$13,560 - $15,994

2013 BMW X1 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 BMW X1 was new.


Performance: 8.1

While the base 2013 BMW X1’s four-cylinder engine isn’t as powerful as the optional six-cylinder engine, many reviewers still say that it’s their engine of choice because of its smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. Test drivers also praise the X1’s strong brakes and agile steering, which reminds them of what it’s like to drive a BMW sedan.

  • "Shame, that, because even though the X1 doesn't strike us as an enthusiast-friendly vehicle, it goes like the dickens." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "In fact, it drives much like a BMW car." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

There are two powertrain options available with the BMW X1. Standard on 28i models is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but opting for the xDrive28i model gets you all-wheel drive. The xDrive35i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. All X1 models use premium fuel, and their fuel economy ratings are good for the class. The base model averages 24/34 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, while xDrive35i models average 18/27 mpg.

Of the X1’s two engines, reviewers tend to prefer the four cylinder to the six cylinder because the four is powerful, fuel-efficient and its eight-speed automatic transmission shifts faster than the six cylinder's six-speed automatic.

  • "Moreover, the 2.0-liter turbo and eight-speed-automatic combo motivates the X1 effortlessly." -- Car and Driver 
  • "The six sounds sublime and has no detectable boost lag, but its aging six-speed is slower to shift and less engaging than the rapid-fire ZF eight-speed, which keeps the little N20 humming near its sweet spot. That's why we're guessing the slightly heavier xDrive28i might actually be the X1 to lust after." -- Motor Trend
  • "We've always been huge admirers of the inline-6, but for once, it's not the best choice. The 2.0-liter turbo feels a natural foil for the X1's character. In the real world it does feel a little slower and although the four isn't quite as smooth or melodious as the six, it could never be described as harsh." -- Edmunds 

Handling and Braking

Only one test driver has commented on the X1’s brakes, saying they are strong. Reviewers have a lot more to say about the X1’s handling. They find that its steering is precise, with one reviewer remarking that the X1 seems more responsive and agile overall than the BMW X3. The X1 offers an optional M Sport Line package, which has a sport suspension that reviewers say enhances the X1’s performance.

  • "Brake feel is superb, and the steering precision and weighting are very good, even on the rear-drive model that uses an electrically assisted rack." -- Car and Driver 
  • "With its smaller dimensions and lower center of gravity, the X1 feels significantly more agile and responsive than the X3. It never quite replicates the sedan experience - partly because the new 3 Series is so sublime - but for a crossover, it's undeniably impressive." -- Edmunds 
  • "Our rear-driver also benefited from the M Sport package, and so felt perhaps a bit better buttoned-down, but still eager to understeer at the limit, and those limits were less clearly enunciated through the helm of the sDrive 28i, because that's the only model to which electric power steering can be fitted." -- Motor Trend

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