BMW X1: where style meets tech in a symphony of superior comfort
The new BMW X1 has grown and is much more mature than ever. Still keeping its charming nature in mind, it shines brightly as the entry point into the X series family. We sampled the BMW X1 in the sDrive18d xLine guise.
From the onset, the silhouette is pleasing from nearly every angle; some may like it, and some may not.
Our model came in its Utah Metallic Orange, which looked quite striking. The X1 has 18-inch wheels as standard. However, you can opt for the extra 19-inch wheels, which ours ran on. If you want a high profile and a sleeker appearance, there are also 20-inch wheels, which are another choice.
The cabin offered a fine blend of leather appointments from the seats to the steering wheel. The ambient lighting was also an elegant touch. Tech-wise, there's been a significant step up; one will notice a 10.25-inch digital information display and a curved 10.7-inch infotainment screen that blends well.
Keeping it simple, there's not much to mention besides an armrest, a console with a volume button, an electronic gear selector, parking brakes, and a start button.
It's fair to say that most manufacturers are going for the clean design, taking out the "old school" buttons for a timeless and easy-to-the-eye aesthetic. However, in the X1, the systems remain pretty easy to operate. The curved display incorporates the latest BMW Operating System 8, featuring an improved version of the Intelligent Personal Assistant voice command system.
The vehicle's overall dimensions are well in proportion, room is abundant for front and rear occupants, and the boot capacity delivers 540 litres.
Some features that do come standard are the BMW Live Cockpit Professional Plus infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, leather-covered sports steering wheel, automatic headlight activation, and four USB-C ports. Various optional extras include Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Head-Up Display, and Surround View.
In terms of engine choices, you can choose from the sDrive18i with a 115kW 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the sDrive18d with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel delivering 110kW and 360Nm, and the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid xDrive30e xLine with a total system output of 240kW.
After driving the sDrive18d, I felt it was solid and refined on the road; fuel consumption was noteworthy as one could achieve figures between 4.8l-5l/100km on simple highway cruising with minimal effort applied to the accelerator. Claimed consumption from BMW is 5l/100km.
Pricing for the BMW X1 starts at R788,045 for the sDrive18i petrol variant, while the diesel version begins at R815,612 in the xLine trim, and the xDrive30e starts at R1,050,000.
Some of its rivals include the Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Tucson, Volvo XC40, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3.
The BMW X1 is a tasteful, simple SUV with practicality, excellent fuel economy, and style, and it has a solid, commanding road presence. Its offerings are straightforward, and many Beemer fans might find this an attractive choice; however, others may see the value proportion as subpar.