Impressive sound deadening keeps out most of the road noise but delivers a nice, muffled growl from the engine under strong acceleration. It's just enough to enjoy it without finding it irritating, and that wonderful inline-six pulls right up to redline with a gusto that makes you question its nearly 7-second 0-to-60 time. If BMW continues with its M-ification of it SUVs, an X1 M would no doubt be a lot of fun. On the other end of the spectrum, BMW could also potentially find buyers in the U.S. for the four-cylinder and diesel motors as well. BMW has indicated that it will eventually bring a diesel X1 to the U.S. sometime after launch.
Ok, so with more than 7 inches of ground clearance, it's not really a 3 Series. In fact, the ground clearance, cargo capacity and the height of the vehicle are the only places in which the X1 offers more size than the 3 Series. While the X1 stands some 3 inches taller than the 3 Series, it is roughly 8 inches narrower and 5 inches shorter front to back. It's also several inches smaller than the X3 in all dimensions as well.
That's not really fair, though, because the X1 never feels that small on the inside, unless you're the guy in the middle seat. It's a full five-seater, true enough, but we wouldn't recommend putting an adult in that middle rear seat for more than a quick jaunt. The upside for him or her is that even in the middle he or she will have plenty of headroom, because even with the optional panoramic sunroof, the ceiling of the X1 reaches up so high, you could probably convince Michelangelo to paint a fresco on it.
In fact, that fellow in the middle seat will probably be fine if he's the skinny type. While there's not much room width-wise, a wheelbase of nearly 109 inches leaves plenty of leg room for even long-legged rear seat passengers without forcing the front seat passengers into the dash. Four adults would be quite comfortable on a long journey in the X1, as both the front and rear seats are surprisingly comfortable.