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      08-29-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
trek8000
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X1 28i vs. 35i Engine Comparison

Hello, I am a new member out here and really appreciate all of your input and feedback on the X1. I am going to be purchasing/ordering my very first BMW and have decided on the X1. I have not yet decided on the 28i (240 hp) or the 35i (300 hp). I have only test driven the 35i and liked everything about it although I wish the trans was the newer 8 speed. In reading up it sounds like the 6 speed is a pretty good fit in the 35i even if it is a bit outdated. Since I am not making my decision based upon on MPG I am mainly looking for feedback on the 2 different engines that are used. A side by side comparision of sorts. Can anyone comment on the reliability and smoothness of these engines. I read some reviews that mention the 35i 300 hp engine being more refined and smoother. Another review mentions that the 28i has a bit of engine clatter on start up. Any feedback to help me with my purchase decision would be appreciated. Thank you.
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      08-30-2012, 04:53 AM   #2
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The I6 will always be smoother; also in terms of how it delivers power. The six cylinders are going away for all BMWs in the future, so you'll have to get used to the I4 turbo.

It's about the gearing, because if you read the F30 magazine tests; the majority stated go for the 328i. The new N20 engine has already been awarded engine of the year.

Note: you are comparing x to x, since both models are 4WD. The 28i comes in a RWD version which means less weight. You might want to consider that as well.

Note 2: a lot of people are finding that the price difference is around 2-4k between both models. (depending on the packages) So you will have to build two out and see.

Note 3: just test drive both.
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      08-30-2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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Already having a 135i ( + 7spd DCT) and coming from a long line of BMW I6's, I was a little biased going in to a test drive of the X1. The dealer only had a 28i, so we drove that first. I was pleasantly surprised!

The N20 (+8 spd) was peppy indeed. The smoothness of the 8 speed really wasn't an issue for me as I drive in manual mode exclusively. If fuel economy is a major issue, then I don't think one could go wrong with the 28i.

However, since the dealer didn't have the X1 35i, we test drove an X3 35i. It quickly reminded me why I love the 135i so much. Torque! Even at 400 lbs heavier, the X3 felt like a rocket! Having the extra power in reserve is worth the poor fuel economy for me.

Take both for a test drive before you decide.
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      08-30-2012, 07:48 AM   #4
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x35i weight: 3891 lbs
x28i weight: 3726 lbs
s28i weight: 3527 lbs

Power: 300hp/300ft/lbs
Power: 240hp/260ft/lbs

P/Wx2240=

Power to Weight: 172hp (x35i)
Power to Weight: 144hp (x28i)
Power to Weight: 152hp (s28)

Final Gear Ratio 35i: 3:64
Final Gear Ratio 28i: 3:15


1/4 Estimate: (just calculated with weight and power only)

14.4 (x35i)
15.3 (x28i)
15.0 (s28i)

So: x35i is .6 seconds faster than the s28i and .9 faster than x28i.

0-60 (BMWUSA)
5.3 (x35i)
6.3 (x28i)
6.2 (s28i)

So: x35i is 1 second faster than x28i, and .9 faster than the s28i.

Are you really going to notice that?

It's not always about power; weight, gear ratios, tire size (wheel weights), etc also affect how the car will perform.

Last edited by mabrahams; 08-30-2012 at 08:04 AM.
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      08-30-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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A second faster is a lot! If anything the 165 pounds in weight would be the most unoticeable.
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      08-30-2012, 08:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by djminkin View Post
A second faster is a lot! If anything the 165 pounds in weight would be the most unoticeable.
Ah; but weight affects more though. It affects the handling, speed, braking, accelerating, and more.

But these numbers are so close that it really doesn't matter; we are just debating for debates sake.
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      08-30-2012, 09:03 AM   #7
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Don't forget that the x35i has much larger rotors and slightly larger calipers and brake pads.

X35i
Front - 348x30
Rear - 336x22

X28i
Front - 312x24
Rear - 300x20

I was initially sold on the x28i because of the newer transmission, but the more I look into it, the x35i has a lot of small advantages like the brakes that make it seem like a better deal than I initially thought.
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      08-30-2012, 10:17 AM   #8
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I'll throw in my 2 cents. I drove an x3 in both engine variants, both with the 8 speed. Yesterday I drove the x1 35i. For the x3s I greatly preferred the 35i although the 28i wasn't bad at all. However, I was not as impressed with the x1 35i and I really think its because of the transmission. The x3 35i felt quite a bit more responsive than the x1 and honestly felt faster.

Next week I'll drive the x1 xdrive28i and I expect to like it more. That being said, I was not at all impressed with the x1 interior and I'm not sold on the car at this point.
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      08-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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I'll throw in my 2 cents. I drove an x3 in both engine variants, both with the 8 speed. Yesterday I drove the x1 35i. For the x3s I greatly preferred the 35i although the 28i wasn't bad at all. However, I was not as impressed with the x1 35i and I really think its because of the transmission. The x3 35i felt quite a bit more responsive than the x1 and honestly felt faster.

Next week I'll drive the x1 xdrive28i and I expect to like it more. That being said, I was not at all impressed with the x1 interior and I'm not sold on the car at this point.
Same feelings I have. The X3 35i is much heavier, but still feels better with the 8s transmission. The interior plastic quality of the X1 is a huge let down, worse than our E82 and honestly worse than many cheaper cars. The only real plus of the interior design is that the nav screen is much better integrated than in the F30/F31, but being e-chassis based, the E84 will not be getting the updated iDrive hardware that the f-chassis cars are getting soon.
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      08-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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The X3 is just flat out ugly though. M Sport or not the X1 is a much nicer looking car in my opinion.
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      08-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #11
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The X3 is just flat out ugly though. M Sport or not the X1 is a much nicer looking car in my opinion.
Agreed, and pricing is certainly less appealing. However if you're open to the 2.0t motor, and don't have my wife's allergy to wagons, the F31 is much better looking than either.
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      08-30-2012, 12:04 PM   #12
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Not a fan of the Fs and if you thought the X3's pricing isn't appealing, wait for the F31. I'm not enamored with the F30 interior either. Torque one of the interior door pulls- it doesn't take many lb-ft to reveal its crude very much two piece plastic design. In the more budget minded X1 I can tolerate things of this nature although they're actually better in the E84- certain elements admittedly aren't. I prefer the back seat in the X1 also. Wish the X1 came with the nice info screen instead of having to pony up 2500 for the tech but having nav built in isn't a bad thing, its just a tax.
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      08-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #13
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Not a fan of the Fs and if you thought the X3's pricing isn't appealing, wait for the F31. I'm not enamored with the F30 interior either. Torque one of the interior door pulls- it doesn't take many lb-ft to reveal its crude very much two piece plastic design. In the more budget minded X1 I can tolerate things of this nature although they're actually better in the E84- certain elements admittedly aren't. I prefer the back seat in the X1 also. Wish the X1 came with the nice info screen instead of having to pony up 2500 for the tech but having nav built in isn't a bad thing, its just a tax.
Judging by E90/E91 pricing, and looking at the UK F30/F31 pricing, the F31 will likely have a $2k price premium over a similar F30, so not that different to E84 pricing with much nicer interior materials and the newer iDrive as of Nov builds, however with that awful EPS. It would be a tougher call if my wife would drive a wagon, as it is, the E84 is her current preference.
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      08-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #14
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Not much different? Low 40s for a nice E84, high 40s for F30, low 50s for a nice 4cyl. F31 to which I'd say no mas. My comparable 328x sedan build is 49+k vs. just over 42 for E84. That's seven add a couple for F31 and knocking on the door of a ten spot. And by the way that's still a 'base' F30 with a wheel I don't like and can't get paddle shifters on without going another 2.5k for sport line. I'll pass.
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      09-02-2012, 03:01 PM   #15
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Talking

Just drove the xdrive28i back to back with the 35i. Love the six but surprised at how nice the four was. When I remember my 1970 2002 - the 2.0l four has come a long way.

But the real shocker was the steering. Very good in both, but firmer and much more to my liking in the x28i. Hydraulic in both - among the last BMW's with this excellent system - but the servotronic version is standard on the x35i, explaining the lower effort, and, to my taste, less acceptable level of communication.

Also surprised at the runflats. Far nicer than those I got rid of on my e90. Maybe I'll keep 'em.

Great car for the wife. Now if they only had a MT with a diesel . . .

Tschuss.
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      09-03-2012, 09:09 AM   #16
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Im in the same boat - need to go test drive the 28. Honestly, transmission technology, even year by year is improving so quickly, and the tranny has SO MUCH to do with the feel of the car - responsiveness, pep, etc.

Whats this about a tune BMW will be offering for the I4? I would get the 28 and just mod it, but dont want to deal with warranty issues - did BMW announce something that will keep the warranty intact or are you just referring to general aftermarket mods?
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      09-04-2012, 09:43 AM   #17
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Oops, did I say all those nasty things about the 35i? Bought an xLine 35i this weekend for the wife. Midnight Blue/Terra Cotta.
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      09-04-2012, 10:02 AM   #18
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Oops, did I say all those nasty things about the 35i? Bought an xLine 35i this weekend for the wife. Midnight Blue/Terra Cotta.


Congratulations. So what sold her on the 35i over the 28i?
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      09-04-2012, 11:11 AM   #19
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Congratulations. So what sold her on the 35i over the 28i?
We traded her 135i on it, and while the 8s is great with the 2.0L, she just preferred the more effortless torque of the 3.0L. The gas mileage difference is huge, but she also only puts about 6k miles on her car every year, so it's a pretty small difference.

Brakes also made a rather large impact, the 35i brakes are both larger and have a better, firmer feel on both demo cars, which should have properly bedded in brakes.

We were also considering the F30, and what's weird is that the 2.0L feels perfect in it, perhaps the X1 is just heavy enough to make it feel a little bit more burdened. But the size of the F30 was a real turn off, it's just too large of a car. The X3 was surprisingly good with the 3.0L and the 8s auto, probably not any slower than the X1 with the 6s, but pricing starts to get silly, and it's both bigger and more ponderous than the F30 and certainly more so than the E84. The X1 is a great package for our needs, so far she seems very pleased with it.

Looking forward to being out of the break in period. The N55 feels smoother than the 45k mile N54 we traded in and makes a nicer overall sound, at least up to 4k rpm. It doesn't feel as strong, but then it's in a heavier car, with awd and is very green. It will be interesting to see how it feels after break in.
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      09-04-2012, 01:14 PM   #20
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Haha, nice, many reviews say the power difference is negligible and maybe off the line it is but it would be tough for me to spend 40 on the N20 with the N55 sitting there so closely priced that goes better (esp at speed), sounds better, stops better, its worth it. Nice call...GL Wood or Copper? Tech? Paddles? PICS!!
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      09-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #21
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Wood or Copper? Tech? Paddles? PICS!!
Wood, which neither of us would normally pic, but the matte finish is great and the color works really with Terra Cotta. No paddles, but we didn't have them on her 1er and didn't really miss them. No decent pics yet, I'm headed to Santa Fe for some mountain biking in the morning and won't have a chance to give it a proper detailing until next weekend. But I'll get some posted.

Yes on Tech, Premium, Cold Weather and Lighting. No Driver Assistance, rear visibility is actually pretty good, given the small rear window, standard radio is surprisingly good, we compared it to the HK one they had on the floor and didn't notice much difference, at least with stock eq settings.

2nd cup holder, as noted is comical at best, but there is a semi functional second cupholder in the center console that might work okay. The rear hatch is relatively heavy, and my 5'3" wife struggles a little with closing it, but it's not too bad. This is our first car with iDrive and it's ponderous at first, but I suspect we'll both get used to it quickly. BT streaming is effortless and works great with our iOS devices, really a nice change.

Last edited by Red Bread; 09-04-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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      09-04-2012, 08:37 PM   #22
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+1 on stock stereo being perfectly good- I was pretty impressed. Same on the hatch, little stiff and no good grab spot that I saw- fingerprints, watch those rings too! Nice ride, congrats...
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