The first generation BMW X1 launched in 2009, saw huge volume of sales over the period. It was one of the most affordable offering from the big brand. Born as a compact crossover SUV, even though large number of units were sold, it didn’t appeal much especially due to its ‘station wagon’ like body. Fast Forward to 2015, the X1 makes another entry. This time though, it is bigger, looks meaner, muscular and more like an SUV. BMW has also given it a lovely set of wheels. The X1 then, now has the looks that it always deserved.
The new BMW X1 is now more spacious, more comfortable, more capable and stylish. There is only one engine option for the Indian market which is also the most sensible one, the 2 L diesel engine. You do have an option between sDrive that is the 2WD and the xDrive which is the 4WD. The one that I got to drive was the sDrive. Being a compact urban SUV or rather SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) as they like to call it, the X1 will spend most of its life in the city and highways or at the most do some mild off-roading. The sDrive is more than sufficient for the job I believe.
No Reverse camera but PDC (Park Distance Control) for assistance.
The new X1 gets LED tail lamps and front DRLs with cornering lights. Parking this compact SUV is not so difficult especially with the PDC (Park Distance Control) system that graphically guides you for reversing. On the inside, the console houses the iDrive control knob and a sufficiently large screen that displays media interface, navigation, iDrive interface and PDC graphics. The X1 also gets a massive panoramic sunroof which has a huge opening area. The boot is also sufficiently large.
Engine : The 2 L Turbo Diesel engine produces 187 BHP power and 400 NM of torque which pulls this SUV from 0 to 100 kmph in 7.8 seconds in sDrive. The 4WD xDrive set up is quicker to 100 kmph by a marginal 0.2 seconds. The engine is punchy enough to give some thrills when you need to launch quickly. Coupled with different driving modes like ‘sports’ and ‘eco pro’ you can really have the engine behave the way you want. The power and torque is transmitted to the wheels through the 8 speed automatic gearbox which also has a manual mode with paddle shifts. The fuel efficiency it returns is a decent 18-20 kmpl.
sDrive is 2WD and xDrive is 4WD option.
8-speed Automatic gearbox.
Interiors : The X1 with the huge sunroof and plush interiors feels luxurious and spacious on the inside. with the 8.8 inch screen on the dashboard, materials and ergonomics are well appointed in the cabin. The front seats are electric and have memory to store your personal settings. The Air condition is a two zone climate control system. There is some amount of LED ambient lighting in the cabin which of course will be visible only in the dark. On the practicality front, the boot capacity of 505 L can be increased by folding the rear seats which are flexible 40:20:40 split seats.
The iDrive controls
505 L boot space large enough.
Driving Experience : With the 2 L diesel power plant, and 187 BHP at you disposal, the X1 is a pretty agile and light SUV to drive. The different driving modes enhance the usability and accessibility of the engine. The ride comfort and handling is also pretty decent and does justice to the BMW brand name. The suspensions may be towards ‘soft’ but it is a fun car to drive. BMW claims it has a 50:50 weight distribution for front and rear which plays a crucial role in handling. The X1 lives up to the BMW image for its driving characteristics. The start/stop system works effortlessly without interrupting the driving pleasure. It can be turned off if you still wish to avoid it.
Summing it up : Prices starting from 32.86 lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai, it is a few lakhs over the Toyota Fortuner. For the same price, you can get yourself an Audi Q3 or a Mercedes Benz GLA. The competition is tough in this territory. The X1 looks considerably handsome among the contenders, drives and handles like a BMW should and is even one of the best in terms of space in its class. Most importantly, it does not feel cheap, small or anything less than a premium branded luxury car. I think that is what you would really appreciate when you are spending more than 40 lakhs on something.