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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > X Series > X1 E84 (2011 - current)

X1 E84 (2011 - current)
The new to the US BMW X1 will arrive at BMW dealers in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year. Get your X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or get the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i dDrive.

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:09 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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X1 Pre-Order Cold Feet – too many questions – #2) 2.8 N20 vs 3.5 N55?

The key question is: how light will this car be? Light enough that it will make the N20 thrust feel like enough?

I test drove the 2013 X3 with the 8-spd N20 while the sales manager counted his (now-missing) pennies. It was just OK. It felt very sterile, very staid, very steady, very even powered throughout the range… and while that SOUNDS like a good thing, it was yawn-producing.

Sure, the twin-scroll turbo is lauded and provided even thrust throughout the range, perhaps where I’d even pass cars better because of that even-spread power. But it felt BORING. I missed the turbo kick. I missed the sense of “now we’re rocking”. I missed that feeling of being kicked back into your seat for a burst of acceleration and speed.

Dare I say I miss my chipped TDI low-end torque, and of all things, even missed my old-school turbo lag? Because when it kicks in, it feels FUN! Better to wait 5sec for a fun 55sec kick, than 60sec of even nothingness.

The N20 X3 felt like driving Miss Daisy to church. Even. Steady. No punch. Boring. It felt competent – yes – but also quite anemic.

Then I tried the 3.5 N55 X3. Suddenly there were big smiles on this driver. It had kick. It had go. It had fun. Does a 1sec 0-60 track time really matter that much? Well in this case, I had to admit that it turned boring into fun.

So what does this mean for the X1? I need to drive it!!

My N20 vs N55 questions are:
• At 386lbs lighter than the N20 X3, will the N20 X1 drive closer to a car having pep and fun, despite the 4-cyl engine?
• Will the lighter X1 be insanely overpowered by the N55, or just that much even more fun than the N55 X3?
• How much worse mileage will I get with the N55?
• I started out wanting the X1 for the N20 mileage. I started with the sDrive for its 33hwy. But then wanted all-wheel xDrive for all my snow commutes and VT/Canada skiing, that drops me down to 30 hwy. If I want the N55 fun, is that worth another drop to 27 hwy?
• Is it wise to pass up the much-lauded newest N20 engine known for its efficiency_plus_performance combo, to get the older near-end-of-life inefficient N55?
• How much is it worth having the N20’s 8-spd for highway cruising mileage increase, over the N55’s older 6-sp?
• Will I miss having any sense of turbo-lag kick, or having any acceleration kick of the N20?
• If I truly wanted better mileage, I’d be sticking with my VW TDI. Even there, I spent the first three years driving it low-rpm lugged & boring trying to eek out every mpg. Then I finally got it chipped, and suddenly the hidden race car came roaring out! The feeling I had then was: “Why the heck did I wait this long and spent three boring years driving in eco-mode, when I could have been having FUN!”. I feel like I’m about to make the same mistake here.

Is 3mpg really worth a lack of fun? Or will the X1 be light enough, where the N20 will perform better than it did on the X3?

I see a lot of N20 vs N55 X1 test drives in my future.

How would you guess the N20 vs N55 would behave in the X1?

Which would you pick?

Would you pick 3mpg over some fun?
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2012, 09:05 PM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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No the N20 will not drive closer to a car, it will just have less smooth engine and be slower.

I had an N54 powered 1 series convertible. There is no such thing as an insanely over powered BMW (the twin turbo V8 in my X5 produces 400 bhp).

No idea what the gas mileage would be. I would never consider the N20 so I don't really care.

What makes you think the N55 is "near-end-of-life". Its only been available for a couple of years.

Odd that they would offer the 6 spd with the N55 for the X1, all the other BMW models pair it with the 8 spd. The 8s pd is great unless your car loses power and then needs to be towed. The tow truck driver will not be able to get the transmission into neutral.

I would of course pick the N55.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2012, 08:35 AM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Good catch. I think since the N55 comes with the older 6spd, I might have quickly confused it for the N54 in my head. It does sound like the N55 (released in 2009) will be around for a while, and also offers fuel savings over the older N54. I just read that N55 has twin-scroll turbo too, but somehow it felt like it had much more punch than the twin-scroll N20. I'll need to drive both again to compare the power curve.
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:38 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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It does have more punch. It clocks in around 300hp/300lb-ft. In the X1, it will feel like a rocket ship, once you get some tunes in there.


EDIT: Oh, and as far as I know, the N55 is a 3.0L engine. It gets the 35i moniker to place it above the old M54 3.0L engine.
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Quote:
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Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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Last edited by petriej; 07-12-2012 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Displacement
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2012, 03:42 PM
speedracerf4i speedracerf4i is offline
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N20 vs N55

It was simple for me to order my X1 with N20 because it was for my wife.
My 545i can do 0-60 in 5.7 sec which is close to the 6.1 sec an N20 x1 can do, so I chose N20 for the mileage. Also, I live in California so all-whell drive was not necessary. I don't want to carry around 150 lbs heavier drive train all the time. So Sdrive made more sense for me.

If this car was for me, I would go without 10K worth of options in my n20 X1 and opted for the N55 X1 with less frills.
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:17 AM
investor27 investor27 is offline
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I got the X1 xDrive28i for my wife. Got it WITHOUT the moon-roof and the power-seats, so that would be closer to 500 lbs lighter than the X3. The N20 twin-scroll engine reaches full torque at lower rpm than my 535i xDrive with the N54 engine, which gets over 30 mpg here on the highway by the way. BMW is always conservative with the mpg estimate, so I'm betting that the X1 xDrive N20 will get better than 30 mpg on the highway.

Thinking about your question it seems your main concern is deciding between good mileage vs powerful car. Lets put it this way, you had an epiphany after chipping your TDI 3 years too late. Use that experience to make your final decision. But it sounds to me like the xDrive35i is the way to go for you.

Last edited by investor27; 07-13-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:09 AM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by investor27 View Post
my 535i xDrive with the N54 engine, which gets over 30 mpg here on the highway by the way.
Good info. I was remembering that what put BMW back in my mind was seeing the 36 hwy ads and feeling that was close enough to my TDI 49 hwy to think about a gasser as possible next car. Then the EPA drops it to 33, then xdrive drops it to 30, then N55 drops it to 27... I felt I loss almost 10mpg in the mix. 27mpg vs 50mpg (half) feels different than 36 vs 49 (third) in my mind but somehow 30 vs 49 keeps me in the game... funny the impact of a few points up or down on psychology.

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Originally Posted by investor27 View Post
you had an epiphany after chipping your TDI 3 years too late. Use that experience to make your final decision.
Yes that's been weighing heavily on my thinking since I wrote that. It made the car so much fun to drive that I still don't want to give up the aged TDI even now. I am fine with its FWD on snow, but suffered mightily in my prior 328i RWD.

My full progression is going full circle with the angel vs devil on my shoulder:
  1. Devil: If anyone 'deserves' an SUV it should be you who has squashed FIVE TDI oil pans being the good eco-doobie (before skid plate) getting to backwoods skiing trailheads (vs suburban housewife simply grocery shopping)
  2. Angel: And yet you drove your biodiesel TDI per your european minimal-impact 'be good for the planet' upbringing instead - for more than a decade.
  3. Devil: Yeah so you paid your good eco-friendly dues and earned some credits to get a 'real' SUV at this stage in your life.
  4. Angel: You don't really need a big SUV. Look at the crossovers - smaller but still sport active and good mileage but without being a large SUV Suburban driver.
  5. Me: Look at X1... 36mpg... bigger than TDI... rear hatch... looks sporty in BMW promo pics... both sides can be happy.
  6. Devil: No wimpy 36mpg. N20 was not fun, you need N55 kick. What's the point of 'suv' if not AWD. What's the point of BMW if not xeon and MSport? For the sake of a few mpg you are trading fun. Say, now that I've got you leaning toward the 27mpg N55 X1, why not just get the full-size X3 now like everybody else, it's only 2mpg less at 25mpg and you'd have a 'real' (in US eyes) car? Hey look, the 3.5i N55 X3 gets 26 mpg, do that?
  7. Angel: So you went from 50mpg TDI to 36mpg EPA to 27 mpg N55 to full-size X3 25mpg? From TDI to SUV?? And you don't even get the fun of a manual transmission for all that? Are you sure I can't talk you into a Prius? Well the N20 X1 is no poor-driving Prius, at least can't you do that?
Tough decisions.

Here's another burning question for me to ponder:

A: Do I chip the N20 for $2K where it behaves like a N55 but still gives better mileage
- or -
B: For the similar $3K, just get the V6 N55 in the first place and to hell with being green.

My gut says that if you're going to chip the darn thing, just go with the N55 upfront.
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:15 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Green is relative.

The I6 N55 still puts you in decent fuel consumption rates in such a light car. No one buys a BMW to be fuel conscious.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans/Black/6spd Steptragic
1999 M3 Cabrio TiAg Metallic/Dove Grey/Black 5 Speed Manual
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1997 328iC Schwarz II/K/K 5MT SOLD 5/2012
2004 645Ci Mineral Silver Metallic/Black 6MT RIP 04/2011
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:12 PM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleskier View Post
Good info. I was remembering that what put BMW back in my mind was seeing the 36 hwy ads and feeling that was close enough to my TDI 49 hwy to think about a gasser as possible next car. Then the EPA drops it to 33, then xdrive drops it to 30, then N55 drops it to 27... I felt I loss almost 10mpg in the mix. 27mpg vs 50mpg (half) feels different than 36 vs 49 (third) in my mind but somehow 30 vs 49 keeps me in the game... funny the impact of a few points up or down on psychology.



Yes that's been weighing heavily on my thinking since I wrote that. It made the car so much fun to drive that I still don't want to give up the aged TDI even now. I am fine with its FWD on snow, but suffered mightily in my prior 328i RWD.

My full progression is going full circle with the angel vs devil on my shoulder:
  1. Devil: If anyone 'deserves' an SUV it should be you who has squashed FIVE TDI oil pans being the good eco-doobie (before skid plate) getting to backwoods skiing trailheads (vs suburban housewife simply grocery shopping)
  2. Angel: And yet you drove your biodiesel TDI per your european minimal-impact 'be good for the planet' upbringing instead - for more than a decade.
  3. Devil: Yeah so you paid your good eco-friendly dues and earned some credits to get a 'real' SUV at this stage in your life.
  4. Angel: You don't really need a big SUV. Look at the crossovers - smaller but still sport active and good mileage but without being a large SUV Suburban driver.
  5. Me: Look at X1... 36mpg... bigger than TDI... rear hatch... looks sporty in BMW promo pics... both sides can be happy.
  6. Devil: No wimpy 36mpg. N20 was not fun, you need N55 kick. What's the point of 'suv' if not AWD. What's the point of BMW if not xeon and MSport? For the sake of a few mpg you are trading fun. Say, now that I've got you leaning toward the 27mpg N55 X1, why not just get the full-size X3 now like everybody else, it's only 2mpg less at 25mpg and you'd have a 'real' (in US eyes) car? Hey look, the 3.5i N55 X3 gets 26 mpg, do that?
  7. Angel: So you went from 50mpg TDI to 36mpg EPA to 27 mpg N55 to full-size X3 25mpg? From TDI to SUV?? And you don't even get the fun of a manual transmission for all that? Are you sure I can't talk you into a Prius? Well the N20 X1 is no poor-driving Prius, at least can't you do that?
Tough decisions.

Here's another burning question for me to ponder:

A: Do I chip the N20 for $2K where it behaves like a N55 but still gives better mileage
- or -
B: For the similar $3K, just get the V6 N55 in the first place and to hell with being green.

My gut says that if you're going to chip the darn thing, just go with the N55 upfront.
The X1 is not an SUV. It's barely a crossover. If you are looking for a soft roader you should be looking at the X3 or X5. If you want a true off roader, BMW does not make one. Buy a Jeep or Landrover.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2012, 02:02 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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And now they announce a diesel coming to X1?

Another reason to wait and not jump at pre-order ED. So glad the dealer played hard ball.

Guess I'll be waiting for the diesel with 62mpg and try to chip that.

Though the N55 was a lot fun, and is on my mind.
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:05 PM
investor27 investor27 is offline
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Yeah. Me, too. I've been wanting the X1 diesel since last year. But I can't sit around and wait for it to arrive here, so I placed an order for the N20 xDrive instead. If the diesel does come over say March of 2013, I'll probably be trading my 6 months old X1 in for the diesel. I don't know if I will be chipping it, though, due to the voiding of the warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleskier View Post
And now they announce a diesel coming to X1?

Another reason to wait and not jump at pre-order ED. So glad the dealer played hard ball.

Guess I'll be waiting for the diesel with 62mpg and try to chip that.

Though the N55 was a lot fun, and is on my mind.
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