BMW X1: Hits And Misses
The X1 is the most affordable way to get yourself a BMW SUV. Is the facelift giving you more reasons to consider it?
It’s the best-selling small luxury SUV in the world. It’s not surprising that the X1’s inoffensive formula of just enough space, oodles of power, and a reassuring build mixed with a tempting price tag is a global success. Now that we’re in the new decade and heat from the competition has been turned up, BMW has given the X1 a nip and tuck.
Should you take the plunge then? Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s good and what’s not to help you decide.
Powerful & Versatile Engines
You get the choice of two 2.0-litre engines: a turbocharged petrol and a diesel. Both are available only with an automatic gearbox -- a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox for the petrol and an 8-speed torque converter on the diesel. Both make a healthy amount of power and torque, and both feel easy inside the city and effortless on the highway. If you’re looking at a compact luxury SUV that is at home being driven to the office and the farmhouse, you’ll appreciate the versatility the X1’s drivetrain brings.
When we had the diesel X1 on test, it returned a respectable 13.43kmpl inside the city and an even better 21.71kmpl on the highway. All while clocking 0-100kmph in a smidge under eight seconds. Impressive!
Comfortable Ride Quality
We know, those who own the older X1 are probably going to raise an eyebrow here as the old car was known for its almost unnecessarily stiff ride. For 2020, BMW has added something they call a ‘Comfort Suspension’, and it does deliver. The crashy, thuddy nature of the old setup has given way to a quieter, softer setup that’s generally better for Indian conditions.
Yes, there’s a small bit of side-to-side motion over sharper undulations at lower speeds but that’s more than acceptable. Also, the softer suspension hasn’t translated into a floaty experience at triple-digit speeds. The X1 continues to play to its strength of being a confident highway cruiser.
Fun To Drive
This was a bit obvious, wasn’t it? The steering on the X1 is as quick and precise as ever. You can flick it from one corner to the next easily, all while having a silly smile on your face. What’s even better is that it’s really easy to drive the X1 enthusiastically from the word go -- given it’s slightly raised seating position and good all-round visibility.
The drive modes on offer: Eco, Comfort and Sport tailor the response from the throttle, gearbox and steering. So, you get the flexibility of setting up the X1 just as you’d want it. That said, an individual mode would’ve been helpful here.
Scant Feature List and Iffy Plastics
The feature list on the BMW X1 is sure to cause a few heated debates. Especially since cars that cost a third offer more in terms of features. Sure, the basics are well in place -- a TPMS, a panoramic sunroof, cruise control, leather upholstery, and an 8.8-inch touchscreen are on offer.
But, the music system is woefully mediocre. There’s also no front parking sensors, 360° camera or even a powered tailgate. We were surprised to note that only the driver-side rearview mirror gets an anti-glare function. Even basics like passive keyless entry -- a feature a Rs 6 lakh hatchback offers -- has been skipped. Surprising. Especially when you factor in what the XC40 offers for a similar price.
It’s also disappointing to see the use of hard, tacky plastics. The switches on the steering wheel, power window console, and the door pads could’ve definitely done with better quality material.
Shocking, right? Well, citing (lack of) consumer demand, BMW has bid goodbye to the all-wheel-drive variants of the X1. The only choice is that of front-wheel-drive. This means you get a fair bit of torque steer if you floor the throttle.
But, for everyday commuting and highway trips alike, you’re unlikely to have an issue. Sure, if you wanted to go play about in mud, sand or snow, you’d want to give this baby SUV a skip.
Prices of the new BMW X1 range between Rs 35.90 lakh and Rs 42.90 lakh. Both the petrol and the diesel are available in two trims each. For an in-depth review of the X1, be sure to follow this link. And, in case you’re planning on upgrading to the baby BMW, give the CarDekho Gaadi store a visit.
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