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BMW X1

2013 BMW X1

Courtesy of BMW

The BMW X1 comes from Europe, like all BMWs do. And in Europe, people are accustomed to paying top dollar for small cars. The X1 already had a brief interlude in the United States in 2009, but it was a time when American buyers were obsessed with buying as big as possible at bargain prices. Though the crossover market was gaining traction, the X1 was simply so small that people looked right past it ... or maybe mistook it for a 3-Series. Things have changed, and now the X1 is back. It couldn't have been easy, though. BMW had to make sure the X1 didn't steal market share from its formerly-entry-level X3, and the price point had to be right, as well. The X1 is a bit smaller than the X3, by about 6 inches of length and 3 inches of width, which makes it small by crossover standards, not just BMW standards. It can still comfortably hold a family and their cargo, though, so don't fret.

The base X1 is a RWD vehicle with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, turbo engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, good for putting down 240-horsepower. For true crossover capability, buyers can upgrade to AWD. In fact, a 3.0-liter, turbo, 6-cylinder, AWD version is an option, but since it's only paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it might be a tough sell for some buyers.

The interior is comfortable and equipped with most modern conveniences a family will expect, such as USB ports and high-quality design and materials. The aesthetics can be upgraded with a couple of different trim options: "Sport" offers sport seats and gloss black exterior accents, while "xLine" adds utilitarian exterior trim pieces that provide a more rugged look. And to improve the X1's actual function, buyers can select BMW's M Sport package, which upgrades the suspension and tires. These options mean the 2013 X1 is better poised for success this time around.

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