BMW X1 XDrive 2.0i

The BMW X1 xDrive 2.0i is an impressive piece of machinery from the upmarket
German company that has been at the forefront of automotive engineering for many

The X1 is the smallest model in BMW’s SUV range with five larger models on offer.
Some of these are what we would call SUV bodies, others are coupe-like in their
shape. It’s quite large, indeed being it’s almost the size of the BMW X3 of a few
generations back.

It’s an attractive vehicle, with a very large front grille that’s split vertically down the
centre to follow the design theme that has been used for many BMW generations. On
either side of this grille are headlights that run well back beside the bonnet, gradually
increasing height as they get closer to the windscreen.

The roof is almost flat from the top of the windscreen to the rear of the X1 and the rear
window is close to being vertical, hence our placing it into the SUV class rather than the
coupe class.

Below the upper grille is a large black lower section that’s a little wider than the upper
grille. Outside of this lower area the colour of the rest of the body is used. It all ties in
very nicely.

Styling inside the X1 is excellent, with a standout dash area that extends almost two
thirds of the way across the front. This looks great and was praised by all who rode with
us during our test week.

The front seats have side supports designed to provide hold the driver and front
passenger nicely when the X1’s taken for spirted driving in twisty roads. Okay so it’s not
a sports machine, but it comes pretty close so these seats make a lot of sense.

There is seating for five, with the rear seats in a 40:20:40 setup. Seating for three
average sized adults in the rear is fine, but if there are five largish people back there it’s
a bit tight.

The backrests of the three rear seats can be folded down individually to give a choice
of passenger / luggage space. They backrests don’t fold completely flat, which would
rule it out for us because we have dog and he could not lie on a flat floor.

Our car had the optional sunroof which is shielded to prevent too much sun getting into
the cabin. The weather was quite dull during our time with the X1 but we feel that in full
Queensland sunshine the interior light coming from the sunroof may be a bit too much.
Which perhaps gives us a good excuse to borrow an X1 later to test this out…

Display is through what BMW calls its Live Cockpit Professional using a combination of
a 10.25-inch instrument display in front of the driver and a 10.7-inch high-resolution
curved touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard.

Satellite navigation is standard and can be set either through the touchscreen or via
the My BMW app.

There are four USB-C ports, two in the front centre console and two in the rear centre

There’s a smartphone wireless charging pad in the front console while both Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto are wireless.

The 100W six speaker sound system of the BMW X1 is great to listen to, though we
must admit to either turning down the volume or even muting it so we could enjoy the
sound of the engine.

The BMW X1 xDrive20i is powered by a four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine
generating 150 kW and 300 Nm.

The X1 sDrive18i has a three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine with outputs of 115 kW and 230
Nm. We’re booked into a road test of the 18i shortly and will provide a full report at that

Transmission in the 20i is through a seven-speed double clutch automatic with power
being is sent to all four wheels via BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive xDrive system.

Active protection features include front, side and head airbags, inner-vented front and
rear disc brakes with brake-wear sensors, central locking with electronic immobiliser
and crash sensor, dynamic braking lights, braking assistant, cornering brake control
and dynamic traction control.

Driver assistant safety features add active cruise control with Stop&Go function, head-
up display. Driving Assistant Plus adds blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning,
lane change warning, front collision warning with brake intervention, rear crossing
traffic warning and rear collision prevention.

There’s also parking assistant with front and rear active park distance control, reversing
assistant and surround view camera.

The BMW Drive Recorder system films the vehicle’s surrounding for up to 40 seconds
to document dangerous driving situations in road traffic

Ahh, It’s a BMW and I’ve always enjoyed driving them. The engine is good, though a
slightly faster response would have been nice at times. Perhaps that’s because I’ve
been driving a lot of electric or hybrid vehicles lately and have become accustomed to
the instant response they provide when you push that pedal on the right.

On the other hand, I’ve been driving a lot of non-BMW vehicles and their handling is
simply not in the same class as that of the BMW. There’s no doubt that the Asians and
Koreans in particular have been trying to get their handling up to the same standard as
that of BMWs but haven’t been able to do it. Keep going you guys and gals in the BMW
and you’ll always stay ahead of them.

The BMW X1 xDrive 2.0i is a smallish SUV rather than a sports sedan but has handling
that’s delightful. It answers virtually instantly to movements of the steering wheel and
sends feedback through the wheel to immediately let you know what’s happening.

It holds the road at speeds well above the speeds most drivers would attempt and
simply carries on around the bends almost as though they weren’t there.

Ride comfort is very good, which is something you seldom get in cars with the sporty
handling it provides.

Would I buy a BMW X1 xDrive 2.0i? Yes, though the price tag is probably going to put it
out of reach – unless my numbers come up on one of the tickets we buy…

The BMW X1 xDrive 2.0i is an exceptional vehicle with the sort of features that appeal
to those who love driving but at the same time need the convenience of practicality that
suits them.

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 9/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 9/10
Value: 8/10


X1 1.5 sDrive 18i: $53,900
X1 2.0 xDrive 20i: $65,900
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local BMW dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (BMW X1 2.0 xDrive 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.998 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 4400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 300 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.2 L/100km
CO2 emissions: 164 g/km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4500 mm
Wheelbase: 2692 mm
Width: 1845 mm
Height: 1642 mm
Turning Circle: 11.7 metres
Kerb Weight: 1568 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: Not supplied

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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