2016 BMW X1: Low Key, Not That Bad

The original BMW X1 was a pitiful, pitiful machine. Yes, it could be spec’d out with a 2.0L Turbo-4; with the power being sent to the rear wheels…but my god did it look ugly! The outgoing X1 looked like the result if the hunchback of Notre-Dame got “jiggy” with a last gen 1-series coupe. FUGLY!

The outgoing X1...don't look too long or vision impairment may occur.

Luckily for us, BMW realized this and decided the X1 needed a little more than a nip and tuck (more like a chainsaw, black duffle bag, and a shovel). And this quickly becomes apparent in the new 2016 X1 (F48). I mean just look at it; it’s a gorgeous looking machine.

Ahhh, that's better

Starting from the front, the new X1 sports an updated front fascia, which allows it to complement the other cars in the X-line (X3, X4, X5, X6, and the soon to be X7). The headlights are big (and can be full LED), the intakes are large, and the kidney grills are…kidney-er. The sculpted hood and fenders do a really good job at giving the X1 an aggressive, “IMMAEATYOUMAN” stance.

Flip to the side and the X1 actually looks like a small X5, and not like a 1-series with bad posture. The oversized wheels do a real good job at giving this car a set…even though they really aren’t that oversized (the car’s just that small). The X1 also has a nice rear too! No, it’s not Kim Kardashian good, but at the same time it doesn’t cause you to go blind with its mere sight. The tailgate isn’t as slanted off, instead more X5 like, which is a good thing. Not only does this mean more cargo space on the inside, but it also means the X1 looks like a proper SUV.

Speaking of the inside, it typical BMW (which is good). The layout is like all BMWs; driver oriented with the climate control, shifter, and iDrive system residing in the center. Seats and steering wheel appear to also be generic BMW, which means they are pretty nice. The trim varies by the chosen line (M-Sport, X-Line, etc). The shifter is a little dated looking…but it really doesn’t break the package and at least it isn’t a mounted on the steering column.

Now, for the only disappointing thing about the new X1, not considering the whole brand dilution bit, the power train. In all honesty, the 2.0l turbo-4 isn’t a bad motor as it produces a modest 230hp and 260 lb/ft of torque…however the engine is mounted sideways and not long ways. This equates to more legroom in the front of the cabin…as well as a front -wheel drive system as standard and a X-Drive option (which I can only assume is front biased).

Now, normally I would go on a rant on how this is an abomination and embarrassment to the BMW brand with it’s front wheel drive…however this car isn’t meant to be driven like a typical BMW (you know with tailgating, unexpected lane changes, and middle finger antics). The new X1 wasn’t meant to be driven like a sports car; it was conceived to be a practical BMW. Front wheel drive is disappointing, but rear-wheel drive isn’t the best route for a SUV. If you want a nice, affordable, driver oriented BMW then get yourself a 2-series or 320i. If you want a nice, and practical BMW that won’t break the bank, then the new X1 should do nicely (and then some).

Pricing has yet to be announced, however expect the 2016 X1 to start somewhere in the low 30s. The X1 will be available to purchase at BMW dealers sometime later this summer.