New BMW X1 has improved so much over the years that it’s more like an X3 now
BMW X1 sDrive 18d M Sport Premier Pro
Not so long ago the BMW X1 was the premium German brand’s baby SUV — but not anymore.
It feels like an age since I got behind the wheel of the X1 model, which first rolled off the production lines back in 2009.
In fact, I will make a full confession here that I actually had to look that up on Wikipedia — what would we do without it in fairness?
It is hard to believe that it has been knocking around for almost 14 years now and, like a fine wine, the X1 has gotten better and better with age.
Now in its third generation, the all-new X1 could easily be mistaken for an X3, it has grown that much in stature.
In fact, when I went to pick up my test model a couple of weeks back I couldn’t get over the size of it, and I honestly thought they had given me the keys to an X3 by mistake.
So convinced was I that it was the X1’s larger sibling that I actually had to walk around the back of it just to check the badging.
Further proof for me how much it had grown was when I parked it alongside an older X3 model and it actually looked bigger.
On the outside, the new BMW X1 has been given a complete makeover from the ground up, yet there are certain similarities to the 2 Series Active Tourer.
Yet again the designers have chosen to stick with the new monstrous front kidney grille that is still the subject of many great debates among motoring journalists.
I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan of it in the beginning, but the more I see it the more it grows on me. It certainly makes the front end stand out in the crowd.
Elsewhere, the new-look X1 is treated to modern, flush door handles and a long roof spoiler that gives it a bulky, yet sporty, appearance.
The inside, too, has been given a complete overhaul albeit almost an exact replica of the 2 Series Active Tourer’s interior.
This means that the new X1 features the brand’s new-look curved, two-screen infotainment display that stretches across the driver’s side of the car and a floating centre console that houses the toggle-style drive selector.
Unfortunately though, BMW has decided to ditch the climate control dials, which are sadly now part of the touch-screen display.
Call me old-school but this is still a pet hate of mine and temperature controls should be left alone.
Having said that, BMW’s new system is extremely user-friendly and the graphics are crystal clear too.
A new smart-phone tray, similar to the one found in the 2 Series Active Tourer, has also been added in the lower section of the centre console, complete with wireless charging for compatible phones.
There is no doubt that the cabin has a real premium feel to it and the space on offer, both front and back, is very much at a premium too.
The boot too is very accommodating offering 540 — 1,600 litres in the petrol/diesel models and 490 — 1,495 litres in the plug-in hybrid models.
On the road, as you would expect from a BMW, the X1 handles superbly.
My test model for the week was the sDrive 18d M Sport Premier Pro, which is fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel unit.
Surprisingly enough, for a 2.0-litre diesel the fuel economy figures were quite impressive during my week-long test drive and I was averaging around 6l/100km for the week.
In Ireland, customers can choose from two petrols, two diesels, plug-in, mild hybrid and, for the first time, a fully-electric version.
All petrol and diesel engines are mated to a seven-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch as standard.
Power outputs range from 150-326bhp from either three- or four-cylinder petrols.
The iX1 EV boasts a claimed range of up to 438km and the all-wheel drive set-up generates the equivalent of 313bhp.
Prices for the BMW X1 start at €46,415 and rise to €63,995 for the iX1 model.
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