BMW X1: First Look

By David Thomas  on July 6, 2009

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During the Fourth of July holiday, BMW’s European arm — not shooting off fireworks — released information and oodles of images of its upcoming X1 crossover. Based on the 1 Series, this small, raised hatchback looks to compete with the Mini Cooper Clubman and Infiniti EX35.

The only U.S.-bound powertrain we can expect is the same six-cylinder found in the 128i, teamed with BMW’s all-wheel-drive system. Dubbed the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, it should be good for 258 hp.

Cargo capacity is 14.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up and expands to 47.3 cubic feet with them down. That’s obviously more than the Mini Clubman’s, but slightly less than the Infiniti EX35’s 18.6 cubic feet with the seats up. Prices for the 128i coupe start at $29,400, and we’d expect the X1 — with the added cost of all-wheel drive and the crossover body style — to be significantly more. The EX35 with all-wheel drive starts at $35,200.

Neither the Infiniti EX35 nor the BMW 128i coupe have been strong sellers in the U.S., and we’re not sure the premium compact SUV segment is one that will exactly heat up; Europe is obviously the main target here. If BMW can deliver something cost-competitive with an Infiniti, though, it could see better sales. No on sale date has been given.

Many more pictures are below, so you can judge for yourself if you think the new X1 is a winner.

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Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David


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