Member whitby's first impressions of his 2013 Valencia Orange BMW X1 xDrive28i
We have just taken delivery of our Valencia Orange xDrive28i.
Here is the specification:
Valencia Orange Metallic
MSport (no paddle shifters)
Sand Beige Nevada Leather
Light Fine Line Wood Trim
Harmon Kardon Surround Sound
This is a well specified car. We were not interested in Satellite (the quality is awful on our 528i and was not worth the money to us) and BMWApps are fun but not particularly useful in our opinion.
Build and Finish:
Extremely good. No obvious flaws in paintwork, internal finishing etc. Everything worked as expected. Doors shut correctly with no binding, sticking or needing to be slammed. The rear tailgate worked smoothly and easily.
Color and Interior:
We are very pleased with the look and feel of the interior colors and the way it matches the exterior. The interior has a nice upscale appearance (unlike the demo which had black with aluminium trim) and is well made. A few hard plastics but generally well thought out and nice to touch. The rear passengers are not so well cared for, but it is adequate (we do not care since that is where our two full size standard poodles will reside).
Front seats are very very good. These are the MSport seats and hold you comfortably. They are not quite as good as the comfort seats in the 528 but they are close. They fit me easily and I am 6' 1" and weigh 220lbs.
The lack of cooling and heating vents for the rear passengers was one of our only negatives when looking at the car originally but we decided we could live with it. The 528i can be used if we need the extra comfort provided by these vents. This is one of the only obvious places that shows where BMW cut cost.
Space in the rear is adequate for 6' passengers, but the space is neither cramped nor generous. We knew this going in of course, so it is not a surprise. The seats are surprisingly comfortable (I tried the back in the demo car with the driver's seat set to my position - I am 6' 1").
The rear compartment area is black, which is a nice 'feature' rather than the sand beige of the rest of the car. This is very practical and was a bonus to us. Sand beige can mark easily if not cared for and we have had X5s in the past where the luggage area is the same color as the rest of the car.
Rear luggage room is more than adequate with rear seats up and large with the seats folded down, although it is not quite flat. Our aforementioned standard poodles (they are tall dogs, their heads can easily rest on a dining room table when they stand) fit nicely.
We are used to iDrive and neither my wife nor I have had any issues using it. It is simple and intuitive to us. The nav system is a smaller screen version of the one in the 528. It works well and easy to setup. Routing is accurate where we live (Austin, Texas).
The HK sound system is very good. Has good firm bass, with excellent mid range and treble which sound clean and relatively color free for a car based system (I am a so called audiophile who is very fussy about his sound systems).
The system pairs easily with the iPhone 5 and 4. A Lightning to USB cable plugs into the console mounted USB socket (not the one in the glove compartment) and worked perfectly allowing us to play our iPhone content showing cover graphics etc. We did not get BMW Apps so there will be no video even when they come out with the iPhone 5 snap in adapter which we will not get since we do not have the dock.
Engine and Transmission:
This engine is amazing. We know it from the 528i where it performs a superb job and is one of the reasons we went for the 28i variant of the X1 (although BMW quote the 35i variant to be almost 1 sec quicker to 60, we could not really feel this when we drove both back to back, in fact the 28i felt considerably more responsive). The 5 series forum does not consider the 528 to be a proper 5 series, but I can tell you that it does a more than adequate job in that car. The engine pulls very strongly and is unfazed by putting 4 people in the car. That low end torque makes it feel like a small diesel. The 8 speed is busy but very fast and keeps this engine on song. A superb combination. Fuel consumption over the first 70 miles or so is around 26 mpg. As the engine beds in, we will start to get better mileage (if our 528 experience is anything to go by).
Start stop works as per the 528 which is to say it is not as smooth or sophisticated as one would expect from a BMW. We have no problems with the concept (anything that saves fuel is a good thing) but when the engine stops or restarts it is done with some body shake and it is rather obvious. Some work needed here.
The xDrives have hydraulic steering (the sDrives have electrically assisted steering) and it feels heavier than the electric steering. However it is wonderfully direct and gives a great impression of control that the electric steering does not. The X1 handles like a car and can be thrown in corners with confidence. It handles and feels very well and has better feel than the 528. The X1 is a true driver car and a true BMW. We are very impressed with this car.
Beautiful build and finish
Excellent engine and transmission
Interior fit and finish
Superb handling and performance
Obvious cost cutting for rear passengers
Lack of power rear hatch option
Start stop poorly executed (rough start and stop)
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