BMW Reviews - Interior & Walk Around

2014 BMW X1 Walk Around

The BMW X1 is in the smallest class of SUVs. The X1 measures 176.5 inches in overall length and rides on a 108.7-inch wheelbase. It's 70.8 inches wide (not including mirrors), and 60.8 inches tall. While there is marked similarity between the BMW X1 and X3, the X1 is considerably smaller: 1.8-inch shorter wheelbase, 6.5 inches shorter overall, 3.3 inches less in width, and 4.6 inches in height. Acura RDX, Land Rover LR2, and Mercedes-Benz GLK are all a little bigger.

Compared with the Range Rover Evoque, the BMW X1 is five inches longer, seven inches narrower in width, and four inches lower in overall height. X1's wheelbase is four inches longer than Evoque's.

It's the modest vertical dimension that gives the X1 a sporty look: a little less SUV in appearance, a little more traditional sport wagon.

Styling doesn't seem to be a particularly risky business for BMW, at least as it affects the X5, the X3, and the X1. Having established a look with the X5, its first-ever SUV, BMW simply reduced the scale, then reduced it again. You could think of it as the incredible shrinking X5, a formula that has been exceptionally successful. In fact, it's not easy to distinguish X1 from X3 unless the two are parked side by side.

Like most BMWs, the X1's exterior is all but devoid of trim. A modest character crease bisects the door handles just below the beltline, but beyond that the surfaces are unadorned. The proportions of the 2014 BMW X1 convey a sporty character, and the twin grilles say BMW in unmistakable terms. The standard roof rails reinforce the crossover theme, and the standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels fill the wheel wells, reinforcing the ultimate driving machine message. On the other hand, the low rolling resistance all-season run-flat tires dilute that message a bit. More aggressive 18-inch wheels and performance tires are available.

While the X1 has been around for a while in other markets, BMW did some sprucing for the U.S. model, which sports side mirrors with integrated turn signal repeaters and restyling at the rear.

Interior

The X1's petite exterior dimensions do exact some penalty inside. While headroom is abundant, rear-seat knee room is not, and the rear center seat is uninhabitable except for a child seat.

Cargo room behind the split rear seatbacks is modest at 27.6 cubic feet, and with the rear seatbacks folded flat it expands to an equally modest 63.3 cubic feet. Then again, if you need a really big cargo hold, the X1 is probably not the right choice. That limitation applies to its competitors as well.

Interior materials are premium throughout, perhaps a notch better than you'd find in a 1 Series coupe. BMW has made a few updates here, too, with design enhancements to the center console, center stack, and dashboard. Soft-touch surfaces abound, and the leather-clad front seats embrace occupants with a blend of comfort, lateral support, and adjustability that make journeys a pleasure, whatever their duration.

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