BMW X1 xDrive20d xLine Review

Opening

BMW’s smallest SAV, or Sports Activity Vehicle, is now in its second generation. BMW now refers to its SUVs as SAVs, as they are primarily built for road use with a touch of off-roading capability. And the BMW X1, which was previously only available in India with rear-wheel drive, wasn’t even a real SAV. It was more like to a mansion.

With its more muscular design, higher ground clearance, and all-wheel drive system, the new X1 moves closer to SAV classification. There’s even more. The redesigned X1 is taller and features higher seating, as well as additional standard equipment and a higher stated mpg. It’s also based on BMW’s all-new UKL front-wheel-drive platform, which also underpins the new Minis, so it’ll be cheap to build and maybe cheap to run.

The new BMW X1, which competes with the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA, is still limited to a single engine and transmission combination: a 4 cylinder, 1995cc diesel linked to a torque convertor 8-speed automatic. However, it is available in three trim levels: Expedition, xLine, and M Sport. The car you’re looking at is the xLine.

Exterior Appearance

The good news is that the new X1 appears to be more purposeful and SUV-like than the car it replaces, which is one of the reasons the previous X1 struggled. It boasts a sculpted front end, SUV overtones, and a noticeable increase in street cred thanks to its larger size. As previously stated, the new X1 is taller than the previous model, as well as sitting higher off the ground and being wider. Even though it is shorter in length and wheelbase than the previous X1, it yet manages to appear larger.

It also has a more clearly defined design language. We don’t like how the new X1 looks from the front – we think it’s a little dowdy – but from the back three quarters, with its wraparound LED tail lamps, upward sweeping shoulder line, and tapering roof, not to mention the stunning 18-inch wheels, the new X1 attracts attention. When we evaluate the M Sport version, the new X1 appears to be even more appealing.

Interior appearance

The interior of the new X1 has been completely redesigned. The dash, gear shifter, and door inserts have all been redesigned. Inside the X1, however, the sensation of familiarity is palpable. Whether it’s the air conditioning, the basic iDrive controls, the power window, or the starter button, practically everything about the new X1 feels borrowed. Even the instrumentation is a throwback to BMW’s early days.

The entire degree of quality and fit and finish is likewise old-school BMW, and we mean that in a good way. The new X1 can’t be blamed for it. Although it is part of BMW’s entry-level lineup, it has a pretty upmarket feel to it. The inside space also works in the new X1’s favour. The SAV appears to be more spacious, not only when compared to the previous model, but also when compared to its competitors. The transverse engine configuration has certainly paid off in this instance. It has a large front windscreen that improves visibility and gives the impression of room. Furthermore, the overall glass area is vast, making you feel spacious and less hemmed in; something Mercedes and even Audi can’t claim in this class.

The back seats are equally appealing to us. These aren’t particularly enormous, but they are reassuring. The hardness is just ideal, and the reclining backrest makes it simple to find a comfortable seating posture even on prolonged rides. As you factor in the additional knee, shoulder, and headroom (when compared to the previous X1), this car can truly be ferried around. The front seats, on the other hand, aren’t as spectacular and could have been roomier. The boot, meanwhile, is quite large – over 500 litres – and the new X1 offers plenty of flexibility, with a split and fold rear backrest and a low loading lip height.

This mid-level xLine trim is well-equipped in terms of equipment. It has a sunroof, as well as two-zone climate control, electric powered front seats with memory for the driver, an excellent sounding audio system with Bluetooth, Aux and USB connectivity, a good number of storage places, cruise control, and keyless entry. Parking sensors are also available for the X1, but just for the back. There is also no reversing camera. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, cornering brake control, and stability and traction control are all standard on all trim levels.

Driven by Results

Only a diesel engine is available in the new BMW X1. The engine, a 1995cc 4-cylinder unit, may have the same displacement as the previous X1, but it is completely new. It’s one of a new series of modular engines that power BMW and Mini vehicles. The new engine is lighter, more efficient, and has plenty of useful torque thanks to a new common rail system that blasts out fuel at a greater 2000 bar of pressure. It’s also quiet, at least at low revs. But, if you rev it up – which you shouldn’t because this diesel engine is so simple to crank – there’s enough and more noise to be heard within the cabin.

Under the X1’s now-shortened hood, the dual scroll turbo engine produces 188bhp and 400Nm of torque. This puts the new SAV at the top of its class in terms of output. It accelerates quickly off the line, which is no surprise. There’s also launch control, which helped the X1 achieve a sub-eight-second 0-100kmph time under full blast acceleration. The gearbox, an 8-speed automatic, also performs admirably. It responds quickly to paddle shifter inputs, and even in full auto mode, it has an odd habit of selecting the correct gear virtually every time, whether in city or highway driving.

It also comes with three driving modes: Eco Pro for fuel efficiency, Comfort for relaxed driving, and Sport for those rare occasions when you feel like driving aggressively. The throttle response, gearshift times, and steering weight are all altered by the modes. Sport is the greatest setting because it enhances throttle response, adds weight to the steering, and gives you more control over the paddle shifters. The X1’s ride quality, however, is unaffected by the modes.

The 2018 BMW X1’s ride is definitely its weakest link. It’s sturdy at slow speeds, so there’s no extra bobbing. If you hit a pothole, a poorly resurfaced portion, or even a manhole cover, the X1 gives you a harsh shock and a loud thud within the cabin. It jiggles as it speeds up, and the thudding across uneven terrain continues unabated. Of course, the 50 profile runflats are to blame, but the suspension setup is also problematic.

At the very least, the X1 performs admirably. The X1 features quick steering, a pretty responsive front end that easily spins into curves, and outstanding grip and chassis balance, even when it rolls under intense cornering. It’s also terrific when braking – hunkered down, stable, and unaffected by surface changes. However, we would have preferred the brakes to be less grabby in the initial stages of travel, as this makes modulation difficult. These, too, are resistant to fading.

Conclusion

The new BMW X1 is available in three trim levels. Expedition, the entry-level model, is exclusively available with front-wheel drive. It has the most sombre appearance, as it lacks any frills on the outside and is the least well-equipped on the inside when compared to the other two trims. It’s the one we’d steer clear of.

Next up is the xLine, which is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. The xLine has a sharper gearbox with paddle shifters, more jewellery on the outside, a sunroof, and a lot more tech on the interior than the Expedition. Ambient lighting, stiffer seats, and a sharper steering wheel are just a few of the upgrades.

Last but not least, there’s the M Sport. It comes with more aggressive bumpers, side skirts, finer looking 18-inch wheels, HUD, navigation, and a distinctive paint colour called Estoril blue, and is only available in all-wheel drive. It’s also the most expensive by a long shot. It will set you back a little more than Rs 40 lakh (ex-showroom), compared to Rs 35 lakh for the xLine and a little less than Rs 30 lakh for the Expedition.

Our test car, on the other hand, is priced at just under Rs 37 lakh. It’s the xLine, but this time with all-wheel drive. Hill Descent, in addition to all-wheel drive, is available for an extra Rs 2 lakh. Yes, even though the new X1 is a “what you see is what you get” vehicle, you may choose between an all-black interior or one with beige accents. But that’s all there is to it.

So, if you’re looking to buy a new X1, we’d recommend the xLine xDrive over the M Sport because the M Sport’s suspension is even firmer, making it downright uncomfortable.

Leave a Comment