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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 08-09-2012, 09:57 AM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Nuts!! X1 Test Drive is a failure – my Golf TDI is bigger?!?! Really?!?

This is from my perspective, but help me hash this out. I want to like this car, but…

So I was all excited to finally see the X1_xDrive_2.8i in person last night. I thought this was the closest available car that met my needs. I made peace with no manual, made peace with no diesel yet, made peace with the N20 4-cyl engine, made peace with the run-flat tires (which I know I’m going to hate trapped on a mountain trailhead miles from anywhere).

I was excited to see the perfect sized car. But now having seen it in person after such an enthusiastic wait - I’m despondent.

Test Drive: It drove much better with the N20 4-cyl than I ever expected. I felt the 328ix sedan drove best, but this was very close, miles ahead of the swaying X3. The engine sounded fine, and even had some of the throaty sport noises I thought would only come from the N55 6-cyl. Fast, crisp, very little body sway, I could be happpy. Grade: A

Looks: Variable. Depends on the angle, just like in all the pictures. From some angles it looks very small, with a thin body lacking height, with a longish protruding nose that the LCI silver trim under the door makes look even more stretched out – it can sometimes look like a hearse to me from certain angles. From other angles it looks bigger. From some others it looks great! There’s just this lingering awkwardness in its shape that I just can’t put my finger on. However I feel like the more I see it, the more it will grow on me. Grade: B

Utility/Cargo : Grade F – as in the Fatal Flaw! This is supposed to be an SUV, or at least a crossover for “sports active” people. This is supposed to a step up from - or at least equal to - my tiny VW Golf TDI.

In my Golf TDI I can stand 4 mountain bikes in back (front wheels off). Most of time, I just have my race bike in back, standing up not lying down, taking 1/4 the cargo space where the rest 3/4 is free for bags and vacation home groceries/laundry. Other times it’s two bikes, where 1/2 the space is free for bags. This is how I drive to Cape Cod, or drive to Vermont for mountain biking, etc.

At first I thought it had to be a trompe l'oeil that the rear floor looked so high compared to my TDI. So I took my bike out of my TDI, and tried to put it in the X1. You know – the X1 - the sports active vehicle that so many BMW promo shots show lots of guys putting mountain bikes in, their windsurfing boards in, etc.

Well my bike did not fit – not by a LONG shot.

The floor of the back cargo area is extremely HIGH! As if there are two sets and levels of spare tires underneath there – when there is not even one spare tire. In my Golf, the floor is very low – giving a good floor to ceiling clearance – AND there is a full-size spare under the floor to boot. How did BMW screw this up?

My Golf has a good five inches in floor to ceiling height greater than the X1!! I only had a string to measure both cars, I will try to bring a tape measure tonight.

Add to this that the X1 rear seat bottoms are forever fixed in the down position – you cannot flip them up to create a hole for the rear seat backs to fit into, so that the cargo floor is flat. The Golf does this. I assumed everyone did. The X1 only allows the rear seat backs to lazily sit on top of the fixed seat bottoms, creating a 30-45 degree angle and a big bump, so the cargo floor is not flat. This takes away even MORE floor-to-ceiling height on the front half of cargo space.

For years everything always “just fit” in the TDI – from bikes to trash barrels to desks (etc). I assumed it was worldwide standardization of sizing. Silly me.

None of these items will fit in the X1. It reduces the short-in-height rear cargo area to being not much better than a sedan’s rear trunk – something that can only take not-tall-at-all grocery bags. No bikes.

And for the real earth-shattering moment, I then found the same setup in the X3. Non-flat floor, seat backs simply sitting old-school on top of the seats, giving a very limited floor-to-ceiling height (only 1 inch more than X1 – so still no bike will fit).

If I’m going to have to take up the whole space “just” putting in my one bike sideways and not being able to take groceries and bags to the Cape with the bike… well, what good is this vehicle then?? I can have the same “no cargo space” deal with a sedan where likewise a bike laying sideways “takes out” the whole trunk and rear seats folded down. No difference.

I was devastated.

Am I off-base here or is BMW? None of those sport-active toys in their promo shots would actually fit in their car. And my GOLF – a lowly VW Golf – is a better vehicle for cargo than either the BMW X1 or X3??

How can this be? Shocked. I never saw this one coming.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:59 AM
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I am curious why the cargo floor is so high as well. Could it be that underneath is where the battery is stored? Still, it's disappointing that the seats don't fold down flat... Thanks for the review!
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2012, 11:44 AM
Tony411LA Tony411LA is offline
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The cargo capacity is somewhat disappointing, but don't rule the X1 out. You can always get a bike rack for either the top or the back of the X1. I looked back at several of the "activity" marketing images and not one actually shows any gear that you might want to carry INSIDE the vehicle. The gear is either on top of the X1, next to the X1 or about to be put into the X1, making it appear the item will fit in the X1. Your comment about the "Look" of the X1 is exactly how I feel. (I have not seen it in person yet). In some camera angles, it looks amazing and in others, the hood is too long. But I took the bold leap of faith and ordered one anyway. Like you, I think it will grow on me. I wasn't that excited about the look of the new X3, but now I really like it.
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:51 PM
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Here are some higher resolution pictures of the bike on the rack from the NY Auto Show. I do think the cargo space is on the small side but I think it can be very workable.



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  #5  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for posting this info. Like you, I also feel that this is the vehicle that most closely meets my needs (despite many of the same caveats), but I haven't seen one in person yet. I'm headed to my dealer this weekend to check out the first X1 they received. Now I know I need to pay special attention to the usability of the cargo space.

I have to imagine that it drives a lot better than the VW though.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2012, 02:19 PM
HotRodW HotRodW is offline
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Good info ... thanks for the post. I ordered a couple weeks ago and I am awaiting delivery myself. I made the dealer agree to make the final purchase dependent upon a test drive so I can see if I can live with compromises - most of which you already mentioned. For me, square footage is more important than cubes since I rarely stack cargo, but I do have work gear to carry all the time, and I need to make sure it all fits. I think the X1 will be OK for me. For bikes, however, I can see the problem. All the reviews have been consistent in pointing out that that the X1 is more of a hatch than a crossover, with a roof as low as some sedans.

Regarding the rear seats, I've done a lot of test driving lately, and I can't think of a single vehicle that has lift up seat bottoms. Some, like the RDX and Escape, have floors that are mostly flat, but the rear seats just collapse lower when folded.

It is interesting how much RWD affects packaging. My Forester is essentially the same size as the X1, yet the cargo capacity is twice as large. Plus it has a spare and under-floor storage. Doesn't seem possible.
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2012, 05:25 PM
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The X1 is not meant to haul bikes it's meant to haul strollers and shopping bags.

I get the sense that the X1 is one of those cars for people who like the idea of having and "outdoorsy" lifestyle rather than those who have them.
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:10 PM
Reedo302 Reedo302 is offline
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This video gives a good explanation, and I think it's right on the money about it being a wagon. From what I notice, the X1 is very close to the Audi Allroad, and I think that's the best way to think of it.
My main decision is between the X1 and the forthcoming N20 328i xDrive Touring.


Last edited by Reedo302; 08-09-2012 at 10:11 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2012, 06:02 AM
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OP: maybe this option would help alleviate your disappointment?.. http://www.collinacre.plus.com/BMW_X1_Bike_Rack.html
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2012, 11:03 AM
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OP: An X1 is clearly not a car for you. Look elsewhere.
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  #11  
Old 08-10-2012, 12:03 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Good discussion, some good points in here.

My first car was a GTI hatch, love at first sight, FUN FUN to drive.

Then moved up to 328i sedan. 328i was great car, except nothing fit inside. You just had the trunk area plus the rear seat back sitting angled on the rear seats.

During those sedan days, it killed me having my $15K race bike outside in the elements while I was cozy inside. If it rained at constant "get into every crevice" windswept 70+ mph at my bike, I'd have to repack the hubs with imported lithium grease, re-lube the chain, etc. In parking lots or overnight, I was terrified of theft. Etc.

I then moved back to Golf TDI. Everything fit again. Bike safe and pampered inside. Could take up to four bikes for me and my friends. In springtime I could take both my road and mountain bike on road trips and have room left for luggage.

So a bike rack idea doesn't cut it (for me). If I have to have that, then I might as well have a 'proper' sedan. Which to me, is the most sexy and correct shape for a car.

So I was contemplating a 3'er sedan, dreaming up ways to store the greasy bike somehow in back seat, when the X1 idea came out. I thought that was my hallelujah answer.

It still may be. I owe another trip back for take#2, perhaps this weekend.

For trip#1 - I had expectations that seemed to exceed what the X1 really is.

Now I have to go back with the mindset of "Alright, so it's not perfect, but HOW BAD is it really? Can I make do?" Stay tuned. I might take some pics as well, avec et sans the bike.

Last edited by Teleskier; 08-10-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-10-2012, 12:59 PM
bimmerized bimmerized is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_fox View Post
I am curious why the cargo floor is so high as well. Could it be that underneath is where the battery is stored? Still, it's disappointing that the seats don't fold down flat... Thanks for the review!
the floor is higher than the Golf for ground clearance.

The X1 may not have the largest cargo capacity or interior volume for its exterior size, but it also drives better than most , if not all, crossovers. It's all about compromises. There's never a perfect car for everyone. The X1 is no different; why expect it?

Has anyone compared the drive to the Mazda CX-5? The CX-5 is lighter and has much more cargo volume, for those looking for a spirited crossover with more cargo space.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:18 PM
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dandanio dandanio is offline
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Has anyone compared the drive to the Mazda CX-5? The CX-5 is lighter and has much more cargo volume, for those looking for a spirited crossover with more cargo space.
I test drove the CX-5 twice already and I am not convinced to the new 2L naturally aspirated engine. I liked, almost loved the interior, plastics, ergonomics, roominess. And I liked the new transmission. What I disliked, but only because I am biased, is the engine. It felt like 155hp is just not enough, but in all fairness, the car drove in a very civilized manner. Its silhouette resembled my X3 a lot, but it is a good thing. I liked the car and its price enough to recommend it to my parents. They should be getting it shortly.
As a sidenote: if this car is slightly turbo'ed, say to 200-240hp, that would be a thing to get for under $30k. But, for now, it is only the next best thing to an N55 X3.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:37 PM
bimmerized bimmerized is offline
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Originally Posted by dandanio View Post
I test drove the CX-5 twice already and I am not convinced to the new 2L naturally aspirated engine. I liked, almost loved the interior, plastics, ergonomics, roominess. And I liked the new transmission. What I disliked, but only because I am biased, is the engine. It felt like 155hp is just not enough, but in all fairness, the car drove in a very civilized manner.
My thoughts exactly. I would have chose it over the X1 had it not been for the weak engine. It needs a turbo... The car represents a much better value than the X1 though. Similarly equipped the difference is $10K+. I'm betting the 28x handles better than the CX-5 AWD dispite it's weight disadvantage.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:41 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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It is PARTLY about design choices.

To be fair to the X1: the Golf is FWD, and the X1 is AWD. They need PART of that floor space for the rear transmission.

So the buyer has to ask: Do I want more rear cargo space and FWD, or limited space and AWD. I have not checked out the AWD Golf R yet. Now I'm curious to see how its rear floor compares.

However I have to admit to getting a real sucker-punch "You gotta be kidding me!" feeling when you lift up the pad of the much higher X1 floor, expecting to see two full-size tires in there, and instead - almost to razz you - they put 9 tiny one-inch-high match book holders there instead! It makes you want to turn around to the see the car designer behind a corner laughing at you for his lighthearted attempt at a little joke.

It does seem that they took much more space in back than they really needed to. And it’s not the battery, since it seemed that floor was sealed without access provided.

So…

Golf has 5-6" more cargo height PLUS a FULL size spare below the pad.

X1 has less space, no spare tire, but room for nine matchboxes.

Perhaps the European and Canadian X1 owners can help us here... I'd have NO idea what I'd ever store in that tiny thin space, why did BMW even bother?

Cigarettes, matches, and ???
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:42 PM
HotRodW HotRodW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandanio View Post
I test drove the CX-5 twice already and I am not convinced to the new 2L naturally aspirated engine. I liked, almost loved the interior, plastics, ergonomics, roominess. And I liked the new transmission. What I disliked, but only because I am biased, is the engine. It felt like 155hp is just not enough, but in all fairness, the car drove in a very civilized manner. Its silhouette resembled my X3 a lot, but it is a good thing. I liked the car and its price enough to recommend it to my parents. They should be getting it shortly.
As a sidenote: if this car is slightly turbo'ed, say to 200-240hp, that would be a thing to get for under $30k. But, for now, it is only the next best thing to an N55 X3.
The upcoming diesel powerplant should solve most of the CX-5's shortcomings. I seriously considered waiting for the diesel myself, but I miss having something more tossable and entertaining. The CX-5 handles really well for its size, but I expect the smaller X1 to blow it away. (Plus I'm tired of waiting for the non-existent "ideal" vehicle.) Now if Mazda offers the diesel with a manual transmission in Grand Touring trim, I may live to regret my decision. But I'm betting that won't happen.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerized View Post
the floor is higher than the Golf for ground clearance.

The X1 may not have the largest cargo capacity or interior volume for its exterior size, but it also drives better than most , if not all, crossovers. It's all about compromises. There's never a perfect car for everyone. The X1 is no different; why expect it?

Has anyone compared the drive to the Mazda CX-5? The CX-5 is lighter and has much more cargo volume, for those looking for a spirited crossover with more cargo space.
I test drove the CX-5 and it is hilariously underpowered. I actually felt unsafe on a highway on-ramp, the thing can't even get out of its own way, much less a big rig.

Now if it had the Mazda 3Speed engine in it, it would be fine.

OP: Sorry to hear about the disappointment, but better you find out first hand than have a let down after you've already ordered it. Why the interest in a smaller crossover type if you have such precious cargo to haul?
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:26 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petriej View Post
OP: Why the interest in a smaller crossover type if you have such precious cargo to haul?
If a GTI/Golf can do it - why can't these supposedly superior SAVs do it at twice the price?

I suppose it shows why the Golf was the best-selling car around the world for decades, and probably still is. Drives quite well (with true German spirit), great mileage, and everything fits.

I shouldn’t need an Escalade just to go for a bike ride in VT. Or to always have the bike with me in the car for whenever I have a spare 60mins to fit in a ride – whether from lunchtime at work or lobster day trip to Maine.

It’s not uncommon in springtime, as a way to handle the shoulder season "take whatever comes" weather, to have my 18ft self-built wooden sea kayak on top of the roof rack (THAT can get wet), and inside the car are the kayak paddle, road bike, mountain bike, telemark skis, alpine skis, and XC skis all in back - ready for whatever the given part of New England I happen to be in and its current weather has to offer, as it changes hour by hour.

If the Golf can do this, what I consider my minimum. I thought a specifically designed SAV could do it too.

I suppose I grew up with the European mindset that you don't need a massive vehicle just to haul stuff.

Friends still talk about the day I brought home 30-40 rhoddy plants in my Golf from a RI nursery that went out of business sending notice to our rhoddy club to come take all you want. That was a scene – leaves smooshed in every window – wish I took a picture – but once again everything fit.

It is/was always amazing what fits inside that car. It is/was a regular TARDIS.

Now it seems that I’d need an X5 to be able to do the same. What’s the upward migration path from the 'college car' GTI for the SAV-minded person??

I should have been too old to fall for the BMW marketing but I did. I felt the sport-active BMW promo pics from Europe with mountain bikes et al, and especially the choice of German techno Digitalism Zdarlight in the awesome X1 commercial in Europe which even showed ‘my’ X1 on my ‘Cape Cod’ ocean dunes splashing through the surf - it all but screamed my own name to me to the point where it could have been flashing my name on screen – the one car and mindset and culture match that simply screamed out – this is finally “the one!”

Sounds like a teenager, yes, but then it turns out that your rock star idle is not the guy you THOUGHT he was.

I do agree with others who pulled the trigger… I’m darned tired of waiting for the perfect car… as meanwhile my former perfect car is getting older by the minute… where 12 years and 200K miles is enough to have already asked from her.

Where do I hang my hat (aka haul my kayak and bikes and skis)?
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:33 PM
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Actually the X3 has more interior space than the X5.

Why not get another Golf? They're not college kid cars.
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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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Old 08-10-2012, 03:48 PM
ddavid1101 ddavid1101 is offline
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I also really wanted this to be the "right" car. Flew up to Toronto a little over a month ago to take a look at it. Test drove it. Test drove it against 328i. Got the same feeling. About a month ago, the brought an X1 to the Dallas BMW and was able to sit in it, compare it for a good hour. Wife took the 328i for drive to compare ride since it's the same engine.

Trunk is tiny. It actually looked smaller and I think it is when rear seats are up compared to the old 3 touring. I also believe it's smaller than the new 328i trunk. Interior was not bad, but when you sit in both the new 328 and X1, it's a lot roomier in the new 3 series. Only difference is I dont hit my head coming out of X1(I'm 6'2).

I also looked at CX-5, love the shape, didnt like the materials inside. Waiting for new Santa Fe to come out(end of month) which is probably bigger than we need.

I'm still on the fence, waiting for both cars to hit the showroom. Will drive again and make a decision. Just not sure if I can live with the cargo space and the space in the back seat.

GLK Diesel is coming in the spring, so is the new 3 touring which will be bigger both in cargo and passenger space than the X1. Not sure if I can wait that long.

I dont mind the look, I mind the lack of space. It LOOKS bigger than Inifiniti EX35 but in reality Inifiniti beats it by the numbers.

Also, I was told the battery was in the back. I assume under the cargo area.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:49 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petriej View Post
Why not get another Golf? They're not college kid cars.
On one side of the equation:
  1. Guy says it's a perfect SAV since everything fits
  2. Guy takes out a new GTI and is shocked at how much raw FUN it STILL is

On the other side of the equation:
  1. Other half keeps asking "When are you getting rid of that college car? It's just like your first one!"
  2. Older and younger friends ask "When are you getting rid of the college car?" Some add the phrase "get that sh*t box out of my driveway" - the ones in Jaguars and Aston-Martins especially (of course they are just 'kidding')
  3. Work colleagues imply the car is beneath my supposed 'status' (Honestly I'm not sure the little X1 would even placate them)
  4. It is time - I admit - for something different and perhaps a little more upscale

Who wins? I fought the battle for 12 years as something 800-mile-per-tank 55mpg eco-responsible where I can still drive to all my favorite fun spots - but I fear I'm just once car repair bill away from getting the edict of "junk that thing finally"

Last edited by Teleskier; 08-10-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2012, 03:57 PM
Teleskier Teleskier is offline
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Originally Posted by ddavid1101 View Post
Also, I was told the battery was in the back. I assume under the cargo area.
Could be... I wonder if perhaps THAT is the reason for the match box carrier. It is about the right size for a battery access door. It might be underneath there.
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2012, 04:06 PM
SunnyandRich SunnyandRich is offline
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
The X1 is not meant to haul bikes it's meant to haul strollers and shopping bags.

I get the sense that the X1 is one of those cars for people who like the idea of having and "outdoorsy" lifestyle rather than those who have them.
Winner winner chicken dinner.

Hell I bet our 2012 Honda Fit has more room than an X1.

I had an X3 for a while but was never impressed with the cargo capacity of that either.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:11 PM
ddavid1101 ddavid1101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
The X1 is not meant to haul bikes it's meant to haul strollers and shopping bags.

I get the sense that the X1 is one of those cars for people who like the idea of having and "outdoorsy" lifestyle rather than those who have them.
I'm looking at X1 now for when we have a family in a year or so.
I'm still questioning if it will fit a stroller and groceries back there.

A friend has an Infiniti ex35 which by the numbers, has more cargo space than X1 and they care BARLEY fit A stroller, baby bag and maybe 2-3 bags of groceries.

I cant imagine the X1 doing much better especially when cargo is smaller by the numbers published.
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  #25  
Old 08-10-2012, 06:10 PM
HotRodW HotRodW is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 X1, 2012 Q5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddavid1101 View Post
I'm looking at X1 now for when we have a family in a year or so.
I'm still questioning if it will fit a stroller and groceries back there.

A friend has an Infiniti ex35 which by the numbers, has more cargo space than X1 and they care BARLEY fit A stroller, baby bag and maybe 2-3 bags of groceries.

I cant imagine the X1 doing much better especially when cargo is smaller by the numbers published.
You're right about the EX35. It has a smidge larger cargo area, but not much. And I think the rear seat might actually be smaller than the X1's. It's a great driver, however -- an absolute joy. Since you're getting ready to do the family thing, may I suggest a test drive of the XC60 if you haven't already done so? In my opinion, it's the must underrated vehicle in it's class. The R-Design is really special, with strong, linear power delivery. And while EPA gas mileage numbers are disappointing, I managed to exceed the highway number by a significant margin on both of my test drives. As a bonus it runs on regular unleaded. I was "this" close to buying one myself.
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