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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 08-03-2013, 08:40 PM
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Pat_X5 Pat_X5 is offline
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Question 2014 X1 sDrive28i test drive question

Just test drove an X1 sDrive28i today and I have to say that the suspension, performance and overall features were a big plus. Loved the tight feel on the road and smooth engine performance. I didn't expect much from a 4 cylinder engine, but the twin turbos really make up for it. Felt just like the past 3 BMWs with inline 6 engines.

BUT the steering really stinks - that is my only biggest complaint with the car.
The car felt like it was disconnected from the road.


After driving BMWs for over 10 years, I have to say this one felt like a GMC or an old Cadillac Eldorado from the 20th century.

QUESTION:
Is ordering the $250 servotronic steering option going to fix it ?
Will the servotronic make it "connect" with the road ?



I just don't want to order this and pick it up in Germany to find out the steering sucks....

Last edited by Pat_X5; 08-03-2013 at 08:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:07 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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I picked up my Euro Delivery X1 s28i MSPORT on May 29th, and I thought it was a dream to drive. I've never had a BMW, so I don't have your reference point, but other BMW's must be amazing.

My current car is a RX8 with 6spd auto that I balanced with alignment, and take to sports car tracks. It also has electric steering also which I consider very good.

I've heard that the X28i has heavy steering, and lower mpg, so I'm very happy with my s28i rear wheel drive with 8 x18 and 9 x18 staggered summer Pirelli p7's.

Some X1 complaints I've heard don't sound anything like my BMW.

I've heard the xdrive 28i all wheel drive has heavy steering, but didn't drive one.

Last edited by 0w40X1; 08-03-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:07 PM
whitby whitby is online now
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Buy the xDrive 28i. It has hydraulically assisted steering and is much better if a little heavier.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2013, 07:54 AM
HBWT HBWT is offline
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xDrive steering is superb
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2013, 10:30 AM
Forteatwo Forteatwo is offline
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Buying an all wheel drive car so you can have hydraulic steering is a bit absurd. Like OW40X1 this is my first BMW and the description of the steering on the S Drive doesn't conform to my experience with this car.

My prior Mercedes had a recirculating ball steering mechanism and the on-center feel of that was why Mercedes continued to use it for many years despite the high cost. While the S-drive does not feel like that it is not so dissimilar as to be a deal breaker.

I wonder if there are differences in the feel of these cars based on how the steering motor mechanism is calibrated.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forteatwo View Post
Buying an all wheel drive car so you can have hydraulic steering is a bit absurd. Like OW40X1 this is my first BMW and the description of the steering on the S Drive doesn't conform to my experience with this car.

My prior Mercedes had a recirculating ball steering mechanism and the on-center feel of that was why Mercedes continued to use it for many years despite the high cost. While the S-drive does not feel like that it is not so dissimilar as to be a deal breaker.

I wonder if there are differences in the feel of these cars based on how the steering motor mechanism is calibrated.
+1 on the AWD car to get hydraulic steering is not what I want or need. I wanted a RWD car to replace my 335d for daily commutes. I already have an AWD Mercedes SUV we use for ski trips and some light off road camping.

So I still prefer the RWD of classic BMWs since I started driving them over 10 years ago.

What I wanted to know is if there is anyone who actually drove an s28i with the OPTIONAL Servotronic steering ???

I just hate the stock s28i with the electric steering - makes all my past BMWs totally different. Guess for new folks, the electric steering would not seem strange at all but being a multiple BMW owner, I prefer to feel the road and feel the torque as I drive out of a curve....
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2013, 12:51 PM
rfluongo rfluongo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat_X5 View Post

What I wanted to know is if there is anyone who actually drove an s28i with the OPTIONAL Servotronic steering ???

I just hate the stock s28i with the electric steering - makes all my past BMWs totally different. Guess for new folks, the electric steering would not seem strange at all but being a multiple BMW owner, I prefer to feel the road and feel the torque as I drive out of a curve....
I test drove the s28i with and without Servotronic, back to back. I have not owned a BMW before, so cannot compare to the old school feel. I liked the Servotronic better; it stiffened up nicely above about 30-40 mph. However, it does not feel like hydraulic PS in the x28i.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:41 PM
tonydetiger tonydetiger is offline
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2014 X1 sDrive28i test drive question

My hope is that someone will come out with a tune for the electronic steering that will make it feel more BMW like.


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  #9  
Old 08-05-2013, 08:53 AM
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FYI "twin scroll" does not mean "twin turbo"... There is only one turbo on the N20 engine
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2013, 01:13 PM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat_X5 View Post

QUESTION:
Is ordering the $250 servotronic steering option going to fix it ?
Will the servotronic make it "connect" with the road ?

My understanding is that Servotronic is only available in the xDrive (AWD) models. It helps with the hydraulic steering at low speeds. If you want rear wheel drive only, it only comes equipped with electric steering and there are no upgrades.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:47 PM
mickkassem mickkassem is offline
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We have the sDrive M Sport 2014 with the Servotronic. Drives and steers great. I can certainly feel the road. Have not owned a BMW previously but have test driven several. From what I can tell, hydraulic steering will be used less and less in the future.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:16 PM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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Originally Posted by mickkassem View Post
We have the sDrive M Sport 2014 with the Servotronic.
Stand corrected.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickkassem View Post
We have the sDrive M Sport 2014 with the Servotronic. Drives and steers great. I can certainly feel the road. Have not owned a BMW previously but have test driven several. From what I can tell, hydraulic steering will be used less and less in the future.
Thank you for all the input!

Now I will search out a s28i with the optional Servotronic steering and see it it makes up for the awful electronic steering.



I didn't want to order an X1 until I know I will be happy with the steering, after all, that's what makes a BMW a BMW.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:57 AM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickkassem View Post
We have the sDrive M Sport 2014 with the Servotronic. Drives and steers great. I can certainly feel the road. Have not owned a BMW previously but have test driven several. From what I can tell, hydraulic steering will be used less and less in the future.
I have the same config, s28i M Sport 2014 without Servotronic, and I can feel pavement joints, etc. I've driven it many times to 120 mph on autobahn, and I just don't think any change in steering would improve it.

It feels firm, but it also has Pirelli p7 summer performance tires. I think if you got all seasons it would handle a little different.

Also, if you like firmer steering just run the 35 recommended tire pressure up front. I'm going to run about the same psi front and rear 42 to keep the sway to a minimum. That psi differential is for loaded car that puts most of weight in rear.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:18 PM
briar08 briar08 is offline
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I test drove an X-Drive without Servotrnic (3 times), and a S-Drive without Servotronic and bought a S-Drive with Servotronic (based on forum feedback), which I drove for 700 miles in Europe (its now on a boat). I am coming from 15 years of driving a VW Passat.

The x-drive steering felt heavy, but I loved it (the wife not so much). I did a quick test drive in the S-Drive w/o Servotronic and it seemed fine.

Driving my S-Drive with Servotronic , I was a little disappointed. The steering was pretty light. It did tighten up, but I didn't really feel it much unless I was going over 80 mph. I did like it on the roads with lots of switchbacks as it made life a little easier. But over all, I felt a little disconnected from the road. If you hated the S-Drive with no Servotronic , I doubt you will like it better with Servotronic.

Take this with a grain of salt as I never test drove these cars back to back, but over a period of 4-5 months, and memory can be fickle.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:26 PM
nostatic nostatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat_X5 View Post
Thank you for all the input!

Now I will search out a s28i with the optional Servotronic steering and see it it makes up for the awful electronic steering.
If you like hydraulic, it won't. If you don't know/like hydraulic, then it might.

Totally depends on your expectations.
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  #17  
Old 08-06-2013, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
If you like hydraulic, it won't. If you don't know/like hydraulic, then it might.

Totally depends on your expectations.
Yup, NOSTATIC, I do prefer hydraulic steering - can't change that after driving BMWs for over 10 years.

Guess I have to go up the AWD x28i then ?

Well at least it will be good for puddles and light rain use on the freeways here in Southern California. And local ski trips too.

Thanks everyone for your input !
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2013, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briar08 View Post
I test drove an X-Drive without Servotrnic (3 times), and a S-Drive without Servotronic and bought a S-Drive with Servotronic (based on forum feedback), which I drove for 700 miles in Europe (its now on a boat). I am coming from 15 years of driving a VW Passat.

The x-drive steering felt heavy, but I loved it (the wife not so much). I did a quick test drive in the S-Drive w/o Servotronic and it seemed fine.

Driving my S-Drive with Servotronic , I was a little disappointed. The steering was pretty light. It did tighten up, but I didn't really feel it much unless I was going over 80 mph. I did like it on the roads with lots of switchbacks as it made life a little easier. But over all, I felt a little disconnected from the road. If you hated the S-Drive with no Servotronic , I doubt you will like it better with Servotronic.

Take this with a grain of salt as I never test drove these cars back to back, but over a period of 4-5 months, and memory can be fickle.
Thanks BRIAR08 for your input !
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:23 PM
nostatic nostatic is offline
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Originally Posted by Pat_X5 View Post
Yup, NOSTATIC, I do prefer hydraulic steering - can't change that after driving BMWs for over 10 years.

Guess I have to go up the AWD x28i then ?

Well at least it will be good for puddles and light rain use on the freeways here in Southern California. And local ski trips too.

Thanks everyone for your input !
I test drove both. I will preface with the fact I've never owned a BMW car (have an '08 GS) but tracked a '79 911 for a number of years so I know what communicative steering feels like (that had no power steering at all and it had incredibly well-prepped suspension). When I drove the s28 I thought it felt heavy (compared to the CRV I was in - long story). When I drove the x28 it felt *really* heavy, but went where I pointed it without complaint. I don't care how heavy it is a low speeds. At speed I want to feel the grooves and have the car talk back to me. imho the hydraulic tells you everything, the electric muffles some of the words. Still a nice feel compared to most cars, but depends on what you want.

fwiw I ordered the x28 despite being in SoCal. Almost entirely due to the steering as I really don't need awd. My X1 gets in port on Sunday, should have it mid-week. No sunroof
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
I test drove both. I will preface with the fact I've never owned a BMW car (have an '08 GS) but tracked a '79 911 for a number of years so I know what communicative steering feels like (that had no power steering at all and it had incredibly well-prepped suspension). When I drove the s28 I thought it felt heavy (compared to the CRV I was in - long story). When I drove the x28 it felt *really* heavy, but went where I pointed it without complaint. I don't care how heavy it is a low speeds. At speed I want to feel the grooves and have the car talk back to me. imho the hydraulic tells you everything, the electric muffles some of the words. Still a nice feel compared to most cars, but depends on what you want.

fwiw I ordered the x28 despite being in SoCal. Almost entirely due to the steering as I really don't need awd. My X1 gets in port on Sunday, should have it mid-week. No sunroof
Congrats on the purchase!
Please let us know how you like your custom x28i and how it drives ?

Guess I would be ordering an x28i as well since the steering is a big factor in my decision.

I would be ordering one as well but taking delivery in Munich next summer as my lease is up.

A nice plus is that I have a set of BMW factory 3 series 18" winter tires & wheels off my 335d that I rotate from summer to winter that the X1 fits onto.
The set that comes with the X1 will be my "summer set" tires.

I was actually hoping for a "Drive Ahead" program where they take my 335d 3-6 months early and I get to order the X1 x28i for delivery in spring....

Last edited by Pat_X5; 08-06-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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  #21  
Old 08-07-2013, 09:56 AM
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Pull ahead is offered 6 months prior to your lease expiration, but it will only cover up to 3 payments. So if you decide to pull ahead 6 months before lease termination, you'll have to pony up 3 monthly payments.

AWD introduces extra weight (around 200lbs on X1) and car also looses its performance feeling (constant awd with minor rear-wheel bias). More understeer and probably worse turning radius. Not sure if it's all worth it, especially since you don't need AWD per se.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:10 AM
tonydetiger tonydetiger is offline
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2014 X1 sDrive28i test drive question

Go for the MSport package. More rear wheel bias (80/20) compared to the stock XDrive (60/40).

I didn't notice that much understeer or drop in performance with AWD.


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  #23  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:04 PM
Vitt Vitt is offline
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For those of you who have the Msport package, how do you like the suspension? I am considering an X1 and am undecided on whether or not to get the M sport. It's not possible to find one with sport suspension at the dealers to test drive, as most sell without the Msport. I read on other threads that it is too stiff and the stock suspension is taut enough. I personally like sport handling and dislike floaty feeling suspensions.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:33 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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I test drove a X1 Sport with 4 225/45r18 all seasons all around, and it had very good handling with some roll.

My X1 s28i M sport with 225/45r18 and 225/40r18 Pirelli P7 performance tires is a whole other animal: feels taught without being jarring.

The $3k is worth every penny, and you get firmer seats, too.

I don't think anyone would complain that the M sport feels rough and not a luxury car.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:04 AM
Vitt Vitt is offline
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Originally Posted by 0w40X1 View Post
I test drove a X1 Sport with 4 225/45r18 all seasons all around, and it had very good handling with some roll.

My X1 s28i M sport with 225/45r18 and 225/40r18 Pirelli P7 performance tires is a whole other animal: feels taught without being jarring.

The $3k is worth every penny, and you get firmer seats, too.

I don't think anyone would complain that the M sport feels rough and not a luxury car.
Thanks
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