BMW X1: Where It Fits In Today’s Auto Market

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Tony Santos


When you think about cars made by the venerable manufacturer known as Bavarian Motor Works, you generally imagine vehicles made for the luxury-car owner with roomy interiors and plush features.

The words compact car and sport-utility vehicle generally are not associated with BMW. Ever since 2008, they have, and it is all thanks to the BMW X1 product.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of one of the products that brought BMW into the sport-utility age, but it is the first time the X1 car has been sold in the United States. The BMW X series of vehicles was introduced in 2006 and gave people the chance to consider cars from a company not well known for its compact-car market. Production on the car began in India, China and Russia in October 2009, following its successful introduction at the Paris Auto Show in 2008.

Reviews for the X1 here have been very positive. Car And Driver magazine gave the X1 a 4.5-star review and called the car “more spacious, more useful, and more luxurious” than the 3-series sedans BMW has made famous. Although the X1 is considered an SUV (the BMW vernacular actually calls the car a sports activity vehicle), you do not feel like you are sitting on an elevated truck platform.

Motor Trend magazine refers to the X1 as “a wagon by any other name” but says that its car-based roots are apparent.

“Its relatively low roofline, long hood, and dash-to-axle ratio lend it a profile similar to that of a wagon. On the other hand, the vehicle’s lifted suspension, which gives it several inches of wheel clearance, hints at its intended role as a crossover,” Motor Trend reviewer Alex Nishimoto said. “The X1’s fun factor, standard and available features, and most important, the fact that it’s a (wagon-like) crossover should ensure it’s at least more popular than the 3 wagon here in the U.S.”

But will the X1 be popular with car buyers used to roomy interiors regular cars provide? The X1 compares favorably with the Infiniti EX35 and the Subaru Outback. The price tag starts at $31,545 for the sdrive28i model and rises to $33,215 for the xdrive28i model and $39,345 for the xdrive35i unit. A lot of cars from Acura, Audi and even Mercedes-Benz fit in nicely on the price-guide structure.

This car could be sustainable in the marketplace for some time to come. It has been wildly popular with owners in Europe thanks to its fast acceleration (0 to 60 in just over six seconds) and its estimated miles per gallon (27 to 33 highway, 18 to 24 city). It definitely does not guzzle gasoline like some of its competitors might.

Now that the X1 has made it to these shores, BMW dealers across the country will be happy to show off the product to enthusiastic customers. If you are a fan of BMW product, no doubt you likely have known about this car for quite a while.

If you live in the Washington-Baltimore beltway area, BMW Rockville would be happy to show you the new car, talk at length about its features and take you for a test drive. If you are not within that area, there is likely a BMW dealer close to where you live that will go over the X1 features with you.

With near-universal positive reviews, the X1 has a chance to take a huge market share away from other car companies. BMW has a lot riding on this vehicle, but the success of the car overseas and the great demand for the product means this car could be successful for years to come.

Categorized | Featured, SUV/4WD/Trucks

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