CRITICS' CORNER

BMW X1: 'Icing on the cake'

This is the final year for the current-generation BMW X1, the German automaker's BMW's smallest SUV. A redesigned model coming this fall rides on the same basic underpinnings as BMW's Mini Cooper compact minicar. The 2015 X1 has performed well on the sales charts for BMW through the years. Here's what some recent reviewers say about the 2015 model:

"In Edmunds brake testing, the X1 stopped from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is similar to the larger and heavier X3, but about average for the class. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the X1 received the best possible rating of 'Good' in moderate-overlap frontal offset, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests. It received the second-worst rating of 'Marginal' in the Institute's small-overlap frontal crash test." -- Edmunds.com

"Unless you need a vehicle that's almost quick enough to deserve the M badge, you'll be perfectly happy with either of the four-cylinder X1 models. Otherwise, we wouldn't describe many crossovers as eager, but the X1 really seems to earn it. All-wheel-drive X1 xDrive28i and rear-wheel-drive sDrive28i models move plenty quick with BMW's natty 2.0-liter turbo four under the hood. It's direct-injected, with 240 hp, and teamed with a paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic. The potent 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six that's found in the X1 xDrive35i scoots this sled to 60 mph in about 5.3 seconds, but drops the EPA Combined figure to 21 mpg." -- The Carconnection.com

"The 2015 X1 feels even more agile than its larger X siblings. That the X1 can return as much fun as it does while also obtaining highway fuel economy in the low-30-mpg range is automotive icing on the cake. Despite its nimble handling, the X1 is commendably comfortable on the open road. Whether scooting around the city or hauling down the highway, power delivery is excellent with either the feisty 4-cylinder that's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission or the stout 6-cylinder engine that uses a 6-speed. All-wheel-drive models are competent in the snow, but venturing far off the beaten path isn't the X1's strength." -- KBB.com

"The BMW X1 may not be quite as nimble as a BMW 1 Series sedan, but the distinction would be hard to quantify without instrumented test equipment. Besides, it's hard to imagine anyone being disappointed with this vehicle's dynamics. The standard suspension keeps body motions reasonably well snubbed by crossover standards, and the X1 responds eagerly to abrupt changes in direction. This is one of those rare crossover SUVs that would exhibit respectable performance on an autocross course. Like other BMWs, the X1 achieves its eager responses without punishing occupants. Ride quality is Euro firm, but beautifully damped, taking the hard edge off all but the gnarliest of pavement irregularities. As with almost all new vehicles lately, the X1 has electric rack-and-pinion power steering. Though not quite as surgically precise as the former hydraulically assisted system,it's better than most of the other electric-assist systems." -- Autoblog.com

You can reach at autonews@crain.com. -- Follow on Twitter

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