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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
The volume control is on the correct (left) side of the steering wheel; the cruise control is an easy-to-operate stalk.
Standard equipment includes iDrive, rain-sensing wipers, and a 180-watt, eight-speaker stereo with HD radio, USB and aux inputs, and a level of bass response and sound imaging that makes the $875 harman/kardon option seem unnecessary.
In terms of size and features, its most obvious rival is the Evoque and while it lacks the Range Rover's panache, it's appreciably cheaper.
In common with the new 3 Series, BMW is offering a series of "Lines" to help customers distinguish their new chariot (and part with more cash). The xLine seeks to bolster the X1's "activity" credentials with undertray guards, matte silver slats for the kidney grille and side skirt covers. The alternative is the Sport Line, which boasts alternative alloys, sport seats and black gloss detailing.
The BMW X1 is entry-level crossover SUV, but its prices can quite easily be driven up to a price range that's hardly affordable--even among BMWs.
Standard features are mostly good. Every X1 comes standard with power windows, locks, and heated mirrors; automatic climate control; LED taillights; AM/FM/HD radio with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary jack; a leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-function controls; roof rails; and automatic headlights. The six-cylinder X1 adds on more features--standard power front seats, panoramic sunroof, variable-ratio power steering, adaptive headlights, and automatic high beams--which are available on the four-cylinder model as options.
If you're used to more advanced voice-control systems, you'll find the one associated with iDrive to be a bit muddled. In sampling a few destinations, we were able to drill down to a certain level of navigation--say, to local parks--by voice, when we were directed to the iDrive controller for further action. Systems such as MyFord Touch or Cadillac CUE allow more voice control to select on-screen options, but we're unaware of a similar mode on this BMW.
All models can be fitted with satellite radio, a chrome package, and a Harmon Kardon surround-sound system.
Other option packages include a safety setup with parking sensors and a rearview camera; a technology package with Bluetooth and audio streaming, operator-driven BMW Assist, and navigation with voice commands and real-time traffic; BMW Apps, a Bluetooth connection that also enables Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, and other mobile Web services via smartphone; and a cold-weather package with a heated steering wheel and heated front seats.
Enthusiasts should look long and hard at the M Sport package, which tightens up the X1's suspension and adds 18-inch wheels with staggered rear tires--or swaps out the package for 19-inch wheels. It includes sport seats and a sport steering wheel, a choice of interior trim, body add-ons, and on all-wheel-drive models, variable-torque-split xDrive.
At least a USB port is standard, but for the price it's surprising that not much else—even Bluetooth connectivity—is.