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      10-09-2023, 05:07 PM   #1
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Question X1 M35i or AMG GLA 35?

Hi all!

Has anyone had some seat time in the X1 M35i? (I'm guessing no due to how new it is...) Does it still have a decent balance of ride comfort and sporty handling like the F48 X1 did with M Sport suspension?

I ask because I recently had an AMG GLA 35 as a Mercedes service loaner and thought it did a pretty good impression of a hot hatch like a Golf R. But the GLA 35 looks are enough of a turn-off to drive me away.

Like the X1 M35i, the GLA 35 has an exciting ~300hp turbo-four powering all four wheels, adjustable suspension, and some racy cabin trimmings. It had a great pace and handling composure on my favorite backroads, through I wish the AWD system shoved more power to the rear wheels for a RWD (or Focus RS) like feel.

As a daily, the GLA 35 was plenty comfy and has a nice infotainment system. I don't think it's as practical as the X1, though, as its body shape is more hatchback than SUV. The rear seats and trunk aren't as large as I'd like.

Speaking of body shape, the GLA 35 is fairly blobby and shapeless; sometimes I wonder if BMW's current trend of over-styling is a reaction to Mercedes under-styling! That said, I still like the BMW exteriors better.

(I did a full writeup on the GLA 35 here.)

Anyway, if anyone's been in the X1 M35i I'd love to hear about it. It seems like a cool X1 that finally got the power it deserved!

Best,
Mike


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      10-10-2023, 03:00 PM   #2
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Mercedes reliability these days is poor and the GLA is according to Consumer Reports latest owner surveys, the 4th least satisfying vehicle to own according to owners.

https://jalopnik.com/consumer-report...72470/slides/8
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      10-10-2023, 03:42 PM   #3
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I've had my X2 M35i since 2019 and I bought it solely because of the M goodies/engine. The wife's X1 was just so so to me, but all the add ons were great so instead of turning over my wife's car or looking for a 4 series I decided to get this X2 for myself (plus bad back wasn't liking the cars as much anymore).

I do like the styling of the new X1 and the new interior is different in a decent way. I only wonder why the 0-60 is actually slower.. but still, love my X2.

As for your suspension concerns.. I do not have the adaptive suspension, and it's still unclear to me exactly which suspension is cross comparable, but yes it's a stiff ride, so don't expect any 5 series cushiness. I do think the ride is much nicer with my winter "regular" tires vs the runflats I drive in the summer. As soon as I burn through the stock tires I'll definitely just be going with the regular rubber.

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      10-10-2023, 10:37 PM   #4
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Thanks rice_rocket88 for sharing your experience!

It looks like the X2 M35i is probably an even better match to the GLA 35 than the X1. As I've got two little kids in the family, I'm more attracted to the X1, but I see the appeal of the X2, too.

I'm a little disappointed to hear that your X2 is not on an adaptive suspension. Was it an option for the X2? I like to have my cake and eat it too!

Does the X2 ever feel rear-driven in M35i spec? My experience with X1 was that it was neutral coming out of corners, but never had RWD rotation.
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      10-10-2023, 10:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD^2 View Post
Mercedes reliability these days is poor and the GLA is according to Consumer Reports latest owner surveys, the 4th least satisfying vehicle to own according to owners.

https://jalopnik.com/consumer-report...72470/slides/8
That is too bad. (Though bad reliability would let me test drive more service loaners! )
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      10-11-2023, 06:13 AM   #6
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I can't speak specifically to the m35i's driving experience, but I did just purchase a new X1 28i for my in-laws, and I can say the interior at least is a significant step up from the Mercedes. The build quality, materials used, and general roominess is amazing. It drives really well, but obviously doesn't have the grunt of the M35i.
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      10-11-2023, 08:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD^2 View Post
Mercedes reliability these days is poor and the GLA is according to Consumer Reports latest owner surveys, the 4th least satisfying vehicle to own according to owners.

https://jalopnik.com/consumer-report...72470/slides/8

I test drove the AMG 2 years ago and it literally broke down. Loss of electronics including the gauges, then limp mode, then dead. The dealership sent out another car to pick us up. Prior to that I was underwhelmed, but perhaps my expectations were not realistic or perhaps it was having issues, thus the breakdown. The salesman was quite embarrassed.
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      10-11-2023, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick3753 View Post
I test drove the AMG 2 years ago and it literally broke down. Loss of electronics including the gauges, then limp mode, then dead. The dealership sent out another car to pick us up. Prior to that I was underwhelmed, but perhaps my expectations were not realistic or perhaps it was having issues, thus the breakdown. The salesman was quite embarrassed.
That is pretty embarrassing!
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      10-11-2023, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 414bhp View Post
Thanks rice_rocket88 for sharing your experience!

It looks like the X2 M35i is probably an even better match to the GLA 35 than the X1. As I've got two little kids in the family, I'm more attracted to the X1, but I see the appeal of the X2, too.

I'm a little disappointed to hear that your X2 is not on an adaptive suspension. Was it an option for the X2? I like to have my cake and eat it too!

Does the X2 ever feel rear-driven in M35i spec? My experience with X1 was that it was neutral coming out of corners, but never had RWD rotation.
Well so I have 2 little kids, and yes the X2 is a little bit smaller, but I wouldn't say it's "that" much smaller than the X1. I would say, however, that if I didn't have the 2 to compare side to side I wouldn't say I would notice it. The trunk space is small-ish ie LARGE suitcases don't fit well, and then you have to take off the top cover. This is where one might just barely fit in the X1 but won't in the X2. Head room is a bit less for the back seat as well. Driver's cockpit is really the same.

The X1 and X2 unfortunately are FWD biased. The good news with the m35i is that it has a front LSD so other than a little bit of chirp, the AWD powers through. But NO, unfortunately it doest not push like all the other BMW's of previous generations which I do miss the feeling.. but this little bugger gets up and goes so it's still a hoot. I would say hands down 0-60 it's lighter and leaner than most bmw's.... however 60mph onward is where it loses steam fast and all the other b58 etc engines are going to keep on pulling.

The suspension option isn't the same adaptive suspension as the other models, rather it really just tightened the dampers. I test drove 2 models on the lot.. one that had it, and one that did not. I could feel the difference, but it really only got firmer by a bit. (And the stock m suspension is already pretty darned tight). The color choice was either identical to my wife's X1 or go for the crazy misano blue.. which I got (and no adaptive suspension). I got pretty much every other option that I wanted except the roof rails (which I didn't really want anyways.. the wireless charging which is a joke for $600, and the larger 20" wheels which I wanted all season vs summer tires only. Plus I usually end up with other sets of wheels anyways). Once you get the tech package it adds the led lights and HUD. Oh, the other option I had to choose one or the other was adaptive cruise control or heated steering wheel. And it's cold in Boston so heated steering wheel will win every time!
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      10-12-2023, 08:30 PM   #10
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Don't touch any MB with a ten foot pole unless you like trips to the dealer for a long list of reasons.

Don't touch any four banger MB with any length pole unless you like trips to the dealer for failed cylinder heads.

MB has abysmal reliability these days.
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      10-13-2023, 03:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Don't touch any MB with a ten foot pole unless you like trips to the dealer for a long list of reasons.

Don't touch any four banger MB with any length pole unless you like trips to the dealer for failed cylinder heads.

MB has abysmal reliability these days.
This.
And the 48v Hybrid system is horribly unreliable on other MB models(not sure if the model above has it,I'm too lazy to search).
Yet the In-laws insisted on purchasing a new 2024 GLC300 over the summer thats been sitting at the Port in Savannah for 6wks waiting for a "software update" so they have been unable to take delivery
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      10-13-2023, 04:25 PM   #12
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Another X2 M35i owner - operating under the assumption itís the closest surrogate. All in all, itís a solid DD. Iíd probably have some concerns over the significant loss in torque with the new X1 and X2 models. In stock form, for me, it was okay as a DD. You do feel a little FWD bias occasionally but nothing like an actual turbo FWD car. One of the bigger issues was a combination of turbo lag and some weird software programming that would leave you hanging trying to make a quick left turn in traffic. If you go on the X2 forums itís well documented - scary at times, trying to make a quick left in front of oncoming cars and the system basically gives you an effective 100 hp (not good). But once my warranty expired I added a piper cross air filter and Dinan boost controller set to race (power/torque rated at ~330/370) and it mostly solved that problem. I still always got the sense there was a programming issue based on steering input - assuming theyíve corrected that, the issue hopefully wonít be present in the new models. If they havenít, with less torque frankly it could be worse in day to day driving. Some other factors - mine has only 16k miles, but Iíve owned it for 2.5 years, beyond warranty coverage and have never had to take it in for anything (not one issue) other than routine oil changes. All in all, Iíve thought about upgrading to an X3MC to have something more comparable to my supercharged E90 M3, but canít really find a reason to get rid of the X2. The new X1 look is definitely an improvement though. My X2 has been nicknamed Q-Bert, which is pretty damn accurate!
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