Skip to main content

2016 BMW X1 xDrive 28i Review

The 2016 BMW X1 gets a complete remodel for 2016. What significant changes did the small luxury SUV get?

This week we get the newly-remodeled 2016 BMW X1 xDrive 28i. The X1 comes with BMW’s xDrive and it was good thing as we had more spring snow that hit the Colorado Rockies this week. It powered through 1 foot of wet heavy snow in the foothills west of Denver without a problem. There’s more to the story as the X1 gets a complete makeover with increased room inside.

What’s new for 2016?

For 2016, the BMW X1 is completely redesigned. The biggest improvements come in the inside with a roomier interior. The 2016 BMW X1 is taller, wider and roomier on the inside.

X1Features and options

The BMW X1 xDrive 28i (34,800) comes standard with automatic windshield wipers, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way power front seats and driver memory settings. Electronic features include BMW's iDrive interface with a touchpad controller and 6.5-inch screen, navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a seven-speaker sound system with HD radio.

Optional packages

Optional features on this X1 tester included the Premium package ($3,250) that adds keyless ignition and entry, hands-free control for the power liftgate, adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding mirrors, four-way power lumbar for the front seats and interior ambient lighting.

The Luxury package ($1,550) features leather upholstery and wood interior trim. The Technology package ($2,550) bundles BMW's integrated smartphone apps, navigation and an upgraded 8.8-inch display screen. It also came with the Driver Assist ($1,150), Driver Assist Plus ($700) Cold Weather ($550) and Slide and Recline Rear Seats. ($300). Total MSRP including destination: $46,395.

xDriveInterior highlights

Stepping inside the new X1 we immediately noticed the Canberra Beige Dakota Leather interior and the oak grain trim throughout the cabin. The quality of materials and the fit and finish is top rate. The now standard power-adjustable seats make it easy to find the perfect driving position along with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel. With the cold and snow, we used the heated seats and steering wheel to stay toasty warm this week.

It was cold outside, but we felt right at home with the extra room the X1 gets for 2016 on the inside. The most notable increase comes in the back seat. Rear passengers get more head and legroom than the outgoing model. Our passengers commented on how roomy it felt for a small crossover. Families with small kids will want to check out the X1 as it offers more utility and cargo-carrying ability.


This tester came with the optional Slide and Recline Rear Seats that we think is a must-have for the $300 upgrade cost. With the rear seats up, you'll have 17.8 cubic feet for hauling groceries and the kids sports equipment. With the upgraded rear seat feature, you can fold down the seats at the touch of a button which opens up 58.7 cubic feet of cargo carrying space. The power tailgate was included and we used it often this week.

Engine and fuel mileage specs

The BMW X1 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels with the xDrive system. EPA estimates the X1 fuel mileage at 22/32 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg.

Driving dynamics

It’s spring time for most of the country, but it’s still snowing here in Colorado where the snowiest month is typically April. We put the X1 xDrive to the test in a foot of wet heavy snow that fell this week. The xDrive worked perfectly as we powered through the snow in the Colorado high country. BMW has always had a good all-wheel-drive system and it’s a must for those those who live in cold climates.


In city driving, the X1’s turbo four cylinder engine is smooth and powerful in normal driving situations. As we traveled up I-70 at the higher altitudes, the turbo kicks in and offers abundant power to zip past slower traffic. The eight-speed automatic transmission offers seamless shifts and we like the Sport mode gear selection for quicker shifts in our more spirited driving maneuvers.

The X1 rides more like a crossover than a sports utility. The ride is more compliant than in past models and it’s geared toward the average driver than the driving enthusiast. It still handles the curves without stumbling, but it has a more refined ride that families will like. Ride comfort takes precedence over sporty handling which is unusual for most BMW vehicles.


Overall, the newly-remodeled BMW X1 xDrive is a vehicle that families will find practical and useful for everyday commuting. The interior ranks high in comfort and comes with more room for passengers. With the Slide and Recline Rear Seat option, passenger comfort is ramped up and the option makes it easier to load cargo. The X1 is fuel-efficient and easy to maneuver in the city and is a good urban runabout. It’s not as engaging for driving enthusiasts as past models, but families will enjoy its ride quality.

Images source: BMW