BMW X1 XDRIVE25i
BMW has turned the tables on Lexus when it comes to value. The latter built its reputation on loading cars to the hilt but the Germans have fought back. The X1 starts at $59,900 plus on-roads and comes standard with radar cruise control, forward collision warning for cars and pedestrians, automated parking, heads-up display, a larger navigation screen, sensor key and the usual mod-cons. It’s more conservative looking than the Lexus but BMW buyers prefer it this way, apparently. The large window area provides excellent visibility all around, and the cargo space is massive. There’s more room for heads, shoulders, knees and toes in the BMW, too. The BMW’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine has almost identical outputs (170kW/350Nm), runs on premium unleaded and is a smooth operator with plenty of urge across the rev range. Matched to an eight-speed auto, it’s extremely economical (6.6L/100km) as it gets off the line smoothly and quickly slips into the most efficient gear. However, we couldn’t match this figure in the real world. Six airbags are standard (as are seat belts!) and it earns a five-star crash safety rating. Unlike the Lexus, there is no automatic emergency braking available, even as an option. But a rear-view camera and front and rear sensors are standard fare. And it will prime the brakes if it senses a collision but won’t slam on the stoppers. The X1 hugs corners as you expect a BMW would, with sharp and accurate steering and minimal body roll in corners. It’s among the reasons it could do with better seats. But the trade-off is that the tyres are noisy on most surfaces, and the suspension thumps loudly over bumps. Overall it’s not as comfortable to drive as the Lexus.
The NX is not typically Lexus and the
XI is all you’d expect from a BMW.