Bimmerfest Member Review Of Their 2014 X1 M Sport

by Bimmerfest.com Member - technologic on September 14, 2013, 7:23 pm
”x1”

With about 900mi on my new X1 I thought I'd share my thoughts of the vehicle. So to start with the conclusion: I love the X1. It certainly has its quirks, and is rather expensive as specced, but all in all it's very comfortable, has stellar performance, it's an absolute pleasure to drive and looks good too.

Now for the details…....

The car: 2014 x28i - Le Mans Blue

Line, Packages & Options:

- M Sport Line
- Premium Package
- Technology Package
- Lighting Package
- Heated seats
- Upgraded Harman Kardon stereo

A little history – I got bored with my 2010 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro….... sweet ride overall, beautiful car, but I just didn't find it to be terribly fun to drive. So after keeping my eyes open for a while I finally found a car that really caught my interest….... small (I like small), yet versatile, fun to drive, european as I just have a preference euro cars, decent on gas, fast, good in the snow…..... Yeah that would be the X1.

Never had a BMW before, so before settling on the X1 I just had to try the 3 series, so I also test drove the 328 xdrive….... found it to be a stunningly beautiful car (more attractive than the X1 in my opinion), but not as fun to drive as the X1 mostly due to the Audi A4 like and very bad steering feel. So given it was way more expensive than the X1 with the same engine, a no brainer for me to go with the X1. Buying experience was good, got terrific trade in on my Audi and a reasonable discount.

If I had it to do over again maybe I'd order the exact car I wanted from Germany, which would be exactly the same as the one I got from dealer inventory, except instead of having premium and technology I'd get ultimate….... this would be cheaper and better. Very stupid that New England area dealers don't order them this way, but my dealer was not unique….... most of the Boston area inventory also favored tech + premium over ultimate. Unless someone can explain this to me I see it as a deliberate rip off. This is the only real negative in the whole experience. But I can certainly live without a backup camera.

So back to the car….... well I love the ride. It's a little stiff, but I knew it would – I purposely got the M Sport line….... Zero regrets about that - I like it, corners really well, really fast. It feels very responsive. The steering is the best of any car I've had in several years – this, plus the engine are real highlights of the car. I've read that in the US they are now including servotronic power assist steering for "free" - thank god I got my car before this went into effect. I doubt I'd have bought an X1 without this fully hydraulic steering feel - it's the car's strongest point. But besides that, it's quick. The sports seats are fantastic, another highlight for me for sure. I like the inside overall. It's not quite as refined as my Audi I traded in, but it's close. Some stuff better some stuff worse….... but I do find it to be a good upgrade over the A4 overall. It's a much faster car, much better handling, with a lot more driver engagement.

Some other positives, the Xenon lights rock. They're so bright that people flash me thinking I have my high beams on, lol. Totally worth it. Upgraded HK stereo is decent, even good….... but nothing to write home about….... not sure I'd recommend that upgrade honestly. Moonroof is amazing. I like a lot of the little things like electric folding mirrors. Autodimming external mirrors also a nice small thing. All this adds up to be a pretty complete car.

I like the auto stop/start feature. I must be the only one. Read the reviews and this got absolutely skewered so I expected to hate it, but I don't at all. It could be a bit better, sure, but I think it's pretty well done. I like how it doesn't engage when you're in sport mode.

I am blabbing too much so let me just mention a couple of negatives really quick – I think the iDrive is pretty confusing. I am getting half decent at it, but it isn't as intuitive as it should be. To be fair though it has tons of flexibility and functionality.

I also think there are too many cheap materials for a car costing more than forty grand. The lift gate should be powered. A little more wind noise than it should have, again at this price. I'm not convinced mileage will be as good as advertised. And the cup holder, nuff said. So I can't say this car is without compromises. But they're not huge cons at all.

Well that's my review. I don't know if my X1 is a hatch or a small SUV. But I can say so far I am very happy with it. I hope I can avoid speeding tickets….....


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18 responses to Bimmerfest Member Review Of Their 2014 X1 M Sport

stonex1 commented:
September 14, 2013, 9:05 pm

Nice review!

I think you'll get used to the idrive controls. It was a little weird at first, but after a few months its easy.

Love the combo of blue and those rims. Classic awesomeness.
nostatic commented:
September 14, 2013, 9:07 pm

My review is similar (x281, sport line), though maybe a bit lighter on the cons. Over the past 7 years I've had Subie WRX, VW GTI and JSW TDI, Audi A3, and a very brief stint with a CR-V. The A3 had the best aesthetics on the interior - they really get some things right. The X1 is a close second though as I like the no-nonsense look. I'm a musician by night and I leave much of my gear in the back so storage has to be the right size and shape. The X1 is tight but works.

The overall vibe of the cars - X1 wins. So far I just love every aspect of this car.

Cons - I wish it had a temperature gauge instead of the mpg gauge. The paddle shifters are a bit tight to the wheel and sometimes I brush against them (never have had an accidental shift though).

That actually is about it. And I'm a picky b@stard. The auto stop/start is ok - sometimes I leave it on, other times I turn it off. The switch is handy and the key remembers from one drive to the next. Handling is ideal, engine/trans is responsive. I'm getting about 22mpg in the city, over 30 on the highway. The Valencia Orange paint is beautiful. Sport seats are supportive and I love the manual control (sport line, no ultimate package). I like the leatherette material - seems incredibly tough and is comfortable and has nice butt traction. Driving position is perfect, visibility is good. Steering feel (hydraulic, no servotronic) is ideal.

Only question mark is if/when rattles start and reliability. Assuming the car behaves (knock on wood) I'm absolutely buying this off lease. It really is that good.
technologic commented:
September 14, 2013, 9:47 pm

Yeah, nostatic, the orange is spectacular. I still haven't seen one besides in the BMW lot/showroom so very rare too. About the key fob remembering stuff, I have to saw the car is excellent at this - the auto start, all other settings, and right down to song you were listening to when you last drove.
nostatic commented:
September 14, 2013, 9:57 pm

I have to admit part of me has been thinking, "should have gone M-line instead of Sport line." I paid $500 to get the aluminum interior trim so the difference in price is only $700. That said, I think I actually prefer the bits of black/dark gray on the front, sides and rear with the orange. I think if every bit was orange it would be a bit too much. In the darker or more subtle colors, having everything the main color looks great.

The A4 is kinda like my Jetta Sport Wagon. I think Audi has some great interior styling - the round AC vents on my A3 (same as on the TT) were a really great look. But the A3 had a setup where the parking brake would hit the arm rest much of the time. Plus FWD...well, Audi did a good job with it but it ain't RWD or AWD. The Subie was a very involving drive. Mine was an '09 WRX wagon with a 6-speed and it was a hoot. But no way a Subie interior holds a candle to any of the German cars.

It is funny because when I was looking to get out of my JSW (about to go off warranty) I briefly looked at the X1. I took my bass cab to see if it would fit in the back (it did), but I was unimpressed by the materials in the interior (mostly just judging the back seat). I didn't drive one at that point though, and the one I looked at was a stripped base model. I bought a CR-V because I thought I was ready to just do the "car as appliance" thing but regretted it immediately. Very functional car but the seats were like a sofa and must be designed for 300lb people. I decided to look for another solution and drove the CX-5 (nice, but still the Japanese interior design...ugh), the Outback (the CVT blows), and finally the X1. One drive and I was hooked, ended up ordering exactly what I wanted and 1K miles into it couldn't be happier.
Jealousofmywife commented:
September 14, 2013, 10:02 pm

We gotta wait another 3-4 weeks for our 28i M Sport to arrive. It's on a boat right now. It's our first luxury vehicle of any brand. We're pretty excited about it. Hopefully we like it as much as you folks do!


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jcatral14 commented:
September 15, 2013, 12:22 am

Thanks for your review, technologic Great color combo
So servotronic will become standard now? Starting when? We'll be placing an order in a week or two so I hope to still get the hydraulic version
nostatic commented:
September 15, 2013, 1:01 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcatral14 View Post
Thanks for your review, technologic Great color combo
So servotronic will become standard now? Starting when? We'll be placing an order in a week or two so I hope to still get the hydraulic version
x28i and x35i will still be hydraulic. They will just have servotronic assist which is mostly working at slow speeds. Some people like it. I don't have it so I don't miss it.
davidc1 commented:
September 15, 2013, 5:20 am

I got the servo. I was surprised at first but got used to it real fast. Little effort in parking. Stiffens up at higher speeds. Only thing I don't like about the X line are the seats. I wish it came with sport seats. Do I need to get M sport or just the Sport line to get them? When I am done with my E70, I will seriously consider another x1.
technologic commented:
September 15, 2013, 5:30 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
x28i and x35i will still be hydraulic. They will just have servotronic assist which is mostly working at slow speeds. Some people like it. I don't have it so I don't miss it.
And let me me clear, I didn't even test drive one with it. So I don't even have a basis for not wanting it, except that I like it so much without I wouldn't want to wreck a good thing. I just don't think the steering is so heavy it 'needs assisting'... many people disagree about this, honestly if you have one on order don't sweat it - you may really like the feel of hydraulic with assist at lower speeds. It will be WAY better than the models without hydraulic steering at all (e.g. all other BMWs).
Yggdrasil commented:
September 15, 2013, 10:26 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidc1 View Post
Do I need to get M sport or just the Sport line to get them? When I am done with my E70, I will seriously consider another x1.
Sport line will give you the sport seats and the sport steering wheel.

This does however preclude having a heated steering wheel.
davidc1 commented:
September 15, 2013, 1:53 pm

Thanks.

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edman commented:
September 16, 2013, 10:00 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
except instead of having premium and technology I'd get ultimate….... this would be cheaper and better.
Excellent review! Thanks for posting. That's what I did - the ultimate. No regrets there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
I like it, corners really well, really fast. It feels very responsive. The steering is the best of any car I've had in several years – this, plus the engine are real highlights of the car.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
Some other positives, the Xenon lights rock. They're so bright that people flash me thinking I have my high beams on, lol. Totally worth it. Upgraded HK stereo is decent, even good….... but nothing to write home about….... not sure I'd recommend that upgrade honestly.
I didn't get the lighting package. The only time I regret not getting the lighting package is when I'm reading these forums. In the car, I don't regret it at all. Don't even think about it. And I live in hilly/windy areas with frequent deer crossings. Ideal conditions for best lighting. Very happy with the regular lights. I have xenon in our family van. The difference just is not that big of a deal for me in real world driving. But, every time I read these forums I feel like I am missing something on the lighting. Perhaps I covet too much.

I also didn't get the HK upgrade. Don't regret that at all. Very happy with the regular sound system, even though there are plenty of listeners on this forum that disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
I like the auto stop/start feature. I must be the only one. Read the reviews and this got absolutely skewered so I expected to hate it, but I don't at all. It could be a bit better, sure, but I think it's pretty well done. I like how it doesn't engage when you're in sport mode.
I too love the ASS. It was very disconcerting at first, but I have grown to love it. Now around 5,000 miles, it is actually very smooth. Rarely jerky on startup. I have gotten efficient at slightly easing off the bake to not have the ASS engaged if I don't want the engine to shut off, without reaching down to a button to turn it off. I have grown to like the feature so much that I feel disconcerted when driving the family van and the engine does not shut off at a light. Why does it keep running and sucking down gas? Makes no sense!

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
I think the iDrive is pretty confusing. I am getting half decent at it, but it isn't as intuitive as it should be. To be fair though it has tons of flexibility and functionality.
Agreed. I have gotten used to it. iDrive is relatively feature rich, but not intuitive at all. And I absolutely hate that I cannot use BMW Apps on my Android.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
The lift gate should be powered.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologic View Post
I don't know if my X1 is a hatch or a small SUV. But I can say so far I am very happy with it.
Who cares! Bottom line is that the car is an absolute blast to drive. Still enjoying it immensely 5,000 miles in and I see no signs of it letting up.
0w40X1 commented:
September 16, 2013, 10:23 am

Being retired I go on road trips, and avoid night driving anyway, but the base halogens are very good on hwy's.

The xenon's get the cool look, but I won't drive fast at night anyway; too many varmints, deer, and tired people,etc.

When I was young I wanted all the bells and whistles, but now I value ease of operation, and the X1 has just right automation.

My base X1 except for M sport is a dream car; even the base radio is killer, and it's my first car quiet enough to hear on the hwy.
Yggdrasil commented:
September 16, 2013, 10:29 am

Having switched from HIDS in my previous car to halogens I did miss the extra light. But all I had to do was switch the OEM bulbs to X-Treme Vision and now the difference is trivial.

Also - I omitted iDrive from my X1. I've never been a fan of built in nav systems, and the cost was just shocking compared to a stand alone unit. I really like my extra storage compartment too!
0w40X1 commented:
September 16, 2013, 10:42 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yggdrasil View Post
Having switched from HIDS in my previous car to halogens I did miss the extra light. But all I had to do was switch the OEM bulbs to X-Treme Vision and now the difference is trivial.

Also - I omitted iDrive from my X1. I've never been a fan of built in nav systems, and the cost was just shocking compared to a stand alone unit. I really like my extra storage compartment too!
I'm with you, my storage compartment holds my microfiber dash wipe glove, and my Scangauge tells me things BMW wishes I didn't know.

The base suspension seemed fine, ok, etc. that I test drove, but the M Sport is divine.

I got the 18 x 8 and 18 x 9 wheels so I can put 222/40r18 and 255/35r18 Conti DW on next time.

Some people mentioned bad braking, but my s28i brakes plenty good from 90-40 at the track.

Some all wheel drive cars like Mitsubishi Evo's don't brake good, and spin on track, so I like my rear wheel drive s28i.

I hope this is ok to discuss in OP's thread.

I'm tracking temps, and tread wear, so, if the rears wear uneven with all that neg rear camber, I'll dial it less neg. for better wear.
happybanana commented:
October 14, 2013, 4:38 pm

Very nice.
MarksBMW's commented:
October 15, 2013, 5:13 pm

First off I sell BMW's so I'm a little bias to them in general. I have also noticed that dealers including our have not been ordering the with the Ultimate Package. In my opinion that is the way to go. Unless you are going for very basic. Some peeps don't need or want all the extras, they just want the beemer. I just order my wife an X1 28s Mineral White with Sand Beige leather, the Ultimate Package, Heated seats,Harman Kardon and Fineline wood. We have had an X3 and two 328i which we love, so I'm sure the X1 with more power and better fuel ecomomy will be another winner in our house.
SilverX3 commented:
October 15, 2013, 5:37 pm

Speeding Tickets

Take it easy Charlie Brown

Thanks for the review... You make me want one