2016 BMW X1

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  1. BMW made the X1 xDrive35i as recently as 2014, with a [N55] 300hp turbo straight-6 doing 0-60 in 5.2 sec.

    Not as capacious as the 2016, but…

    Got a used 2013 and couldn’t be happier with the performance, (though lacking a stick). With a few tweaks it could be a hell of a sleeper.

  2. I had a Lexus NX as a service loaner the other week (FWD version, not AWD). I pretty much liked it – I thought the driving position was a little cramped, what with that huge center stack & console right next to you. But it drove really well, and the ride was less harsh than I expected. People should cross-shop it.

    I test-drove the MB GLK diesel a few years ago and really liked the design – very useful and it visually stood out. The new GLC — not so much. It looks like every other CUV on the road, and has the dopey “iPad” LCD display perched up on top of the dash. Ehh, go drive it, but these days it’s nothing special.

  3. the biggest consideration at least here in A’merkin-us Maximus (http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/circus.html)- when it comes to producing a chariot throne ; is: what do the Dept of Treasury Regs and Dept of Labor Regs nudge you into doing under statist economics.

    Supply/(Thug’s Cut) = Demand/(Bureaucrat Beak Wetting) is probably the pertinent algebraic equation to solve. [http://cdn3.epictimes.com/richardebeling/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2015/04/Keynesian-Wife-Spending-Herself-Out-of-Depression.jpg]

  4. I own a 2016 BMW X1 with the M Sport package. I love this car. I test drove every car in this class and over all the BMW does it for me.. I did like Lexus NX also but I am a fan of BMW. This is a good review and I am a happy owner…

  5. There is no reason why folding seats don’t fold down flat and flush with the adjacent load floor. Attention to such basic details define a utility vehicle. Oops, it’s an activity vehicle and activities never require utility. So why even bother with the expense of folding them if it can’t be done right? I guess no one walks away when utility fails to be utilitarian.

    An old adage that pertained to farming to explain horsepower and torque. Torque plows the field, horsepower rushes home.

    • “There is no reason why folding seats don’t fold down flat and flush with the adjacent load floor.”

      Umm … tradeoffs. Here’s the likely tradeoff the engineers here faced: you can optimize back seats to fold as flat as possible, or you can optimize them to be as comfortable as possible, or you can strike a compromise and get them to be almost as comfortable and still fold almost flat.

      The question in choosing which of these paths to take is: which configuration will be used most? If 99% of the time the back seats are upright, you optimize them for comfort. If it’s 50-50 folded versus upright, flat folding becomes much more important.

    • Hi CC,

      I am betting the issue here – as regards the X1 – is that it’s a RWD-based vehicle. Which results in packaging issues that are different than with a FWD vehicle.

      • They could stretch the wheelbase by about 10″, which could solve the packaging issues. But then it wouldn’t be “sporty” enough, would it?

        BMW should build a truck with a 3.1 ft load bed.

        The faithful would snap it right up!

          • Yet the Solara is a has-been, just like most coupes are history. Two door vehicles have too little to offer the vast majority of buyers. It is the utility issue. Something attractive to attract shoppers but not something to actually sell in volume, kiddie car seats without an adjacent door is a nightmare.

          • Eric,

            Can’t wait! Just because it wasn’t profitable enough for Toyota doesn’t mean Buick can’t spin this concept into the biggest hit since the 1965 Mustang. 🙂

  6. site has problems when opened with deepnet explorer browser

    most of the site appears, but where the featured articles normally cycle, there’s a frowny face and the following…

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    Sorry. We can’t seem to find the page you’re looking for.

  7. It would seem that diesel is being dissed for one reason only, the continued (wanted)increase of ethanol simply to pay off big subsidy farmers and industry. I can still buy pure diesel but most truckstops h ave 10-15% biodiesel. I tracked my mileage using pure diesel and the other blends of biodiesel. The pure diesel won out in fuel mileage and doesn’t lose power as the tanks get low and the fuel heats up as do the biodiesel blends. I haven’t found anyone or any company that has done the head to head testing of these fuels. I kept about 3 months of data on a day to day basis since I fueled every day and ran about 600 miles or more on a daily average. I was rock hauling this entire time, grossing 40 tons every load and using WOT virtually the entire time since rock hauling is a very time sensitive thing. I think I would have seen a larger difference without a speed limiter, being able to run 80 mph both loaded and empty.

  8. “Keep in mind that it’s chiefly torque rather than hp which gets a vehicle moving (it’s hp that determines how fast it goes, ultimately).”

    Nope. What matters is the horsepower curve, gearing, and the ability to get that HP hooked up to the pavement. The peak HP is just one point on that HP curve, and the peak torque is just one more point. It’s all the points in between (and sometimes on either side) that matter. Take this vehicle you’re reviewing:

    “258 ft.-lbs peaking at at 1,250 RPM.”

    If the same engine, for example, were 254 ft-lbs at 5,000 RPM, then you likely have a very flat torque curve, and so if you have gearing that gets the engine up to 5,000 RPM right away when launching (such as a CVT transmission), you’d have FOUR times as much power to accelerate the vehicle.

    It would be a hell of a lot more useful if car manufacturers told us either HP or torque numbers for every 1,000 RPM increment, so we could tell if the engine was tweaked to get a lot of power but in a narrow band, or if it was like my car’s engine where the torque curve is flat and so to accelerate faster, you gotta get the revs up (and keep the tires from spinning, which is hard to do for the first second of launch without feathering the throttle.)

    • I thought most everyone now had graphs you could see for both hp and torque even though they advertise peak HP and Peak torque. They’re much closer now than ever before, esp. on turbo engines.

    • A dyno graph is always nice, if available, knowing the ‘area under the curve’ is much more useful than just having the peak hp number. FWIW torque and hp don’t exist independently from each other and knowing one (at a point or over a range) will allow you to determine the other (for the given rpm(s)).
      Since hp always equals torque at 5252 rpm, and this BMW peaks hp with 228 at 5k rpm and peaks torque with 258 lb ft at 1250 rpm, you can assume it does have a relatively flat torque curve without even doing any math.
      Have to disagree that hp is what gets a vehicle moving. There is a reason trucks use large displacement-low hp (for their size) motors. A 300 hp 2 liter engine won’t budge 80k pounds without a ridiculously complex drivetrain but a 300 hp 12 liter engine will – because torque. Hp (peak anyways) is more a measure of how well the motor breathes.

      • I’ve recently had to deliver some loads of rock in really soft ground, soft enough that clutching in a lower gear would result in an immediate stop. I killed a 60 series Detroit twice(shitty clutch, full on or full of)trying to get started after having to stop and back up. A larger, torquier engine, even with that shitty clutch would have pulled off without dying. I could have had another 50 hp and still killed it. I finally had to rev it a couple hundred rpm and have the clutch literally howl and jerk and grab and all that other crap old clutches do before it would untrack. Horsepower wasn’t going to help me in that situation. Like DBB says, hp and torque aren’t independent of each other. His 300 hp 12 L engine which fairly much doesn’t exist since 12 L will almost always have well more than 300 hp but a C 12 Cat with 375hp and a bunch more torque than a C 10 Cat will have the ability torque-wise to untrack that load. I don’t know the idle torque of those engines but have operated them all. The 60 series Detroit and the C 12 will have close to the same(if they’re both the bottom hp engine)peak torque but the 60 series will have a bit more torque at idle. Of course what they’ll pull from the start is dependent on rear end gearing and the lowest gear in the transmission.

        I detest 10 speed trucks for construction work(and everything else) since they have no really low gear and their gear splits are too far apart for anything but really powerful engines. Even at that, a 13 or 18 speed transmission will give you better fuel mileage and overall pulling simply because of a lower first gear and closer ratios in the upper gears. An 18 speed Eaton/Fuller only has a 17% difference in the top 8 gears so you can have the best of everything, mpg at whatever speed with whatever load. It’s physics.

        • Just to clarify a bit (sometimes I’m anal like that), if you choose an rpm, the motor that makes more torque (at that rpm) must also make more hp (and vice versa). Hp is calculated from measured torque.
          ” I could have had another 50 hp and still killed it.” If you are talking about peak hp this is correct (assuming this was the case), but if you are talking about hp at 900 rpm idle it would be wrong.
          (Making up hp numbers here to illustrate a point) If you have 75 hp at (900 rpm) idle you would have ~440 lb-ft, at 125 hp the torque jumps to ~730 lb-ft (still at 900 rpm).
          In the end it is all about torque, hp is another way of expressing torque (with the rpm factored in).

      • “A 300 hp 2 liter engine won’t budge 80k pounds without a ridiculously complex drivetrain but a 300 hp 12 liter engine will – because torque. Hp (peak anyways) is more a measure of how well the motor breathes.”

        Horsepower is horsepower. You wouldn’t need a complex drivetrain. You would just need to swap out the gearing for something that doubles or triples the RPMs so the vehicle can develop 300 hp at a few MPH.

        The reason no one driving an 18 wheeler uses a 2 liter turbo engine is because durability and fuel efficiency — having an engine that is constantly spinning 5K RPMs and at max boost is a recipe for a prematurely worn out engine. That is why motorcycle engines, which spin to insanely high RPMs compared to a passenger car engine, can be worn out at 10K or 20K miles, while cars go to 100K plus miles — and diesel 18 wheeler engines go multiples of that.

        I had a Pinto with one of those engines crippled by the 70s air pollution controls, before engineers figured out how to integrate the smog stuff without killing performance and fuel economy. The bugger was geared so it spun around 4,000 RPM at the low highway speeds that Congress had inflicted on us. Crappy fuel economy, and the engine wore out in under 100K miles — but it worked (albeit very poorly) as the engineers scrambled to deal with the sudden new constraints.

        • “You wouldn’t need a complex drivetrain. You would just need to swap out the gearing for something that doubles or triples the RPMs so the vehicle can develop 300 hp at a few MPH.”
          Oh, but you would. Such a setup would require a ridiculous number of close ratio forward gears to compensate for the low torque output unless you wanted a 20 mph (or less) top speed. It would be horribly inefficient without something like a CVT (which would have all the lasting power of wet tissue paper in said application).
          You’re not wrong about the durability aspect of lower reving motors, it’s another important consideration.
          Like I said before, hp IS torque, they are not independent functions.

          • Not really. If you have an engine that produces 300 HP or more over a range from, say 4,000 to 6,000 RPM, you don’t need close ratios between gears at all. Run it up to 6,000 RPM, then shift to the next gear to take it back to 4,000 RPM.

            If you have an engine that produces 300 peak HP at 1,500 RPM, and another engine that produces 300 peak HP at 6,000 RPM, and the second engine has a rear axle gear 4 times lower than the first — they will both have identical torque numbers at the wheels when running at their peak RPMs for HP.

            The whole point of rear axle gearing is to multiply torque while reducing the numbers of revolutions per minute of the wheels.

            • true, sort of. problem is where to find that elusive 14.2:1 ring and pinion or the trans with a 59.2:1 first gear? even splitting the difference, you encounter needing parts that don’t exist yet.

              • Oh, there’s a good reason why 18 wheelers don’t have teeny little engines with lots of high end HP. Such an engine would wear up quickly, say at 50K miles. And when you’re already hauling the massive weight of a loaded 18 wheeler, what’s another few hundred pounds upfront to get a large displacement engine that produces a lot of low RPM torque and will last essentially forever?

                But, it is technically possible, just not practical. If it was practical, they’d develop the gearing to make it work. But why develop parts there’s no market for?

                Hell, even in passenger cars and pickups the teeny engine thing is being driven by CAFE fatwas, not consumer desire for tiny engines or any pressing engineering need. Give most people a choice between paying thousands of dollars more, or getting somewhat less fuel economy but big upfront cost savings, they’ll go for the latter.

  9. Nice effort by BMW.

    Would have to comparison drive both first. But think I’d probably go with the non turbo, bigger V-6, RDX.

    Most buyers in this segment are probably much more impressed by “European Ambience” than I.

    Too bad that folding the X1’s rear seats produces a load floor that is Nowhere Near “flat.” The RDX has this problem too (and probably most of the others.) But based on that pic in your article, the X1 is worse. Again, most buyers are more interested in “European” than this kind of “utility.”

    If I were really in this market, I’d find enough extra money to buy the 2016 Acura MDX. That thing ROCKS!


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