Now in its third generation, the BMW x1 has enjoyed much success, with over 2.9million units sold worldwide since its introduction in 2009. We recently attended the media launch of the all-new X1, and it promises to punch above its weight.
Up front, the new baby Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) boasts an almost square BMW kidney grille flanked by slimmer LED headlights. Customers may opt for the optionally available Adaptive LED headlights with matrix high beam, pulsating turn indicators and variable light distribution.
The X1 can further be recognizable thanks to the sculpted surfaces and the long roofline. At the rear, the SAV appearance is achieved by the slim tailgate window, horizontal lines, the striking LED taillights reminiscent of the BMW XM, and flared wheel arches.
The interior of the all-new X1 looks and feels exceptionally good. Taking centre stage is the BMW Curved Display based on BMW Operating System 8, which measures at 10.25-inches for the information display and 10.7-inches for the control display. BMW Live Cockpit Professional Plus is fitted as standard along with BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. The large touchscreen takes some getting used to however it is pleasant to operate thanks to instant responsiveness to touch inputs. The display is also crisp and bright.
The BMW iDrive Controller is no longer present in the X1 and as such, most functions are controlled by physical touch of the control display or through voice control. Also new in the X1 is the 'floating' armrest which also includes the control panel. We love this feature as it frees up space in the centre console and allows for a minimalistic and futuristic look in the cabin.
Safety and Technology
Standard amenities include the BMW Maps navigation system, a Sport leather steering wheel, intelligent two-zone automatic climate control, rain sensors with automatic headlight activation, four USB-C ports and two 12V power sockets.
Standard driver assistance systems fitted to the X1 include Cruise Control with brake function, front-collision warning system, and the Parking Assistant including Reversing Assist camera and Reversing Assistant.
Engines and Power
At launch, BMW South Africa will only be offering two engine choices for the X1; a petrol powered sDrive18i and a diesel powered sDrive18d. We drove both derivatives at launch. The former is powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged motor which delivers a respectable 115kW and 230Nm. This derivative is fairly decent in and around town. It manages to deliver sufficient levels of power for what the SAV will mostly be used for; school and grocery runs and the odd long distance haul. On the open road, the SAV is able to overtake without much hassle however careful planning is required.
Our second driving stint was in the sDrive18d and it didn't take long before ourselves and our driving partner instantly concluded that this derivative was the pick of the range. Powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel, this derivative is capable of 110kW and 360Nm. With 130Nm more to play with, the sDrive18d immediately felt pokier than its petrol-powered sibling. We particularly enjoyed the great combination of performance and frugality of this derivative.
The BMW X1 range is priced as follows:
BMW X1 sDrive18i xLine - R753 045
BMW X1 sDrive18i M Sport Package - R793 045
BMW X1 sDrive18d xLine - R790 616
BMW X1 sDrive18d M Sport Package - R830 616
We look forward to spending more time with the entry-point into X vehicles in the BMW stable.