BMW X1 | CARkeys

5 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on BMW X1 | CARkeys



by David Ross (1 July 2009)

It won’t be until the Frankfurt Motor Show in the autumn that BMW will reveal its brand new X1. But I have not only seen it, I’ve driven it, having been one of just two UK motoring journalists invited to a pre-launch in Majorca. I can tell you, the X1 is an absolutely terrific-looking compact SUV, and so sporty that, as with its other X models, BMW refers to it as an SAV, or Sports Activity Vehicle.

Built on the BMW 3-Series platform, I don’t think any other 4×4 comes close to its ride and roadholding on tarmac, while off-road, as I got the chance to see for myself at a secret location in Majorca, it would take some pretty tough going to bring it to a halt.

For BMW, the X1 is a highly significant addition to its range as it takes the Bavarian car company into new territory. As BMW press executive Andreas Lampka said, The X1 will go head-to-head with the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi Q5 and Toyota RAV4, so we are looking to win conquest sales from other marques and from people new to BMW.

A surprisingly spacious interior – we can’t show pictures as the trimming hasn’t been finalised as yet – allows plenty of room for five and the seats are typically BMW, holding you with just the right firmness and proving comfortable over long distances.

As for the styling, it’s as neat as toast, although it was mildly disguised on our three X1s. There’s nothing radical about it – it just looks right and, unlike some SUVs, the X1 sits beautifully on the road, with just the right ride height and wheel width.

With no press pack, we had to ferret all the information we could from the BMW people but I can tell you the length is 4454mm, the width 1798mm and the height 1545mm.

So it’s certainly compact, and it’s also easy to drive. On this point, I would say the steering, which flows sensationally smoothly through your hands, is the best I’ve tried in any 4×4.


There will be a few petrol versions including an awesome 272bhp three-litre, but it’s the diesels that BMW expects to take 95% of sales in the UK. So there will be two at launch, both two-litre but one with 177bhp and the other with a staggering 204bhp.

That’s the one we tried on- and off-road and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I was happy as both driver and passenger, although taller folk might find rear legroom tightish. Hopefully, this most sporty of 4x4s should creep in at just shy of £30,000.

0-62mph in just 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 138mph is synonymous with far sportier looking vehicles and fuel will be consumed at a remarkably frugal 44mpg. The emissions figure is 167g/km. As for the load area, that’s 420 litres with the rear seat in place and 1350 litres with it folded down.

With BMW’s advanced xDrive the grip on and off-road is superb, and  owners will always know there’s plenty of performance on hand. For families, there’s plenty of room and comfort inside. But a warning to dads.

Once mum tries your X1 on the school run, she won’t want to give it back – and nor will the kids who’ll love to be seen in it.

Sales will commence this October, possibly with an entry-level two-wheel drive version, and I confidently predict we’ll see large queues forming at BMW dealerships across the country.

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