2016 BMW X1 Road Test and Review.
After selling more than 730,000 BMW X1’s since its launch in 2010, BMW has turned to Sydney born Designer Calvin Luk to redesign the BMW X1 for 2016…and he has done a great job.
The family resemblance to the X5 is now unmistakeable and the all-new X1 is now a streamlined, sophisticated looking unit.
Based on a new front-wheel drive architecture, the new BMW X1 is available as an all-wheel drive (xDrive) or front-wheel drive only (sDrive), which will raise the heckles on some BMW purists.
It needn’t be cause for concern though because the new X1 is a far superior car to the one it replaces in terms of the way it drives, the acres of interior space and the new technologies that are crammed into this car.
By far the biggest step forward with the new BMW X1 is the available interior space. You sit higher than in the old car, up front visibility is excellent and there’s a real sense of space in all respects.
The back seat is more than generous too, easily able to accommodate three full sized adults that would be comfortable on the longest of journeys.
The cargo space has increased, a full 85 litres more can be squeezed into the back, accessed via a standard powered tailgate that can even be operated by approaching the back of the car and waving your foot under the rear bumper – you will of course need to have the key in your pocket to get it to open.
You’ll be in no doubt you’re in a BMW from behind the wheel.
It’s a familiar place to be and as stylish as you’d expect from BMW. The chunky steering wheel is pleasant to the touch and is home to audio, phone and cruise controls, and there’s some meaty metal paddles behind the wheel to take manual control of the excellent 8-Speed gearbox.
There’s a large, high resolution screen protruding from the dash that’s driven by the class leading iDrive controller, a large rotary dial in the centre console that lets you navigate through simple, logical menus.
The brilliant head up display is standard in the X1 xDrive 25i and can be optioned across the rest of the range.
The leather, even on the base model, is first class, and the premium cabin finish is as good as you’ll find anywhere.
BMW Connected drive is now a standard feature across the range, a function that will automatically call emergency services if you’re involved in a crash, connect you to the internet for news & weather info, provide concierge services direct from BMW including sending directions to a restaurant direct to your sat-nav, which will then be displayed in the head up display.
Connected Drive will also provide real time traffic info via satellites that track every BMW on the road, determining where the hold ups are and suggesting alternative routes.
There’s a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines. The frugal 2.0 litre twin turbo diesel comes in two states of tune, the BMW X1 sDrive 18d develops 110kW and 330Nm, the X1 xDrive 20d develops 140kW and 400Nm.
The petrol engines are punchy free revving units, the X1 sDrive 20i develops 141kW and 280Nm, while the pick of the engines is in the X1 xDrive 25i. A two litre twin-turbo four cylinder that develops 170kW and 350Nm and is a real joy to drive.
The xDrive 25i is no slouch either, jumping off the line and sprinting to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds.
As in most BMW’s these days, fuel economy is extraordinary, particularly in Eco Pro mode, but with a spin of the iDrive controller to SPORT, the car tightens up and the engine becomes more responsive, so there really is no compromise.
Run flat tyres are standard, which could be a problem if you shred one of them in the bush, but unlike some older examples of run flat tyres, they don’t negatively impact the ride, in fact, the X1 delivers quite a plush ride and noise reduction technologies insulate you from a lot of the road and wind noise.
The steering is razor sharp, with plenty of feel. You never in any doubt of what is underneath you, and even though the X1 sits up high, the dynamics are surprisingly good. The BMW X1 corners well and isn’t easily upset by mid-corner bumps.
The new BMW X1 may well be the perfect family car. You get a cavernous, well-appointed interior, great performance and fuel economy, good looks, and of course the BMW badge cache. Priced from $49,500 before on roads it really does make an awful lot of sense.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 BMW X1
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo diesel producing either 110kW/330Nm or 140kW/400Nm and 2.0 litre turbo petrol producing 141kW/280Nm or 170kW/350Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years