BMW X1 2013
Yes, the X designation suggests that it’s an SUV—or SAV for Sports Activity Vehicle in BMW vernacular—but it’s not really. For one thing, the X1 is only 60.8 inches high. That’s at least five inches shorter than most compact SUVs and no taller than the likes of a Ford Taurus or Suzuki SX4. For another, the X1 is the first BMW X model available in a rear-wheel-drive version. From behind the wheel, this X1 drives like a nimble hatchback with a slightly higher seating position.Before Mini came along, BMW – along with seemingly every other premium European automaker – never really figured out how to coax big dollars out of American wallets without developing cars that had large footprints, at least those other than sports cars. While the automaker really got rolling in America on the strength of little bantamweights like the 2002, it veered away from small cars sometime in the '80s. BMW subsequently crashed and burned with the cut-and-shut 318ti built off its E36 3 Series and, good as it is, the 1 Series hasn't given the company meaty volume or profits, either. Among other brands, the Audi A3 has never rung up big numbers, and the less said about the painful sales figures of the Volvo C30, the better.
Germans car engineers don’t understand America. Sure, they understand driving dynamics and styling, but the Burger King drive-thru is incomprehensible. It’s obvious they are making effort to understand ‘mericans, bless their little hearts, but I think a US field-trip is in order for the guy who designs center consoles in Bavaria. Go to the south, my friend, go to the south. When the X1 arrived, I was starving. Being a lover of convenience, I headed to Taco Bell. It was at that point I noticed I had only one cup holder. Behind my right elbow. After consulting the instruction manual, I found the other one. If you look at the picture below, you’ll see it: a funky little thing that inserts into a slot in the center console to the right of the shifter. When it’s not inserted, you have an odd hole with a springy-cover concealing its depths. When in place, you have a cup holder positioned to splash its contents on your snazzy iDrive knob.