2016 BMW X1

2016 BMW X1

Episode 3547
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The BMW X1 was a true, early entry into the subcompact luxury crossover segment. But as is often the case, those that quickly follow are able to use your blueprint and improve upon it.  Thus a new X1 has now been unleashed on the entry-level luxury loving streets of upscale suburbia.  But there’s more new here than meets the eye.   

The 2016 BMW X1 may not look all that unique from its predecessor; but it is indeed vastly different, riding on all-new architecture, and a front-wheel-drive based one at that. 

Surely blasphemy to the BMW faithful. It’s all about baby steps, folks. BMW has already gotten you addicted to their SUVs, and now they slip in the front-drive architecture. 

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the reasons for that change; to drive costs down thanks to platform sharing with MINI, while bringing interior space up. 

And there is indeed more room, especially in the back seat; but don’t expect midsize space here, it still feels smallish.

There’s also a bit more cargo space, climbing from 25.0 to 27.1 cubic-ft.; accessed by a standard power lift gate. Hands free operation is an option making the X1 a much more practical vehicle. 

And we do like our practicality, as does BMW; giving us functionality plusses like the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats that slide and recline; as well as fold almost fully flat to expand the space to 58.7 cubic-ft. 

All of the additional space wasn’t really a necessity, but it is much appreciated, making the X1 one of the roomiest in its class; now just about the perfect size for families either starting out or nearing the empty nester phase. 

Still, the X1 retains that intimate feel that we love in a BMW, being surrounded by a luxury-clad, competently sporty vehicle. And not only are all materials inside improved, but everything seems more upscale in operation. 

Well, everything except the front seats, that is. They are small, narrow, and uncomfortable almost to the point of being a deal breaker. And you definitely want to think twice about seats this light in color if kids are in your foreseeable future.

The X1 is initially available only in a single xDrive28i model. So despite a front-drive type chassis, it comes standard with all-wheel drive. As does an 8-speed automatic transmission and 18-inch wheels. Plenty of add-ons like head-up display and advanced safety features are available. 

Though I6 power is offered no more; only a 2.0-liter turbo I4. Still, 228–horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque easily puts it among class best. 

We tried to make it sweat, but it responded by continuously delivering smooth and buzz-free trips to 60 in 6.3-seconds. It’s quite torquey off the line, with some front wheel spin before the rears kick in to compensate. 

Gear changes were quick and firm, accompanied by a nice exhaust rasp throughout the 14.8-second ¼-mile run, which we completed at 94 miles-per-hour.  

Even with the shift to a front-drive chassis, handling remains very rear-drive BMW-like. That’s not a big surprise, since this platform already deals out plenty of fun in the MINI Cooper. And, with all-wheel drive standard, it’s almost a guarantee that most buyers will not be able to tell the switch in chassis design.

Though we certainly could sense some additional understeer; body roll was kept well in check. 

111–foot average stops from 60 is certainly not bad either, but braking performance was not quite up to the par we had in mind. Stops were inconsistent and the pedal felt soft with a fair amount of travel. 

The X1 does appear more SUVish than before, and much better looking overall. But like most of the European crossover entries in this segment, still a little too “wagony” for our tastes. 

Most every dimension has increased, except for length; minus-1 overall, while the wheelbase shrinks by 3½-inches to 105.1. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 32-Highway, and 26-Combined. Our average was just 24.8 miles-per-gallon of Premium. Still, that makes for a better than average Energy Impact Score of 12.7-barrels of annual oil use with 5.7-tons of CO2 emissions. 

X1 base pricing is a reasonable $35,795; but you can easily tack on another 10-grand in optional packages. 

Oddly enough, going against just about everything BMW stands for, has made the 2016 BMW X1 one of our favorite BMWs; especially if you look at is as a sporty 5-door, not as an entry-level crossover.

It may not be the most capable or comfortable mini-ute on the market, but as you can expect, it’s one of the most fun. BMW has addressed anything we didn’t like before, as well as taken almost everything that we did like about the previous gen X1 and made it better. And most importantly, given us more of it.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0 liter Turbo I4
  • Horsepower: 228
  • Torque: 258 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.3 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.8 seconds @ 94 mph
  • EPA: 22 mpg city/ 32 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.7 tons/yr
  • Transmission: 8 spd automatic
2024 Genesis G70

2024 Genesis G70

New Standard Engine For The G70 Means More Power And More Performance

Episode 4345
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It was 5 years ago, at a time when sedan sales were rapidly declining, that Genesis decided to unveil an all-new four-door, the G70. And just to make things more difficult, it was designed to compete directly against the best European compact sport sedans, which it did impressively well. So yes, the G70 is still hanging around; and what’s more, it’s gotten even better!

The Genesis G70 sedan has been on the road for half a decade now, and looks to have some real staying power, having outlasted its platform-mate, the Kia Stinger. But this 2024 Genesis G70 is not just surviving, but thriving, with a new standard powertrain, upgraded performance and an enhanced interior.

The standard engine in the G70 is now a 2.5-liter turbo I4 with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 48-horsepower increase over last year’s 2.0-liter turbo-four. Genesis has also included a Brembo brake package as standard equipment. The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 remains available and carries over unchanged at 365 horsepower; both engines powering the rear wheels as standard, with all-wheel-drive optional.

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The approach for the interior remains more of a sporty presentation instead of the outright luxury slant of larger Genesis sedans, and the main updates here include new touch-panel controls for climate and a frameless rear-view mirror. A reasonably priced Sport Prestige package adds leather seating, aluminum trim, a big sunroof and additional driver assistance features. Front seats are both sporty-feeling and comfortable, while things remain a little tight for adults in the rear seats.

No new sheet-metal for the outside, as that was freshened up for the ’22 model year; the design remains polished and smooth, void of garish details, but it does sport the new Genesis engraved emblem front and center above the grille.

Automatic shifts were very punchy, with a noticeable hit of power as each new gear was engaged.

We pointed that logo down our Mason Dixon Dragway test track to see what the new turbo-four engine is capable of. It felt plenty powerful off the line, even with a hint of turbo lag, and power delivery only became more aggressive from there. We hit 60 in 5.8 seconds, almost a half-second quicker than we saw with the 2.0-liter. That’s also with all-wheel-drive, which provided plenty of grip at takeoff, and good stability down the track, though spring track maintenance kept us from getting full quarter-mile times.

All G70s now work exclusively with a rev-matching eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters and intelligent drive modes; the six-speed manual transmission has gone away with the 2.0-liter. Automatic shifts were very punchy, with a noticeable hit of power as each new gear was engaged. Engine noise is pleasant but relatively muted, with just a hint of exhaust noise seeping into the cabin.

2024 Genesis G70 3

While the G70 can feel like a big sedan in everyday driving, here in our handling course, it felt tidy, nimble and quite comfortable working through the cones. We felt very connected to it, with great feedback through the chassis and steering wheel. Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control is in play to tighten up turn-ins and provide steadiness, and it worked great allowing us to be very aggressive without stability control systems stepping in, even when it began to show a little bit of understeer as we pushed the envelope.

As for everyday driving, Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the new four-cylinder and all-wheel-drive are 21-City, 29-Highway, and 24-Combined; we averaged a very good 27.8 mpg on Premium fuel. All for an average Energy Impact Score, using 12.4 barrels of oil annually with 6.2 tons of CO2 emissions.

The more powerful standard engine and interior upgrades add about two-grand to the G70’s new base price, which is now $42,750, $44,850 with all-wheel-drive; the twin-turbo V6 starts at $51,200.

These days, we’re just glad to see someone still making sporty 4-doors. So, when a brand puts the effort into making a good one even better, as Genesis has done with the 2024 G70, well that’s really a cause for celebration. The G70 may be a relative newcomer to the luxury sport sedan scene, but its comfort bang for the buck, along with its additional standard power and proven all-around performance, gives it the staying power it needs to succeed long term.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbo I4
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Torque: 311 lb-ft
  • EPA: 21 City | 29 Highway | 24 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: N/A
  • 60-0 Braking: N/A
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.8 mpg (Premium)