The Small Luxury Crossover with Big SUV Presence
When the first-generation BMW X1 was rolled out in 2009 some said it looked like a wannabe SUV. Flash forward to 2016 and a completely redesigned, new X1 has arrived. Now, with unmistakable, robust SUV looks and new front-wheel drive layout. The smallest member of the Beemer X family but boasting a big X factor. Many say it looks like BMW X3 or even like the big brother X5!
Design: The new X1 is freshly designed from the ground up. Since the proportions have changed the new X1 is shorter but slightly taller yet with generous ground clearance. This “Baby X1” sits wide and firmly planted on the tarmac. Sport Utility Vehicle looks from every angle. Front view, notice the upright BMW kidneys have increased in size. The angular, full LED headlight cluster adds aggressive looks. The solid rear boasts the BMW now iconic shark fin antenna, roof spoiler and cool BMW taillights. Our xLine tester premium package trim comes with 18-inch light alloys.
Interior: The new X1 is compact outside but roomy inside, thanks to the front-wheel drive architecture. Climb onboard and you’ll notice the airy visibility. Great if you’re claustrophobic. For the driver the outstanding all-round view brings added safety in road traffic. The cabin interior is premium fit and finish including the delicious Dakota leather upholstery and power seats. No scratchy plastics all premium soft touch. The X1’s dashboard sticks to the BMW template. Teutonic simplicity yet high technology like the Beemer iDrive infotainment system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen with crisp and fast graphics. Including the uber cool head-up display for the driver. Rear seat passengers are cosseted with increased toe, leg, elbow and headroom. The trunk (boot) will swallow 505 liters, that’s 85 liters more than the first-generation X1. Fold the rear seats down. Click. Voila 1,550-liter cargo space. More premium features: automatic tailgate and reverse camera.
Engine: The BMW TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder sits transversely, which means front-wheel drive and again increased interior space. Horsepower 150 ponies and 330 Nm torque. This flawlessly balanced motor is connected to buttery smooth eight-speed automatic Steptronic. Diesel consumption more than 20 km per liter depending your driving style Eco Pro, Comfort or Sport. Since I am diesel aficionado, not a petrol head, the BMW turbo diesels have always impressed me, ever since the first 320d test drive years ago. Those days the ad campaign was called the “Torque of the Town”. I was blown away and immediately became a BMW turbo diesel enthusiast.
Driving impressions: Push the START button. Step on the throttle. The front-wheel drive grip is immediate and intoxicating. Feel the torque down your spine. Fast acceleration in straight line and stable BMW sporty cornering. The elevated driving position connects you to the vehicle. On the center console the sculptured ergonomic gear selector familiar to drivers of recent BMWs. Plus the Eco Pro, Comfort or Sport switch. They call it “EfficientDynamics”. For proactive driving the “Sport” mode is highly recommended. Wanna save fuel? The ECO PRO mode helps drivers reduce their fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. On our test drive to the swank SO Sofitel in Cha-Am by the beach there was plenty of overtaking, lane changing and also smooth highway cruising. The acceleration, brakes and overall handling were more like a sport sedan than a SUV. Driving back late Sunday night through torrential downpours on pitch-black tarmac with missing or faded center lines and overloaded, slow 10-wheel trucks moving on the wrong side of the road. Challenging conditions but the BMW X1 passed the test with flying colors.
Verdict: Good-looking, luxurious, roomy and fuel-efficient. The new member of BMW X series family is definitely the best of the current compact premium SUVs in the Kingdom. Check it out! Go for a test drive at BMW German Auto Pattaya multi-brand showroom down Jomtien beach direction Sattahip.
BMW X1 sDrive 18d xLine
Engine: 4-cylinder 2.0-liter diesel turbo
Transmission: 8-speed auto; FWD
Power output: 150 hp
Torque: 330 Nm
0-100 kph: 9.2 sec
Max speed: 205 kph
Fuel consumption (combined): 20.4 kpl
Price: 2.499 million baht