The BMW X1 was released in 2010 as the company’s premiere entry-level model against the second generation version of the X3. The market intended to present the vehicle as a small sized version of the SUV. The X1 also borrows elements from 1-series, using the same production line of the 1-series coupe and convertible. But a closer look reveals that the BMW X1 has more similarities to the 3-series. Nonetheless, the X1 distinguishes itself as a more luxurious level up from the Toyota or Honda soft roaders. It’s also quite a contender against the Audi Q3 or the VW Tiguan.
The design distinguishes itself, however, with a shorter overall 80mm distance, a narrower 20mm difference, and an increase in height at 127mm. But the misinterpreted derivatives continue in the elevated driving position: the proportions come out awkward, making the X5 or X3 come to mind for a better choice.
In terms of interior design, form and function are effectively combined in the BMW X1. The steering wheel is easy to reach and adjust accordingly, welcoming you into a proper driving position. The raised seated position is a practical feature for a vehicle that offers a view between that of a large SUV and a saloon.
The X1 offers four different power outputs with its four-cylinder two-litre diesel engine. There’s the sDrive18D at 143bhp that can go to 62mph in just 96 seconds. This seamless transition is complemented by a torque that makes overtaking smoother along with well-spaced gear ratios. You can also bet on fuel economy with the xDrive18d’s 50mpg. You’ll want the xDrive18d if you don’t mind a half a second difference from the sDrive18d.
But the popular choice among X1 users is the sDrive20d, which goest at 184bhp and reaches 62mph in just 7.8 seconds. The extra power, however comes at a less economical 57.6 mpg versus the 51.4 mpg of the xDrive20d. Choose your engine according to your priority: power or economy. The downside is not having both at faster speeds with the X1.
The rear has a space large enough for average heights, but should only accommodate anyone below six feet. Taller individuals will experience discomfort from sitting too close to the front seat. There’s more than enough headroom however, so three people riding out back will have no problem getting through short drives. Boot space becomes 480 litres when the rear seats are pushed back. Expect to only accommodate yourself and one passenger if you need this much space. Bulkier items can be a challenge to fit in so reserve this car for everyday drives and regular luggage. The interior materials also disappoint with its commonly used surfaces too soft coatings. This does not consistently run through with the other portions’ brittle plastics and the centre console.
Steering tends to be inconsistent in weight, compromising your own confidence in the car as you go along the motorway. You'll have a stronger suspension with the M sports car.
The X1 is also unable to shut out most of the noise at higher speeds, with a slight gruff heard as you shift into more extreme acceleration.
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