Latest master of efficiency
BMW has combined performance, comfort, interface and a sleek look in its new SUV model, PETER BARNWELL writes
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.
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 …