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View Full Version : Stopped by BMW SF yesterday...


iamthewalrus
09-30-2012, 09:15 AM
I was in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco yesterday and stopped by the BMW dealer just for fun. For context, I have a 2006 BMW X3 (6-spd manual, m-sport, premium package, xenons, PDC) and checked out the X1.

They had two on the lot, a fairly basic white X1 28 sDrive and a fully optioned X1 35 xDrive. I only explored the 28 as the 35 was locked. Curiously, I was there for ~1/2 hour, and nobody from BMW SF came to talk with me.

Size: The X1 is the perfect size for my needs. I live in a city, and the X1 is small enough to parallel park. But it's also large enough to fit 4 adults comfortably or 3 adults plus their backpacking gear. I'm 6'2" and after adjusting the driver's seat was able to sit behind myself easily.

Ground clearance: I use my X3 for backpacking in the Cascades, Sierras, and various national parks. Three weeks ago, I drove 270 miles each way from SF to Sequoia National Park. It was 270 miles of highway driving followed by 25 miles of rutted dirt roads and switchbacks to the Mineral King trailhead on the south side of the park. This is typical for me. You don't need a Land Rover for these roads, but the ground clearance helps. 99% of the driving is just highway driving where the BMW excels. The X1 seems the best of both worlds.

Fit & Finish: The materials and perception of quality reminded me of an Audi A3 or VW GTI. It was good, but clearly not comparable to a 5 series. Coming from my 2006 X3, I thought it was an improvement.

Cost: The X1 35 xDrive M-Sport with all of the options was $50K. The 28 sDrive didn't have a window sticker on it. That's some serious money when a VW GTI is $30K fully loaded and Golf-R is $36K fully loaded. Comparing the X1 to the Golf-R, the real difference is ground clearance. The question then is whether that extra ground clearance is worth the $10K difference. Like I said, I spend 99% of the time on roads and <1% on dirt roads, so it's tough to justify that price gap.

Transmission: For $45K, I'm not willing to compromise on the transmission. If the X1 is offered in the US with a manual, it will likely be my next car. If it's automatic only, then that's too much money to be dissatisfied with the transmission. My X3 is six years old and only has 42K miles on it, so I can afford to wait another 4-6 years for BMW USA to bring a manual to the US.

-James
San Francisco, CA

2006 BMW X3 3.0i (m-sport, manual, premium, pdc, xenons)
2006 BMW 330Cic (sport, manual, premium, pdc, xenons) - sold
2006 Mini CooperS convertible (sport, manual, premium, pdc, xenons) - sold
1998 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro (tiptronic, bose, sport pkg) - sold

petriej
10-01-2012, 11:23 AM
Nice review. I've been thinking about checking them out personally as well.

As far as I know, the only Manual option is the sDrive (RWD) 28i. Might be a deal-breaker. You lucked out with a manual X3.

stary
10-01-2012, 12:02 PM
no manual available at all with the X1

Nice review. I've been thinking about checking them out personally as well.

As far as I know, the only Manual option is the sDrive (RWD) 28i. Might be a deal-breaker. You lucked out with a manual X3.

petriej
10-01-2012, 12:14 PM
I could have sworn I read the only manual X1 would be sDrive28i. Can't configure it on BMWUSA that way, so I thought maybe it's a special order kind of thing. Now I can't find the source I read to back my claim.

Oh well, the 8-speed ZF is pretty awesome, anyway...

iamthewalrus
10-01-2012, 06:17 PM
no manual available at all with the X1

I'm hoping that in the later model years, they may bring a special-addition manual-transmission version of the X1. Kind of like what VW did with the limited-edition Golf-R, bringing all-wheel drive to the GTI range.

-James
San Francisco, CA

fb88
10-01-2012, 07:21 PM
Test drive the 8 speed and base X1 is 30k. 4 yrs free maint. and after you are ready the sell, the residual should be higher than the other cars you mentioned.

iamthewalrus
10-01-2012, 07:36 PM
Test drive the 8 speed and base X1 is 30k. 4 yrs free maint. and after you are ready the sell, the residual should be higher than the other cars you mentioned.

This isn't about price. I'm happy to pay full MSRP (~$45K) to get what I want. The issue is at that price, I'm not willing to compromise on such a fundamental feature like the transmission.