2018 BMW X1 28i XDrive

This article is about the 2018 BMW X1 28i XDrive with a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four and 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine is the same one used in the 2019 MINI Cooper S. It’s a pretty good engine for this small SUV. The acceleration is pretty good. You get the fun “turbo whistle” noises and the pickup is acceptable.

The MINI Cooper Connection

This car actually has the same base as the MINI Cooper. This makes sense since BMW has owned MINI since 2000. In fact, the gear shift lever is exactly the same in the 2018 BMW X1 28i as the MINI Cooper. This is actually not a bad thing. MINI Coopers are great, fun cars. Reusing these common parts is a very common practice among car manufacturers.


XDrive simply means all-wheel-drive. In this model, it is an all-wheel-drive all the time. There is no selector knob. You cannot make it drive in two-wheel mode. But that’s a very good thing.


There are only two basic gauges in this car.  There is the speedometer with the fuel gauge in it. The other gauge is the tachometer with an analog mpg gauge, which most cars don’t have.  In the center is a nice info-center with a clock, temperature, mileage, miles until empty, etc.

Interestingly, this model has the door unlock buttons on the door itself. BMW usually puts these buttons somewhere near the middle console.

The infotainment system is placed in the usual center of the dash. However, in this model, the actual screen is a lot smaller than the screen in the other models.  If you find it hard to see small screens, you may want to look at the X3 or above to get a larger infotainment screen. Also, this infotainment system in this model does not have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Higher-level models have Apple CarPlay.

The CD player/radio has preset buttons like most cars. However, what I really like about these buttons in this model is that you can set them to other things (like navigation) and not just favorite stations. Of course, that’s a really nice feature.

Beside the Shifter

This model comes with a “SPORT” mode and an “ECO PRO” mode. There are standard buttons for these two modes. Along with these buttons are buttons to disable the parking sensor and a button for the hill descent feature. This is especially nice on larger models, but I’m not sure the X1 needs this. I still like it, though.

There is also a large and very easy to use selector dial for the center infotainment screen. I really like this about BMWs. The switches are very tactile and make it easy for me to control certain features without having to take my eyes off the road, a definite plus.


The style of the X1 is nice, but not outstanding. The front looks a little odd to me. I’m not sure why, but it may be that they were trying to fit the style of the larger SUVs into a smaller package.

Final Thoughts

The X1 is nice. I really like it. But at the end of the day, is it really needed. With the X2, X3, X4, etc., does BMW need to have this X1, which is so close to the X2? I don’t know. Again, it is a nice vehicle and certainly the least expensive in this line of SUVs.


Written by Gary Pradel