$14,174 - $18,559

2014 BMW X1 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 BMW X1 was new.


Performance: 8.4

Critics say that the 2014 BMW X1 delivers the lively performance they’ve come to expect from BMW. The X1 wins points for its powerful base engine and comfortable, yet sporty, ride.

  • "The BMW X1 is as well-equipped and fun to drive as any other small BMW." -- Edmunds
  • "For anyone who prefers a spirited driving character in his little ute, the X1 is a good thing." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "In fact, it drives much like a BMW car." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 BMW X1 comes with a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine is available, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. According to the EPA, the BMW X1 gets up to 23/34 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class.

Auto writers say that the four-cylinder X1 has a powerful engine and a quick-shifting eight-speed transmission. The six-cylinder X1 offers even more power, but reviewers recommend choosing the four-cylinder model because it’s nearly as quick and delivers better fuel economy. Still, some test drivers complain that the four-cylinder model’s start-stop function can be jarring when it turns the engine on and off to save fuel.

  • "The sDrive28i and xDrive28i models feature a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder that is plenty potent and fuel efficient to boot. Both of those models (sDrive equals rear-wheel drive, xDrive means all-wheel drive) are mated to a wonderful 8-speed automatic transmission and feature an auto start/stop function that cuts engine operation at idle. The function saves fuel, but its startup can be jarring. We opted to disable it." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "My biggest qualm, though, is with the start-stop system. We've gotten to the point where most manufactures have seamless transitions between full stop/engine-off and the engine winding back up. Perhaps it's my habit of wandering off the brake pedal at stops, but I noticed the start-stop working multiple times." -- Jalopnik (2013)
  • "BMW says the six is a full second faster to 60 mph (achieving the stunt in 5.3 seconds versus 6.3 for the four-wheel drive four-cylinder) but it sure doesn't feel faster. The four-cylinder xDrive28i is definitely the X1 to get." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "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 (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 X1’s small size and low ride height help it earn praise from one reviewer, who says its smaller dimensions make it feel nimble. Reviewers say the X1 also has good steering feedback, powerful brakes and a suspension that offers a firm, yet comfortable, ride.

  • "The X1 feels more like a sports sedan than some lumbering SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's a fine balance of low-speed ride comfort and high-speed stability, and the X1's smaller size and lower stance makes it feel noticeably more agile and responsive than the X3." -- Edmunds
  • "The brakes were responsive and linear and easily capable of hauling the car down from triple-digit speeds without any drama." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "The steering was communicative, the suspension taut but never rough." -- The Los Angeles Times (2013)

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