Then there was the Eco Pro button sitting at the bottom of the center stack. Not having a great opportunity to open up the N20 engine in traffic I lit up the Eco Pro mode. Wow – all the verve of a Toyota Yaris with fouled plugs. I realize this is good for fuel economy – and I could easily imagine using it in conjunction with cruise control for a trip across Kansas, but it really sucks the life out of the N20.
And speaking of the N20, it’s aural output on this model is less than ‘premium’. The sound needs to be tweaked a bit, and I’m sure it can be done, hopefully soon. But what the N20 does do is provide the ‘comfort of torque’. When compared to the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4 it is head and shoulders above them. The Honda 2.3L outputs 163 lb ft of torque, the Toyota 2.5L 172 lb ft, whereas the 2.0L turbo BMW N20 produces 260 lb ft of torque. Which one will achieve escape velocity first – stick with the BMW.
And the final comparison – would the BMW X1 be cross shopped by folks looking at the CR-V or RAV4. I think so, the high end models of the Honda and Toyota come in around $3,500 or so less than the base BMW X1 xDrive28i. And what that extra bit of do re me buys you, as Alex said, “is a pretty fantastic, all-round driver experience.”