Loaded X1 comes at a premium
BMW is going on the front foot with its front-wheel drive compact SUV.
The new X1 will be the most expensive of the baby SUVs from Germany’s prestige trio when it goes on sale in December with a starting price of $49,500 for the sDrive 18d.
That compares with $47,900 for the base Audi Q3 diesel and $48,300 for the Mercedes-Benz GLA200 CDI.
BMW points to the raft of new features and updated materials in the X1 as a major factor behind the $3000 jump in the cost of admission to the X1 range, which also applies to the $51,600 sDrive 20i.
Standard gear on all models includes eight-speed automatic transmission, reversing camera, auto-parking software, front and rear park sensors, satnav with real-time traffic updates, power tailgate, LED headlamps and adjustable rear seats.
There is also the Driving Assistant pack, bundling lane departure warning and forward collision warning with “light city braking” — the X1 may not avoid a low-speed crash but will dramatically reduce the severity.
BMW product planning head Shawn Ticehurst cites Australia’s growing infatuation with SUVs and the new car’s improved packaging as reasons to expect the four-model range to grow.
The all-wheel-drive X1 xDrive 20d and 25i will hit showrooms next month with the new features but without the price hit of the front-wheel drive duo.
The $56,500 starting price of the 20d is a $400 cut on the current model while the 25i (formerly known as the 28i) is unchanged at $59,900.
The X1 rolls on a revised version of the Mini’s modular chassis and use the latest engines from the BMW Group.
The xDrive20d (140kW/400Nm) is not only a performer, as indicated by a 100km/h sprint time of 7.6 seconds, but also a lean runner, with claimed thirst of just 4.9L/100km.
Stepping up to the 25i (170kW/350Nm) endows a sprint time of 6.5 seconds and fuel consumption of 6.6L.
As the halo car in the range it rides on 19-inch alloys rather than 18s and is fitted with power/heated leather front seats, variable sports steering and head-up display.
The first-generation X1 has sold more than 10,000 in Australia since its 2010 launch.