Lat­est mas­ter of ef­fi­ciency

BMW has com­bined per­for­mance, com­fort, in­ter­face and a sleek look in its new SUV model, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE -

WE turn the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask the ques­tions to which you want the an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that re­ally needs an­swer­ing – would you buy one?

What is it?

This is BMW’s re­cently re­vised tid­dler SUV – with twowheel-drive (rear) and a turbo petrol en­gine.

It’s been tweaked here and there ex­ter­nally and of­fers more kit into the bar­gain as well as an eight-speed auto across the range and a step up in dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy.

How much?

The price starts at $48,300, which is a well spec­i­fied ve­hi­cle but, of course, there are bil­lions of op­tions and op­tion packs to in­flate that.

What are the com­peti­tors?

Main one is the new Benz GLA but you could throw in VW Tiguan, maybe Audi Q3.

What’s un­der the bon­net?

Power comes from a 2.0-litre petrol turbo sim­i­lar to what is found in umpteen other Bim­mers but de­tuned in this case to a lily-liv­ered 135kW/270Nm out­put.

But the X1 two­bie is pos­si­bly the only rear wheel drive SUV this size on the lo­cal scene. Oth­ers are fron­ties. It’s a bet­ter thing as a re­sult, cer­tainly when at­tempt­ing to drive up a slip­pery slope and for tow­ing.

How does it go?

Not bad ac­tu­ally. The eight­speed auto is crackin’ good, com­pletely nail­ing the car’s power de­liv­ery and al­ways in the right gear for any cir­cum­stance. It has a pad­dle shift, too, adding to the sporty feel.

The ride ain’t half-bad ei­ther, set be­tween sporty firm and mushy com­fort­able.

Is it eco­nom­i­cal?

Good. BMW reck­ons on 6.7litres/100km, a fig­ure we have no prob­lem with for mixed driv­ing.

Is it green?

Yes. Eu5 rat­ing for the en­gine, low car­bon out­put. En­gine stop/start, re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing.

Is it safe?

Five stars with all that brings.

Is it com­fort­able?

We could spend a long time be­hind the wheel with­out fa­tigue – well shaped seats, quiet in­te­rior, plenty of crea­ture com­forts, easy power, im­pres­sive con­nec­tiv­ity.

What’s it like to drive?

It would be sat­is­fy­ing over a long own­er­ship pe­riod es­pe­cially on the prac­ti­cal­ity side of the equa­tion. Per­for­mance is good and it has an en­gag­ing feel just like most BMWs.

Is it value for money?

They reckon there’s an ex­tra $4400 value in the re­vised model, with cli­mate con­trol, ex­tended Blue­tooth, pre­mium au­dio, sat­nav, multi-con­trol wheel, leather, multi-de­vice pair­ing, auto stop/start, but­ton start, cruise con­trol with brake func­tion, auto head­lights and wipers, i-drive con­troller and re­ally funky light­ing.

Would we buy one?

Maybe but the new GLA Benz is so good …

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