It was nearly perfect otherwise.
It's been quite interesting to see how crossovers, both luxury and mainstream, have rapidly taken over the automotive sales landscape over the past few years. Crossovers are now more popular than sedans and families have been ditching minivans in favor of something that looks like an SUV but really isn't. Speaking of which, when BMW launched the second generation X1 in 2015, it came with one major change compared to its predecessor: standard front-wheel-drive, which is kind of a shame.
The first generation X1 was built on a rear-wheel-drive platform, just like the larger X3 and X5, which still are today. However, BMW is in the process of moving some of its models to a new FWD unit shared with several new Minis.
The second generation X1 is one of them. Our recent time at the wheel of a 2017 X1 taught us two things: we miss standard RWD, and the new model is better than the original. We'll explain. Not only is the X1 larger inside and out with an impressively spacious rear seat, it's also a more refined and upscale vehicle overall. Our tester was equipped with the $2,000 xDrive AWD system, thus giving it at least a shred of off-road capability. In addition, exterior and interior styling is classier with a higher attention to detail. Bottom line: BMW did its homework and the public has spoken: "Yes to FWD fake SUVs." Special thanks to Niello BMW-Sacramento for letting us film the car.