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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 New York Auto Show in New York City.

What is it? In an effort to appeal to a new range of buyers, BMW has introduced compact and sub-compact premium vehicles like the 1 Series coupe and convertible. The X1 is the next vehicle in that effort, a sub-compact premium SUV.

Already on sale in Europe, this smallest member of the BMW X family gets two engine choices: the 240-hp four-cylinder turbo in the rear-wheel-drive sDrive28i and all-wheel-drive xDrive 28i, and the 300-hp six-cylinder turbo in the all-wheel-drive xDrive35i.

Both engines are shifted by an automatic transmission, and the four-cylinder engine is paired with automatic stop-start technology.

What is new or notable? The X1 gets styling tweaks for its American debut, and the LED daytime driving lights are part of the optional Xenon lighting package.  

CR’s take: With a starting price of $31,545, the words “entry level” should be used with caution. We were very impressed with the redesign of the X3 SUV, so it will be interesting to see how much of that sporty SUV translates down to the smaller X1.

When will it be available? Autumn 2012.

Consumer Reports New cars: A to Z

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