All-new BMW X1 – Beemer’s entry level SUV is back!

In a country that can’t get enough of SUVs, the news that BMW is set to release a new version of its very popular X1 SUV this year was bound to create considerable interest.

An all-new X1 seems certain to be a big hit for BMW, especially considering that the X1 once accounted for one in every ten vehicles that BMW sold. Seeing as it is hitting the market just when the demand for compact SUVs has never been greater, the timing seems just about perfect.

It’s clear BMW is not taking any chances with this vehicle. For one thing, the designers should all take a bow as the vehicle now looks like a proper SUV and not like a hatchback on steroids which was how some viewed the original X1. From the front the overall look is rugged and purposeful with echoes of the X5 in the chunky upright kidney grille, deep bashplate, six round lights (two of which are fog lights) and daytime LED lights which are standard across the range.

That broader and shorter front end is made possible by the fact that the X1 features a transversely mounted engine as opposed to the straight sixes you find in most BMWs. This has allowed the engine bay to be shorter which in turn has allowed the A-pillars to be moved forward by 150mm and permitted the cabin to be somewhat larger. While overall this X1 is actually 15mm shorter than the previous generation, it is also wider and taller (by 23mm and 53mm respectively). The new design has also added a further 61mm to the front track width.

Extra space

All of which adds up to an extra 90mm added to the wheelbase, which in turn allowed the interior space to be larger. From a practical standpoint this means that rear passengers enjoy more head and leg room, which is always welcome in a family vehicle. Naturally the front seats can also be moved to increase rear leg room but it may not be necessary given these new dimensions. Perhaps even more significantly, the rear door access space has also been enlarged, meaning you can climb in and out the back seats without bumping your noggin.  

Also critically for a family vehicle that will likely be used for extended trips at least once a year, all this extra space has allowed the luggage compartment to be expanded by 85 litres to a very generous total of 505 litres. You can increase this further to a hefty 1550 litres by folding the rear seats forward, which have a 40:20:40 split for added convenience. Speaking of the boot, one option that will appeal to those who value convenience is an automatic tailgate release, ie, the boot-lid can be opened by waggling your foot underneath the rear bumper, a la the Ford Kuga.

Views of the road have also been improved by raising the ride height by a further 36mm in the front and 64mm at the rear, giving it more of a ‘proper SUV’ feel than its predecessor. Those who use the X1 mostly for suburban shopping and lifting and carrying missions will appreciate the advantage this gives you when manoeuvring in and out of tight parking spaces.

Three engine options

There will be two petrol and one diesel variation made available in South Africa. These will all feature the new XDrive all-wheel drive system. This makes use of an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch which sends 100% of the torque to rear wheels when any slipping is detected in the wheels. In normal default mode only the front wheels are driven, much like the sDrive models which will make an appearance in January next year. Details of the three engines are as follows:

The xDrive20i delivers 141kW from 5000-6000 rpm with 280Nm on tap from 1250 - 4600rpm. 0-100 is claimed to be 7.4 seconds, the top speed to be 223km/h and fuel consumption at around 6.3 litres per 100km.

The xDrive25i offers 170kW from 5000 - 6000 revs and 350Nm from 1250 - 4500rpm. It will sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 6.5 seconds and tops out at 235km/h. Combined fuel consumption is said to be 6.4 litres per 100km.

The xDrive20d diesel is rated for 140kW at 4000 revs and 400Nm from 1750-2500rpm. It should hit 100km/h in 7.6 seconds and has a top end of 219km. Consumption is a claimed 5.1 litres per 100km in combined driving.

The BMW X1 will be appearing in BMW showrooms in October this year. For more details or to book a test drive call Forsdicks BMW Pinetown on 031-702 0271 or Forsdicks BMW Tygervalley on 021-918 8700.

xDrive20i – R541 757
xDrive20d – R559 039
xDrive25i – R606 399


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