autoevolution

2016 BMW X1 Criticized by Consumer Reports for High Price, Bad Ride

Try to park a compact crossover utility vehicle in Paris and you will regret you didn't buy a Fiat 500. But move that same car to America and you begin to feel small and somewhat cramped. That's why premium companies shied away from offering Golf-sized models in the United States.
BMW X1 review by Consumer Reporrts 1 photo
BMW was an exception, because it sold the quirky X1 crossover with a couple of engine choices. The compact floodgates burst open when the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 sedans came, followed by the GLA and the Q3 last year. Given the X1's head start, you'd think that BMW would be ready with something that blows the competition out of the water.

However, the latest Consumer Reports review says otherwise. It's not just the fact that the 2016 X1 is now built on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the MINI hatchback or that the base price is high. In fact, most people wouldn't even know where the X1 sends its grunt.

The reviewers say a Ford Fusion drives better and that the X1's suspension falls short of the premium expectations. Also, while the 2.0-liter turbo engine has more power than those offered by this BMW's competitors, CR says it sounds unsatisfying. A Golf GTI of the SUVs, this is not!

Finally, there's the price. We've become accustomed to standard reversing cameras on all cars over $20,000. But the X1 doesn't have that. You can't have blind spot monitoring either, not even as an optional extra. That could be a deal breaker for many folks, as this is among the few active safety features that can be useful every day.

Let's face it. Even though German automakers invested big into the development of smaller cars, hoping Americans would buy them, this is a tough part of the market. A cheap 7-seater with this kind of engine would have been a lot more popular.

Gas is cheap and so are loans, so America will not buy into the "small is beautiful" philosophy, at least not when it comes to a $44,000 BMW X1 with options.

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