Written by Bill Visnic

Intellectually, I know the X1 has to exist. Every luxury brand must have a compact crossover to satiate crossover-crazed customers. But a look at the $46320 bottom line on this CUV&quot;s Monroney label and a few hundred miles of driving tells me BMW&quot;s sold out. There&quot;s argument about the degree of merit in the X1&quot;s dynamic behaviour, but I found it immediately apparent the X1 intrinsically is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, even if BMW tries to mask this with the option of all-wheel-drive that most buyers desire when buying a crossover. Will the average dupe who&quot;s hot for a small luxury crossover know or care that the X1 shares its front-drive UKL2 architecture with BMW&quot;s Mini brand? Not likely. But I know and I&quot;m crying foul. I can suffer the Japanese and even the American automakers pawning off front-drivers as luxury cars. But the German brands are supposed to be all about the dynamics and balance and that rear-wheel-drive layouts deliver. Yes, Mercedes-Benz is doing FWD, too, and Audi&quot;s gotten away for some time with masquerading FWD architectures, but BMW blithely joining the con somehow is tougher to take. Maybe it&quot;s the flaky way the X1 starts into a high-speed corner (could the $400 M Sport suspension Band-Aid this?), but equally disquieting is the momentary scrabble for traction from the front tires when you ask for full boost from the 228-hp (170-kW) four-cylinder, that tug on the steering wheel before the xDrive system can react to send torque rearward. That tug that doesn&quot;t happen when the thing&quot;s designed to first send power to the rear. A sanctimonious view? Maybe. But where&quot;s it end, BMW? First your legendary inline six-cylinder becomes an option-sheet mainstay and now rear-wheel-drive is supposed to be negotiable, too? 2017 BMW X1 xDrive28i <br /> Base price:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n bsp;&nbsp; $35100 As tested:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;& nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; $46,320 Highs:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n bsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbs p;&nbsp; Reasonably roomy cabin; exceptional cruising fuel economy Lows:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nb sp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp ;&nbsp; That front-drive platform; mediocre cabin materials<br /> The Takeaway:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Keeper of the Flame isn&quot;t on duty at the moment<br /> <br />

Date written: 22-Oct-2017 11:55 EDT

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