Crossover moves up a gear for 2016
NOW BMW have always claimed to produce drivers’ cars – so it’s no surprise that the latest X1 is exactly that.
The compact ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ is a great ride, well kitted out and with plenty of power on tap – particularly in our top-of-the-range xDrive25d xLine 4x4 version which gets a very healthy 228bhp from its two-litre, twin turbo diesel engine.
Released last autumn the latest X1 is a major leap forward from the car introduced in 2009 in every way.
It is now a proper SUV/Crossover, totally redesigned with a higher driving position thanks to a raised roofline and looks more like a mini X5.
However, and it’s a big one, what was a surprise was a glance at the spec sheet which came with this week’s test car as its total on the road price was a far from mini and somewhat eye-watering 46 grand!
That was made up of a basic price of £35,700 (already at the top end of the sector) bumped up by an extras list which came to £9,300. I know BMW have always charged a lot for more kit, but this is a bit over the top.
So what did I get for all those extra thousands of pounds? Well it was a very long list… Driver Comfort Package (park assist, parking sensors, driver assist and ‘extended’ interior light functions); Technology Package (reversing camera, Harman Kardon Hi-Fi music system and something called ‘comfort access’ – keyless entry and start); Navigation Plus package (a superb head-up display, online services, real time traffic info and upgraded navigation system).
On top of all the ‘packs’ there was also electronic damper control, heated steering wheel, smart 19” ‘ Y-spoke’ alloys with run flat tyres, panorama glass roof, ‘sun protection’ glass, electric folding door mirrors and door handle lights all round, electric front sports seats, a ‘matt oak’ interior trim (not to my taste), traffic jam assist and, a must on modern cars, active cruise control.
What I would say is that for the basic price I would have expected a lot of the above to be standard – but it has to be said the test car was very good in all driving conditions and a great motorway cruiser, particularly with that beefy turbo engine.
However, X1 driving can be had for considerably less as the range starts from £26,780 for the 1.8 diesel 2WD sDrive, which still has 150bhp and can do 0 to 62 in 9.2 seconds with 69mpg possible on the combined cycle. Next up is the 1.8 xDrive at £28,280 and then the 2.0d xDrive at £31,225. There is also a firebreathing M-Sport version.
Our xDrive25d can hit 62 in an impressive 6.6 seconds yet can still return an average of around 56mpg. The single petrol option on offer is a 2.0-litre with 192bhp, 0 to 62 in 7.4 seconds and an average of 44mpg.
I can vouch for the diesel MPG figures as the X1 took me to Silverstone for a Porsche driving day and it made easy work of the 300 mile-plus one day round trip on far less than a tankful.
I particularly like the quality interior with that very clear heads-up display showing various key bits of driver information including sat nav directions and speed warnings plus a big 8.8-inch central infotainment screen but the BMW rotary central dial control now looks a bit dated – touch screen is the way to go.
More at bmw.co.uk
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