We first tested BMW’s new X1 last June around the outskirts of Munich. We drove the high-end XDrive25d which proved to provide quite an entertaining drive, mainly thanks to its impressive 218hp and 450Nm of torque produced with the aid of BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology.
Now, back in Ireland we recently tested the X1 xDrive18d variant in Sport trim. This second-generation X1 is smarter and more purposeful looking than its predecessor. Up front, there are new headlights with LED accent lights (with optional Xenon headlights), whilst the side indicators have been taken away, they are now integrated into the door mirrors resulting in a cleaner look. Our Sport model looks the part with its front and rear under-guard, side skirt covers and black chrome exhaust tips. The front kidney grille slats and air intakes are finished in high-gloss black, which set against the Mineral white colour of our test car enhance the car’s sporty appeal. The interior comes with sports seats which are upholstered in anthracite cloth and there’s more touches of black gloss evident on the instrument panel. The quality of interior is excellent, as we have come to expect in BMW’s of all shapes and sizes. It’s not alone however, one of its closest rivals, the Audi Q3 has a class interior too and after driving both for a week-long test, there’s not much to separate them.
The xDrive18d will no doubt become the majority seller in Ireland. Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine produces 143hp and 320Nm of torque, which is sufficient for driving around town and yet adequate on the open road. It’s an economical unit too, delivering a combined fuel consumption of 5.4l/100km. It’s well behaved on the road with competent driving dynamics, there’s a reassurance evident of a stable chassis beneath you. The X1 has all the looks of an SUV, although it drives more like a car with proficient road holding capabilities. Our xDrive model is equipped with all-wheel-drive technology, which at this time of year is beneficial for those living on higher ground or in the country. For the rest of the year I doubt many pristine X1’s will venture off-road. You can opt for the sDrive two-wheel drive variant which is priced from €35,160 if you don’t require an all-wheel-drive setup. The eight-speed automatic transmission (optional) as fitted to our test car is a proficient unit, providing seamless gear changes, it would be top of our priorities list when ordering an X1, especially if you spend the majority of your time driving around town.
The X1 is available across four trim specifications, SE, Sport, xLine and M Sport. Whilst we enjoyed our xDrive 18d, it is at the premium end of the market, priced from €40,310. If you don’t need the xDrive platform we’re keen on the sDrive20d Efficient Dynamics model, (€36,490) it boasts 163hp combined with 380Nm of torque, yet will return a combined fuel consumption of 4.5l/100km (62.8mpg).
BMW’s new X1 is a compact SUV with a spacious, well-appointed interior. There’s an array of engines and trim combinations available to suit all tastes.[table “100” not found /]