent control.
Besides its more powerful engine, the xDrive35i adds 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof and eight-way power front seats (with driver memory settings). Although there are a handful of individual options, most available features are bundled into option packages, many of which must be purchased in combination with each other.
The Premium package adds the panoramic sunroof and power seats to the 28i as well as keyless ignition/entry, front-seat power lumbar support, auto-dimming mirrors and leather upholstery. The Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. A Lighting package adds the adaptive xenon headlights to the 28i as well as automatic high beams and interior ambient lighting for all. Opt for the Technology package and your X1 will have an 8.8-inch display, a navigation system, Bluetooth audio connectivity, iPhone app integration (including Pandora and Stitcher) and BMW Remote Services (which allows both Apple and Android users to lock the car remotely and turn on the climate control, among various other tasks).
The Driver Assistance package (which requires the Technology package) adds a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. The Ultimate package includes all the features of the Premium, Technology and Driver Assistance packages.
In addition to those packages there’s a trio of “Design Lines.” Two are mostly cosmetic: the xLine (Y-spoke 18-inch wheels and dark copper body accents) and the Sport Line (double-spoke 18-inch wheels, black body trim and multi-adjustable sport seats). The M Sport Line features enhancements such as an aero body kit; a choice of 18- or 19-inch wheels; a sport-tuned suspension; paddle shifters; a higher top speed limiter; and the multi-adjustable sport seats as well as cosmetic tweaks such as blackout window frames, unique door sills, unique red leather upholstery and wood/aluminum cabin accents.
Every 2014 BMW X1 comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with automatic brake drying), brake standby, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints and stability/traction control and (on xDrive versions) hill descent control.
Optional equipment includes front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Also available is the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance.
There are literally hundreds of ways to modify, customize and personalize your BMW X1, and the friendly sales staff at Braman BMW in West Palm Beach, FL will be happy to help you explore your options.