Cross­over moves up a gear for 2016

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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

●» The BMW X1 is all new for 2015

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