Customers are driving compact crossover SUVs off dealer lots like never before, so BMW has started importing its X1 crossover to the States. Pete ’n’ Pam just spent two weeks in a lovely $45,600 X1 xDrive 28i.
Pete: I seem to live in two worlds, Pam. The one I see in the news tends to be gloomy and negative about money, but I see a new $50,000 BMW at every stoplight.
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According to Pete ’n’ Pam
Target audience: Young drivers jumping up to their first BMW, BMW-driving families buying for a college student or recent graduate, sticker-shocked BMW X3 shoppers who might be heading to the Audi dealer for a Q5.
Pricing: $31,700 to about $49,500
Fuel mileage: 22 city, 33 highway, premium fuel required.
Highs: Pete — Silky 8-speed transmission, beautiful paint and bodywork, roomier than it looks, quick. Pam — Dashboard orientation, comfy seats, road grippiness and drive appeal. Plus, my bike fits!
Lows: Pete — Run-flat tires instead of spare, pointlessly complex radio tuning, expensive options. Pam — Expensive once you’ve added options, fuel-saving start/stop system takes getting used to.
Bottom line: Pete — The best way to dip your toe into the BMW waters. Pam — Tell my bosses to give me a raise so I can get one, please.
Three other vehicles in the BMW X1’s class.
$40,500 to about $57,000
Highs: Elegant interior, lively engine, wagon utility, street presence
Lows: Not really all-road capable
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
$42,000 to about $67,000
Highs: Off-road capable, slick styling, ride and handling, powertrain
Lows: Not much cargo room
$25,000 to about $37,000
Highs: Fuel efficiency, ride comfort, nicely styled, reasonably priced
Lows: Insufficient power