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BMW X1 Hatchback First Drive & Performance

BMW X1 Overview

What you see here is the second generation BMW X1, a vehicle that fits into the German car maker’s Sports Activity Vehicle label. Launched earlier this year at the Delhi Auto Expo, the new X1 is built on the UKL, front wheel drive, platform which also underpins the new Mini range of cars. This new SAV, BMW claims, offers more space, features, enhanced ride and comfort, superior fuel efficiency and reduced emissions over the outgoing model. We road tested the new X1 to find out. Check for BMW car dealers in India

Check for BMW X1 Price in Mumbai

BMW X1 Exteriors

As expected, the second-gen X1 sports an evolutionary design with styling cues borrowed from its bigger siblings, the X3 and X5. The front fascia features a slightly bigger twin-kidney grille and longer, sleeker headlamps. Down below, the X1 received larger fog lamps and larger air intakes, making it seem not only bigger than its predecessor, but more aggressive as well. In all, it seems as if the X1 is no longer the ugly duckling of the BMW crossover family.

When viewed from the side, the X1 seems nearly identical to its predecessor from the waist down. The trademark beltline is still in place, while the side skirt area is creased in a similar fashion as on the previous model. However, things are different from the waist up, with a taller glass area, a bigger quarter window, and a raked roofline.

The rear fascia has received its fair share of upgrades as well, starting with significantly larger taillights, which look way better than the previous units, and a better sculpted tailgate and upper bumper area.Overall, it seems the X1 has become a baby X5, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mini SUVs aren’t exactly appealing design-wise, but BMW tried really hard with the X1 and the result is quite good.

BMW X1 Interiors

Looking at the generous dimensions of the vehicle on the outside, I was a bit surprised when I opened the door to step into the driver’s seat. The cabin feels compact and even the dashboard and centre console seem to have a compact layout. Just like any other BMW, ergonomics are spot on and the dash is very driver centric. Materials used all over feel very upmarket and premium but when you drive this X1 back to back with any other car from the same stable, say the 3-Series, that is when you realise how superior the other car feels.

There are lesser number of buttons on the steering wheel, centre console, etc. and even though you do get a lot of features, the X1 does make you feel evident that yes it is one of the cheapest BMWs around. Even the round knob that is used to control the infotainment system is smaller in size. I found the front seats very comfortable and finding that perfect driving position is super easy thanks to the electric seat controls. The driving position itself feels much like that of a crossover and if you’re expecting a proper SUV-like driving position that feels commanding, then you’ll be disappointed.

The rear seats are comfortable too and space is better than the old X1. You also get a basic centre armrest at the rear. The best part about the new X1 is the large windows that BMW has endowed and it makes the cabin feel very airy and lends a positive vibe. Gone is the claustrophobic feel that you get in cars with smaller glass areas. If you’re buying a car for Rs. 40 odd lakhs you expect it to have a ton of fancy gizmos (a la Skoda Superb or Ford Endeavour) but BMW is known to skip a lot of features from the standard equipment list and the X1 is no different. It misses out on vital stuff like a parking camera. It doesn’t even have cruise control.

BMW X1 Performance

The BMW X1 comes with the same 2.0-litre oil burner that also provides grunt to the 3-Series. The new B47 unit has improved over the older N47 plant and this time it comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission from Aisin rather than ZF. Acceleration pace is pretty good and 0-100 km/hr comes up in 7.8 seconds which isn’t too bad. The biggest change here is the fact that the new X1 is a darn front wheel drive car while it also gets an AWD option. Also gone is the manual handbrake of the older model which is replaced by a puny little button. A little less sideways fun now, eh?

The diesel engine puts out 190 BHP of power and 400 Nm of torque. Switch on the car and start driving and the first thing you notice is that the engine feels a tad bit noisier in the cabin, especially compared to the 320d. There is some amount of turbo lag which isn’t really bothersome and the X1 chugs around nicely with low throttle inputs needed inside the city. The Aisin tranny is good at its job and cogs are changed smoothly.

On the highways, the BMW X1 properly comes to life when the RPM needle starts hovering around the mid way mark. There is a very good surge of power and the compact SUV gathers pace quickly enough to touch 200 km/hr without making you wait for long. Eco Pro mode is best used in the city when you want to extract a couple of extra kms by compromising a bit on the power delivery. Comfort mode as you all know is suited for both city as well as highway driving while Sport mode holds on to the RPMs much longer, thus providing power as soon as you mash the throttle. Expect a fuel efficiency of 12-13 km/l if driven sanely and if you’ve had Redbull before stepping into the car then your wings (and fast driving!) will bring the efficiency down by a couple of kms per litre.

BMW X1 Rideing

So far we’ve driven only the X1 25d xDrive. This has a twin-turbo engine (one for low revs and one for high), and four-wheel-drive. Its 231bhp can shift the 1575kg with useful urgency through the smooth eight-speed auto box. And it’s much quieter than the last-gen BMW diesels. Handling is pretty tidy, too, with precise steering. Only if you hurl it at a sharp bend does the chassis go soggy. Mostly it all feels progressive and nicely balanced. It’s not a dedicated off-roader but with all-season tyres ought to be good for a ski trip.What’s really improved since the last BMW X1 is the ride. It’s supple enough to be comfy, but well-damped enough not to induce sickness in a family vehicle. It’s a nice balance, which is something you couldn’t have said before.

BMW X1 Safety

The BMW X1 comes with multiple airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP and other safety features that one expects in a luxury vehicle. The BMW X1 offers all the features that one will need for the price paid.The BMW X1 is well specced across the models but the M Sport gets some exclusive features. Let’s start with what all the variants get – LED headlamps with cornering function, rain sensing wipers and auto headlamps, dual zone climate control, an auto-dimming inside rear view mirrors, push button start and auto start-stop. Safety is a priority and all variants get six airbags, ABS and a comprehensive stability control package. Now onto the stuff only the top M model has – leather seats, the larger iDrive screen with a touch-sensitive controller, HUD and of course, the M Sport visual goodies. Strangely, this is another expensive German car that doesn’t offer the very practical feature of keyless entry found on run-of-the-mill Rs-7-lakh hatchbacks.

BMW X1 Cost in New Delhi

Bmw X1 Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 32,38,559/- (X1 sDrive20d Expedition) to 42,68,442/- (X1 xDrive20d M Sport). Get best offers for Bmw X1 from Bmw Dealers in New Delhi. Check for BMW X1 price in New Delhi at Carzprice

BMW X1 Verdict

If you look at the X1 as an entry-level BMW, you won’t be disappointed at all because the car has evolved very nicely from the previous generation and it feels very good as an overall package. Yes, it misses out on some very vital equipment but this shouldn’t really be a deal breaker. The X1 also gets an AWD system now which makes it a proper compact SUV. The 2016 BMW X1 makes for a splendid buy if you’re looking at entering the elite club but don’t want something as basic as a 1-Series or something. Even when compared to rivals, the X1 feels more of an SUV compared to the Mercedes GLA while the Audi Q3 is something that’ll give a tough fight to this Bimmer.

Author Since: Aug 04, 2018

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