Originally Posted by XMetal
What's the point of ordering an X1 (or any CUV/SAV/SUV, for that matter) with rear drive? If you're going to see lots of bad weather, order it with XDrive. Rear drive in bad weather is just asking for trouble. If you don't want AWD, then you're better off just buying a FWD...something like a mini cooper, golf or any regular hatchback and save some money (and gas in the process).
If you are going to have to drive in lots of bad weather, the xDrive is the better option but many people really don't have to drive in _lots_ of snowy/icy weather and for those individuals sDrive may make more sense. In parts of New Jersey, it barely snows(2-10 inches on average) and the bad parts only average about 28 inches a year. And I suspect most of that is plowed fairly quickly.
Growing up I lived in MA where it got around 40+ inches per year and even then if you have space for them, new rwd cars work fine with snow tires. If you only see serious snowstorms 4 or 5 days and have alternative transportation on those days, you may not even need snow tires if you don't have to commute by a major hill and have all season tires.
As for why someone may consider the X1 without AWD over the alternatives.
1) rear drive is more fun to drive then fwd/awd for many people
2) The RWD version gets 34 mpg highway/24 mpg city according to the government and goes 0-60 if 6.2 seconds. Tough combination to beat in the US at least for a small wagon/SAV
3) lower initial costs and maintenance/running costs over the long run then the AWD version
4) The Golf is a nice car but for most people it isn't in the same class as the X1. (I own a 2.0T Jetta and have owned a GTI before that so I base this on personal experience)
5) For urban dwellers and small families, the X1 has more room to carry their stuff then even the Golf and certainly the Mini Cooper Countryman.
6) BMW iDrive may still be a little bit harder to use then some other systems but it has very impressive all around capabilities that simply isn't matched by most cars that can be had under 30k. Even the GTI for example doesn't have real time traffic and the stereo isn't as nice.
7) 4 years free maintenance and the perks that often come with owning a BMW such as free loaner cars from many dealerships.
8) slightly raised driving position does make it a little easier to see the road/cross intersections etc.
The X1 is more of an easy to park 4 door hatchback/small wagon with another couple of inches of ground clearance and is not intended for real off roading.
The sDrive is a compelling affordable vehicle especially if you do European delivery. Under those circumstances, the car can be had for around 28-31k + tax if you get the car bare bones or go light on options.