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jbone907 12-28-2012 10:06 AM

Its Finally Here!
Well after a little bit of waiting around, I was able to take delivery of my new X1 yesterday. I received it with only 8 miles on the clock, but now I have 66. I managed to increase my odometer by a factor of 8 in just one evening. :D

So far I am generally very pleased; I quickly got used to the funky joystick shifter, and have set up my bluetooth calling and universal garage door opener buttons without much fuss. I don't have to deal with the Auto Start/Stop function as it will be a long time yet before the temperature here reaches the minimum 37F for that process to work. But when it does, I'll disable the system... it's not for me.

I am loving the adaptive headlights! I sat stopped in the middle of the street, with my lights focused on a garage door down the road, turning the steering wheel slightly left and right and watching the headlights follow suit. Being in Alaska, at this time of year it is dark for all but five hours a day so the headlights are pretty often used. They follow the road nicely, and light up the area in front of the car very well.

The quick-reference owners guide is very useful and quickly gives me just the basic info needed to use a wide variety of functions on the car. Trying to glean this info from the main manual was about as painful as being smashed by a bus. However, I think once I have the initial understanding of the more complex systems, the main manual will make much more sense. I believe it may be best to study the quick reference guide before attempting to digest the main manual, but that's just me.

I have been trying to not push the car too hard since the engine is still so new, but even so, I find numerous occasions where I think to myself "I can't believe this is only a 4 banger!" Despite poor throttle response off the line (must find a way to fix this), once I'm moving, very little go-pedal movement is needed to force a downshift and receive a healty return of acceleration. It will move pretty quick, and the engine does not get any noisier in the process; the general experience reminds me of a (much quieter) version of the 7.0 V8 in my Corvette, in which a request for power, no matter how much, is easily met without a whimper. It never feels like I am "asking too much" of the engine, and that's awesome. The car just takes off like you're doing it a favor!

I was initially annoyed when I found out I would not be able to stream Pandora via Bluetooth since I don't have iDrive; but I was doubly annoyed when I found that I could also not stream audio via my USB cable! My radio told me that the cable was not authorized or some silly nonsense. :mad:

A few phone calls and $72.50 later, I ended up with BMW's proprietary and impossibly short aux cable to allow me to connect my iDevice to the radio. I think they could have provided more than 10 inches worth of cable, but it works as long as you leave your device in the storage tray immediately beside the aux ports. Once I accomplished this, I finally had my Pandora. I did not explore the USB option as that would not solve my Pandora issue, though I may investigate it for using music I already have stored and could then place onto a thumb drive.

It also seems BMW keeps a lot of info close to their chest. I went to a few car audio shops looking for aftermarket solutions, and they all told me that BMW's are the worst cars to work with because they share so little information about their radios / etc. Nobody had an alternative cable for the dealer's $72.50 cable, and one shop told me that even if they did have such a cable, it would be more than 72.50. When I inquired about solutions to allow a bluetooth audio connection to the sound system, again the common answer was that due to the lack of available info from BMW, nobody had anything. So initially it appears that if I want to add this type of functionality, I need to retrofit a bunch of OEM components and invest 3-4k. I'm not yet convinced there is no REASONABLE solution to this; still have a few tricks to try but hey, I like a good challenge!

Overall... VERY pleased with the car. I look forward to spending more time with the documentation and becoming more familiar with everything, and researching the few issues I do have.

Here's the obligatory picture... I apologize for the crummy phone-cam quality picture, but once I get my good camera out of the closet, I'll get some better shots.

Car specs:
2013 X1 AWD 28i
X-Line trim
Mineral Gray paint / Nevada Terra leather
Cold Weather Package
Lighting Package
Premium package
Paddle Shifters
Some other stuff

X1-tahoe 12-28-2012 11:24 AM

Looks awesome! Great review.

I pick up mine next week (same color).

I also didn't get iDrive and will ask for that cable you mentioned when I pick up the car. It's good to know I can dump my iTunes collection on an old iPod and connect that, I might do that instead of dumping the music onto USB drives. Benefit of USB is I can just keep it in the USB port and the iPod, I would have to hide each time I get out of the car. The benefit of the iPod is that I can use playlists and stream online music.

It would be great to hear from BMW why bluetooth music streaming doesn't come standard.....seems so basic now to have that and makes a huge impact on practicality.

mismaloya 12-28-2012 03:48 PM

Nice looking car- love that color. Happy driving up there in Alaska

mullini 12-29-2012 05:53 AM

I have IDrive but I prefer to use the front USB connection (with a regular cable). I don't want to run my Iphone5 all the time on Bluetooth just for music, and the glovebox USB/hard drive option seems like just an additional step I don't need. Although it would have the benefit of not having an Ipod hanging out...maybe I'll try it. I don't worry about leaving the Ipod out though - I really don't think that's a big theft item at this point.

Have to admit I don't know much about Pandora - it's a subscription service, right? So it exists as an app on your phone, and then you stream it through the phone into the X1 audio?

jbone907 12-29-2012 07:12 PM

Pandora is one of a number of free applications that will stream music of your choosing. Every now and again you have to tolerate a commercial, but its a small price to pay. With Pandora, you can create your own personal channels, and then tell Pandora which artists should be the foundation for that channel. After that, Pandora delivers a steady stream of music from those artists and similar artists that it thinks you may like. You have the option of rating each song "thumbs up" or "thumbs down", which further educates Pandora on your particular tastes. No subscription fees, unless you want to listen without ads. You can access Pandora on a computer, or most portable devices as well such as iPhones, so long as you have a net connection. Pandora will even work over 3G.

mullini 12-30-2012 06:37 AM

Thanks for Pandora tutorial. I'll check it out. So it is played through one's phone, via Bluetooth? I'll probably look into it after I have an in-car charger for the Iphone 5...

Wolfex 12-30-2012 01:39 PM

Pandora is so much better than satellite radio and far cheaper subscription. And pandora doesn't skip when you pass under a bridge.

mullini 12-31-2012 06:14 AM

I signed up for Pandora last night, downloaded app to my Iphone 5 and had fun listening for a couple hours. Not sure how this will work in the X1 - the Pandora site says Pandora plays through BMW Apps, which I don't have...I'll investigate further.

whitby 12-31-2012 08:16 AM

Pandora is excellent but watch out for your data usage which is limited to whatever data plan you have with your cell phone provider. You can soon use it up with a few hours usage!

s420merc 12-31-2012 10:21 AM

So how do you listen through the car speakers with Pandora

jbone907 12-31-2012 10:31 AM


Originally Posted by s420merc (Post 7281278)
So how do you listen through the car speakers with Pandora

Well, for now I only have one way to do this... since I don't have iDrive, I had to buy BMW's specific iPhone aux cable to connect my phone directly to the car via the aux ports just ahead of the shifter. Once this is done, I start Pandora on my phone, and then with the car's radio / head unit, select the "Aux" input source. At this point, the radio should pick up the feed from your phone (be it Pandora, or stored music you have on there) and play it over the speakers.

However, there is a device out there called the Blackberry Media Gateway which can simplify things a bit, allowing you to get Pandora to your car's stereo wirelessly via Bluetooth. (Again, this is if you don't have iDrive). I have one on order, and it should be here in a few days. It should alleviate the need for attaching and unattaching my phone every single time I drive the car.

Now if your car has iDrive, I believe you can stream music directly via bluetooth without the need for gateways or cables, but I don't know how that is accomplished.

Wolfex 12-31-2012 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by jbone907 (Post 7281299)
Now if your car has iDrive, I believe you can stream music directly via bluetooth without the need for gateways or cables, but I don't know how that is accomplished.

With iDrive you can stream over Bluetooth but you have to enable music streaming in an options menu that is hard to find. If you plug in your phone to the USB port it disables Bluetooth streaming and you have to find that hidden menu to reset it again.

When streaming Pandora over Bluetooth the song title always updates. When using the USB port or the y cable the screen doesn't update with the current song. That's so annoying.

2013x1 12-31-2012 02:02 PM

Congratulations on your new baby!! Very fun ride.:)

Brando384 03-29-2013 05:35 AM

OP, Can I trouble you to post photos of you terra interior?

I just ordered a '14 X1 xLine sapphire black with terra leather, and some of the photos I've seen recently make it look much lighter, more orange, than I'm hoping for.

It looks MUCH darker on the BMW configurator online, and in their gallery photos ( ).

Let me know. Thanks!

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