The second-generation BMW X1 continues to tick the box as only the Bavarian Motor Works can, with a newly designed interior with significantly more space and versatility, combined with premium surroundings.

Latest-generation four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and transmissions ensure segment leading performance and efficiency. X1 sDrive 20i and sDrive 18d models have front-wheel drive, while xDrive 25i and xDrive 20d benefit from BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system in a new and improved form.

The new X1 trumps its predecessor in standard equipment which includes LED headlights; rear view camera; driving assistant; parking assist and park distance control, front and rear; power tailgate; real time traffic information and BMW ConnectedDrive.

The BMW X1 xDrive 20d sells for $56,500, plus on-road costs. Our test vehicle benefited from the BMW Comfort Package, for $2700, which includes seating extras and anti-dazzle exterior mirrors.

Further optional features included panoramic glass sunroof ($1690), Dakota leather ($1690), metallic paint ($1140) and fine-wood interior trim, taking the price up to $64,120.


Designed by Sydney-born Calvin Luk, the second generation X1 makes a bold statement. Front on, the new X1 has a large, upright BMW kidney grille, three-section lower air intake and characteristic twin circular headlights, with foglamps below.

Flared wheel arches and lines converging in an X-shape into the kidney grille work nicely. Standard on the new X1 are full LED headlights generating illumination that is close to daylight.

Full-LED lighting is repeated at the rear, the L-shaped rear lights producing an even band of light. Their flat outline are intended to emphasise the width of the rear end, with the vertically arranged that fit flush with the roof spoiler, adding a sporting character.

Added vertical dimensions of the new X1 over the previous model mean there is more space for passengers and luggage. Versatility is given a boost with the rear seat coming as standard with a three-section split / folding backrest and with the ability to slide forwards and backwards by 130 mm.

The slightly raised seating position, a new interpretation of the BMW hallmark driver-focused cockpit and elegant, wider looking surfaces are complemented by the use of prestigious material and premium workmanship.

Large door pockets offer space for items such as one-litre bottles, plus a selection of other storage areas. A compartment is integrated into the instrument panel on the driver’s side. A storage net in the cargo area and one retaining strap on the wall, a stainless steel sill on the loading edge are also included.


BMW continues to promote itself as the maker of drivers’ cars and the driver-focused cockpit design that has become a hallmark of the brand’s models is given a touch of SAV style in the new X1.

Standard equipment includes a comprehensive list of BMW technologies, including full-LED headlights, Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant and Real Time Traffic Information, in addition to rear view camera and Park Distance Control, front and rear.

The 6.5-inch display with navigation system is integrated into the instrument panel as a freestanding monitor. The xLine package is included as standard, while the M Sport package is available as a cost option.

Both petrol and diesel engines of the latest BMW X1 provide good performance and fuel efficiency from four cylinders. The unit in the xDrive 20d we tested is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. It puts out 140 kW and 400 Nm of power and torque respectively.

The xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system has been reworked for the X1. The compact system uses an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch to distribute drive between the front and rear axle as required.

The Dynamic Stability Control system includes features such as ABS, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Brake Assist system, all designed to prevent, or at least minimise, things going pear shaped and putting occupants in danger.

According to BMW the new X1 xDrive20d, which is fitted as standard with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds. There was no complaining about the test car’s spritely performance. However, the brakes were on the sharp side at times.

This increased sportiness over the previous model is claimed not to affect fuel consumption – the X1 has an official figure of 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle. However, the test vehicle recorded significantly more than that, at 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres in a built-up area drive, but the 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres out on the open road was good.

Cabin comfort could not be faulted during our time with the compact BMW SAV. However, the 6.5-inch display screen is disappointingly small compared with many in similarly specified vehicles on the market.

With SUV sales, especially of the compact variety going through the roof, the BMW X1 lines up to be the right vehicle in the right place at the right time. However, so are a lot of its cheaper, just-as-attractive, rivals.


X1 sDrive 20i: $51,600
X1 xDrive 25i: $59,900
X1 sDrive 18d: $49,500
X1 xDrive 20d: $56,500
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local BMW dealer for drive-away prices.

Rear View Camera Driving Assistant with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function Park Distance Control, front and rear Parking Assistant xLine 18-inch light alloy wheels Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices ConnectedDrive Lifestyle Real Time Traffic Information Auto Tailgate Rear Seat Adjustment LED headlights

Comfort package $2700
Panoramic sunroof $1690
Dakota leather $1690
Metallic paintwork $1140
Interior trim, fine-wood ‘fineline’ $400

(2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine)
Capacity: 1995 cc
Configuration: In-line, 4-cylinder common-rail direct injection turbo-diesel with variable turbine geometry
Maximum Power: 140 kW
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm
Emission rating: Euro 5

Drivetrain: Eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic. xDrive: permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque split between front and rear axles

Length: 4477 mm
Width: 1798 mm
Height: 1545 mm
Wheelbase: 2760 mm
Track, front / back: 1500 mm / 1529 mm
Ground clearance: 179 mm
Turning circle: 11.8 metres
Seats / boot capacity: 5 / 420 litres (rear seat backs up); 1520 litres (rear seat backs folded)
Fuel tank capacity: 61 litres

Suspension: Single-joint front axle and multi-arm rear axle
Brakes: disc brakes at the front and rear, inner-vented with break-wear sensors and raised third brake light
Steering: Power steering with Servotronic
Wheels / tyres: Y-spoke alloy 7.5 J x 18in, with 225/50 R18 run-flat safety tyres

Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 7.6 seconds
Top speed: N/A

Fuel type: Diesel
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 4.9 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 128g per kilometre

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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