2017 BMW X1

The X1 is BMW’s smallest SUV, but it’s still a five-passenger ride that is roomy enough so that all five passengers can be comfortable adults. And just because it’s smaller, that doesn’t mean the X1 sacrifices anything in the way of luxury and comfort features.

The 2017 BMW X1 also earned a “Top Safety Pick” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, getting the top score of “good” in all five tested categories. And the best part of the X1 might be that you can drive off in this nimble little BMW SUV for as little as $35,100. My test car for the week was loaded with all kinds of options and premium amenities, but the bottom line was still right at $45-grand.

The X1 was redesigned last year, so for 2017 there aren’t many major changes. My test vehicle for the week was the xDrive28i, but new for this year is a front-drive sDrive28i model.

The 2017 BMW X1 is a small (175.4 inches) and light (3,697 pounds) two-row SUV with excellent driving dynamics. It’s light weight and firm suspension make it quick and agile with virtually no body roll in hard corners.

The 2017 X1 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that can produce up to 228 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic, and AWD is available. The little turbo in AWD models promises to deliver 22 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. Add one mpg for front-drive models. BMW says the top speed of the X1 is 131 miles per hour.

Three driver selectable performance modes are offered. “Comfort” is the normal driving mode, “Eco” is for more fuel-efficient driving and “Sport” sharpens throttle response and steering inputs.

The interior of our test car had Canberra Beige Dakota leather, which is a $1,450 option. The harman-kardon premium sound system was another $875, but well worth it for audiophiles. A Premium Package ($3,250) added power folding mirrors, a universal garage-door opener, keyless entry, lumbar support to the front seats, ambient lighting and adaptive cornering headlights. The package also added a nice panoramic sunroof that stretched all the way back over row two.

A slide-and-recline rear seat meant that row two passengers got more legroom, but the normal 37 inches is pretty generous legroom anyway. Headroom in front is 41.9 inches and in row two it’s 39.4 inches, which was plenty for my 6-foot-1 frame. Fold down the second-row seats and the X1 reveals more than 58 cubic feet of cargo space.

The center stack is topped by the infotainment system’s 6.5-inch screen, followed by a pair of a/c vents, then audio controls and finally the climate control system. On the console is the shifter and driving mode buttons, the electronic parking brake and a rotary controller for most vehicle functions. Behind the steering wheel are dual round gauges: a speedometer and a tachometer.

And the X1 is very user friendly when it comes to installing and removing child safety seats. It might not seem like a big deal to singles or childless couples, but to young parents and grandparents with young grandchildren, it most certainly is a big deal.

On the road, the X1 xDrive 28i has excellent road manners and a pleasing ride. Steering was precise and on-center and the car felt planted on the roadway.

Bottom line, this little SUV creates a fun driving experience at a reasonable cost. If you’re shopping in the small SUV segment – and lots of people are – you should put the 2017 BMW X1 xDrive 28i on your list of cars to drive.

2017 BMW X1 xDrive 28i

Engine:

2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

228/258 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

8-speed automatic with manual shift mode

Base price:

$35,100 ($45,120 as tested including freight)

EPA mileage rating:

22 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

499 miles