2012 BMW X1 Prototype First Drive

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
We arrived with enthusiasm for a drive of a prototype of the BMW X1 sport activity wagon (or SAW — after the cult series of scare-your-date films??), but then we immediately had the stuffing knocked out of us. Because although the BMW X1 starts deliveries in most of the world in October of this year, it won't come to North America until the middle of 2011. So we're driving the 2012 BMW X1.

2012 BMW X1 Prototype First Drive


  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,239
    My wife and I both prefer the smaller and lighter Bimmers, so it looks like we'll be able to pick up an X1 at just about the time that my teenage son will take over our 2004 X3 2.4- Win/Win!

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2021 Sahara 4xe 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • akitadogakitadog Member Posts: 117
    Someone PLEASE answer this question: Why does BMW want to compete against itself with the X1?

    This vehicle will do nothing but pull sales away from the 3-series wagon, a FAR SUPERIOR vehicle when it comes to cargo space, fuel economy, handling, the other stuff for which BMWs are supposed to be known. And why reinvent the wheel, when they have a perfectly good 1-series hatch they can bring to the US?

    BMW's inane attempt to get into every possible car niche that exists continues. Next, they want to bring out the X2. W? T? F? A vehicle with the height and mass of the X1, but no more usable cargo space than the 1-series coupe? Riiight... Then the X4, which looks even more like the 3 wagon, but heavier, with no more usable space.

    The worst part about BMW's new vehicles, is that, I swear, they are trying to create niches in between niches. So they're going to slot the X4 in between the X3 and X5? Really? Unbelievable. The inmates have taken over the asylum at BMW.

    They say that the more choices a person has, the harder it is to actually make a choice. BMW will start to see quarters filled with red ink when they have so many vehicles that do the same thing, that none of them will sell in enough volume to make up the development costs. When the day comes that they need a bailout from the German government, they will have only themselves to blame.
  • sundog2sundog2 Member Posts: 3
    I was looking for a Tiguan diesel, which VW canceled for the US. Otherwise, it's just another overpriced cute ute, leaving me waiting for the Subaru Forester diesel unless and X1d comes along before then.

    Heck, I'd be happy with a next gen regular gas 1 series 5 door stateside too.
  • eric_leric_l Member Posts: 7
    What exactly is the market for tiny AWD crossovers? I mean, this X1 is smaller than a Rav4 or CRV, which aren't exactly behemoths themselves. The X3 is already barely suitable for transporting more than two people, I don't see what the point of the X1 would be. Just put the diesel in the X3 and regular 3-series line and be done with it.
  • justdrivejustdrive Member Posts: 1
    When I got a 325 in 2003 BMW was selling a lot of manuals, something like 40% of 3 series cars. last month I visited a local Seattle dealer to give the new 335d a spin - not only is that car automatic only, but the dealer doesn't even stock manuals any more - only like 5% of their cars are now sold with manuals here in the US and I'm not buying a bimme with no stick, so please tell me I can get one!
  • motopilotmotopilot Member Posts: 2
    I'm with you, but reality check: Only old farts and car enthusiasts want manual shift transmissions anymore, and there aren't enough of us to warrant bringing them across the ocean to service this shrinking market. Driving schools are instructing new students on automatics, so stick shift drivers are no longer entering the pool. Sad but true.
  • etanretlaetanretla Member Posts: 1
    3 series, x1, and x3 all pretty much in the same price range...why???
    seriously, who in their right (practical) mind would pay 40 grand for a smaller x3???
  • stavroskstavrosk Member Posts: 1
    Just came back from the BMW dealership, where I tested the new X1 (manual transmission 1.8d 177bhp). I think that only the 3.0d will be available in the US, at least at the beginning.

    Now, although the exterior looks like an SUV, inside the X1 feels more like a tall station wagon. Actually it’s like stepping inside a taller 3 series.
    I am looking into buying a Tiguan and thought of testing the X1. After today's test drive, I dont think the two cars are in the same category. The reason for looking at Tiguan is because I am interested in a fun, not extremely big SUV but still with enough space, for the near future when the family will get bigger. Well, the X1 is beautiful, the quality inside is a bit better than the VW, but if you are looking for storage, its not really there.
    To me the target group for this model is more for (feel-) young people who like extreme sports but not really for families.

    Engine is quite strong for an SUV, handling is smooth,but when you push it in the corners it will understeer before the electronics take over.

    In summary, I loved the exterior design. The rear lights are fantastic. There is also an option for a sunroof similar (but not as big) to the Tiguan's; definitely go for it.
    Being the European eco-friendly type, I liked the automatic start-stop (available only with the manual transmission) to save gas while you wait in traffic.
  • carjimcarjim Member Posts: 155
    Six months have passed since the last posts on this board in November 2009. We are now into June, and surely there is new information out there as to when the X1 will make its debut in the USA. Would somebody please give us an update?
  • bigkevbigkev Member Posts: 33
    This week I traded my 1 year old 3 series in on a brand new X1 all wheel drive, which has been available here in AUSTRALIA for 6 months.
    I spent a week test driving several of them and researching. I'm 66 and getting on a bit and found the three series great but hard to get in and out of because they are low and I've got a bad back, but didn't want a full on big SUV because my brain still wants a car, not a truck. Anyway I have to report that it's like my 3 series, same running gear, (2l diesel auto) but higher and you sit up a bit. Apart from that the steering is a tiny bit less direct and the handling just a gnats whisker softer, as is the ride. I gave it a good shot through the hills on a winding road, up and down and it handles great. Much better than I expected. For us 'oldies' it's just the ticket - still feels sporty and very BMW but handy with the hatch back and easy access. When you guys finally get them, have a look...you will be surprised. Also, the dealers have sold out till November Australia wide, and they told me that the X3 sales have stopped like they were shot! :)
  • motopilotmotopilot Member Posts: 2
    Lucky Aussies! Like our American BMW X1 enthusiasts, here in Canada we are still waiting as well. I gave up the uncertainty and traded in my '07 Forrester on a standard 6-speed X3, loaded. They are similar in size, but I expect the 3.0 liter engine to deliver more spirited performance, albeit with worse fuel economy.
    My Forrester was the best winter car I have ever owned, but the engine has serious drive-ability problems and the dealer was less than responsive to my requests to address them. :( Also, Subaru has stopped importing top-of-the-line Forrester's (Leather, heated everything, etc) with a standard transmission into Canada.. In my opinion, putting an automatic behind a small 2.2 liter engine takes the zip out of it. So I was out of there.
    It is nice to be back in the BMW world. :)
  • carjimcarjim Member Posts: 155
    Good to hear from someone who owns one. I wish I was not so impatient to drive it.
    My wife has a 2003 Infiniti QX4, which is a mid-size rear wheel drive truck based SUV. She may be ready to downsize a bit when the X1 finally gets to the USA.
    We once had a 2000 BMW 3 and feel certain she would be at home in the X1.
  • bigkevbigkev Member Posts: 33
    Its Big Kev (Aussie) here again - got my new X1 on Sept 3rd. After a week I noticed it drifted to the left, steering seemed very heavy and I couldn't get comfortable however I moved the seat. After 4 weeks of discomfort and agony because my whole back is R/S I went back to the dealer with the steering problem which they checked and said the wheel align was perfect. Drove another of their demo's while they did it and it also drifted to the left. AND I couldn't get comfortable. Anyway, because I have bought three cars from the dealer over the years they offered a special deal on a new 3 series ( I traded my 09 3 series on the X1) and agreed to take the X1 back and all I had to pay was the Govt. charges. The 3 series is fantastic, and so was the old one. The X1 was good, looked great, was BMW feel and quality, but after having it for the few weeks the heavy steering, wide turning circle, less power and above all the comfort problem made it untenable. When you get them I strongly suggest that you get electric seats so you can adjust them infinately. Mine was manual and electric were only available as a special order for $3000 extra. Interestingly the car road test article in the national paper came to the same conclusions. He had it for a week and could not get comfortable. All the best - call me 3 series Kev again :blush:
  • voldermortvoldermort Member Posts: 67
    So, when is this X1 coming to USA?
  • xmf314xmf314 Member Posts: 154
    I was driving beside a BMW X1 with distributor license plates recently in Los Angeles. In my opinion this is a very attractive vehicle, I think they got the styling right. No Bangle- Bungles visible.
  • gbirdgbird Member Posts: 2
    Though the X1 is currently unavailable in the U.S., is it possible to purchace one through the European Delivery Program and have it delivered to the United States?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 232,897

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  • gbirdgbird Member Posts: 2
    Any word if there will be an X1 at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show?
  • kohinoorkohinoor Member Posts: 16
    Can we use $1000 Drive for Team USA Discount for X1.
  • sbpwjmsbpwjm Member Posts: 15
    yes, you should be fine.... see full answer the X3 forum buying discussion...
  • sbpwjmsbpwjm Member Posts: 15
    specifically a buying / pricing discussion as the X1s are just hitting showrooms now...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 232,897

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