For faster stylers

Of­fi­cially, the sDrive 20i is not a GTI S3 slayer

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - SIBONELO MYENI

THE re­cently launched X2 has had tongues wag­ging about its con­cept car lines, we tested the sDrive 20i to find out if there is more sub­stance to the look.

Dur­ing our test week, the Beemer drew a lot of ad­mir­ing glances and a lot of at­ten­tion, par­tic­u­larly from younger peo­ple.

Many deem the X2 as a GTI, S3 com­peti­tor, whereas its mak­ers see it as more Sports Ac­tiv­ity Ve­hi­cle (SAV) like the X4 and X6.

Our test unit was fin­ished in black with a red leather in­te­rior, a com­bi­na­tion that stuns but re­quires high main­te­nance to keep clean (be­ing stun­ning is never easy). The high­lights are the LED day­time lights, big-bore twin ex­hausts, BMW badge on the shoul­der line, stan­dard M Sports pack­age and the 19-inch wheels.

The stun­ning de­sign makes one won­der why other com­pa­nies make non-in­ter­est­ing cars when they see BMW pro­duce such cars as the X2.

The in­te­rior has high qual­ity fit and fin­ish with a func­tional lay­out, how­ever, we were dis­ap­pointed with the lack of space age de­sign after one sees the stun­ning out­side.

I would have ex­pected BMW to give us a bit of more “for­ward” think­ing lay­out, rather than the one we’ve got­ten used to on BMWs. Still, the LED am­bi­ent light­ing to­gether with the panoramic sun­roof are a must for style con­scious buy­ers as they make for a Star Trek feel when driv­ing at night. Dials are clear to see with the iDrive be­ing one of the best ways to op­er­ate an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem while on the move.

Our test unit also came with the very use­ful wire­less charger on the arm­rest. Lug­gage space is more than enough for a fam­ily and the rear seats fold for added car­ry­ing space. The elec­tric tail­gate comes stan­dard.

A two-litre, four-cylin­der en­gine makes 141 kW and 280 Nm, with power go­ing to the front wheels via BMW’s seven-speed Dual-Clutch trans­mis­sion.

The en­gine is re­fined and tune­ful when pushed, en­cour­ag­ing sporty driv­ing. The ex­haust note and turbo whoosh do ex­cite — es­pe­cially when the mode se­lec­tor is in Sport.

The trans­mis­sion changes gears in a frac­tion of a sec­ond, mean­ing power de­liv­ery is al­ways on point.

With some spir­ited driv­ing, we av­er­aged 8,6 l/100 km, a far cry from the claimed 5,9 l/100 km but with ECO mode se­lected and less “spir­ited” driv­ing, those claimed fig­ures can be at­tained.

As it’s a BMW, dy­namic driv­ing comes with the DNA and the X2 doesn’t dis­ap­point with agility and good road hold­ing.

Pushed too hard into a cor­ner, the front washes out a bit, some­thing eas­ily cured with some ac­cel­er­a­tor lift off.

It can be un­set­tled on bumpy roads but then the pos­i­tive comes when push­ing on wind­ing, smooth roads where it comes alive.

We achieved about eight sec­onds when con­duct­ing our iPhone-timed 0-100 km/h sprint and one can’t ar­gue against the claimed 227 km/h top speed.

The R652 477 base price for the sDrive 20i does come with the M Sport pack­age as stan­dard, but over­all this car is not in the cheap cat­e­gory, how­ever, this is a de­signer car for the style con­scious.

This car is for peo­ple who splash out thou­sands on branded goods. They know style rises above any­thing else and in the X2, these buy­ers will get their money’s worth.

• Catch Sibonelo Myeni live on Ukhozi FM, Thurs­days from 7.45 am.

PHOTO: BMW

At about R652 500 for the base, BMW sDrive 20i is not just for the stylish, but en­thu­si­as­tic driv­ers will feel right at home too.

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