The long-awaited BMW X1 crossover will arrive for sale in the U.S. fall 2012. Already on sale in Europe, the X1 made its North American debut at the New York Auto Show. The X1 will be the fourth crossover model offered by the German automaker, and it’s smallest and most affordable crossover yet. The model is actually based off the BMW-3 series wagon.

X1 Trims & Engines

The X1 will be offered in four-trim lines. The trims are the X1 28i, X1 xDrive28i, X1 35i, and X1 xDrive35i. All trims come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is opposed to the 2012 BMW X3, which is only offered in the xDrive28i and xDrive35i trims.

The 2013 X1 will feature a revised front fascia and new headlights, taillights, a new bumper, and new chrome interior touches compared to what has been seen previously abroad. The model also features side-view mirrors. LED headlights are only available as part of the xenon light package.

The rear-wheel drive X1 28i will come standard with the powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 245 horsepower. This engine should spirited performance in this luxury compact crossover. The X1 xDrive35i will offer BMW’s excellent 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, which produces 306 horsepower.

X1 Release Date & Pricing

The BMX X1 release date is slated for September 2012 in the U.S. The X1 28i will have a starting MSRP of $31,545, which includes the $895 destination charge. Going up in trim, the X1 xDrive28i with all-wheel drive will start at $33,245 while the xDrive35i will start at $39,345. In comparison the 2012 BMW X3 xDrive35i with essentially the same engine has a starting MSRP of $43,595 with destination.

2011 BMW X1 sold overseas

2011 BMW X1 sold overseas

A $6,100 price premium for the additional sixty horsepower (and heavier) engine for the X1 xDrive35i compared to the xDrive28i seems rather steep. With options, a fully loaded xDrive35i will likely approach $50,000. With the arrival of the diminutive X1, one wonders when the prospect of a three-row BMW X7 will arrive stateside.

A Test of the U.S. Market

It will be interesting to see how U.S. market responds to this new premium compact crossover. BMW dubs the X1 a “Sport Activity Vehicle”. With its lightweight, great driving dynamics, good fuel economy, and powerful engines, the X1 should offer a driving experience, as long as you don’t need too much cargo room in your crossover. If the X1 is successful, look for the arrival of the Audi Q3, a competitor to the X1 in overseas markets, in the not so distant future.

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