SPECS: 2015 BMW X1 sDrive20i
Engine: 1,998cc 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Power: 192hp @ 4,700rpm
Torque: 280Nm @ 1,250 – 4,600rpm
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic, front-wheel drive
Acceleration (0-100km/h): 7.7 seconds
Top Speed: 225km/h
NEDC Average Consumption: 5.9L/100km
Codenamed the F48, the new second-generation X1 is the first existing BMW model range to adopt a transverse engine layout, similar to the newly minted front-wheel drive 2 Active Tourer and 2 Grand Tourer model range. Unlike its predecessor, this all new X1 didn’t have to live with a longitudinal engine that limited cabin space and lent it a strange proportion. Instead this new X1 looks like a junior X5 with its balanced design proportions and better still, a spacious cabin for all occupants.
According to BMW, the X1 now stands 53mm taller than its predecessor, which allows the seating position to be heightened by 40mm, offering occupants with a better all-round visibility as befitting of an SUV.
Despite being marginally shorter, BMW says that an additional 37mm of rear legroom have been carved out, while boot space has been increased by 85 litres to 505 litres. However if you need more space, the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats can boost cargo capacity to a rather commodious 1,550 litres.
Engine and Drivetrain
If you are one who still prefers having all-wheel drive with an SUV, then you would be disappointed to learn that the fully-imported X1 sDrive20i is only driving its front paws. And if you are a fan of diesel, the bad news is that there is no diesel variant either as BMW’s venerable Malaysian-spec diesel engines cannot be shoehorned into the X1’s front-wheel drive platform. So its front-wheel drive and petrol powered for now.
Nevertheless its 192hp 2-litre 4-cylinder TwinPowerTurbo engine and accompanying 8-speed automatic delivers plenty of thrust – 0 to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds – and returns a rated average fuel consumption figure of 5.9L/100km. Those are pretty good numbers for BMW’s baby X model.
Of course part of that impressive fuel consumption is achieved through lightweight construction and clever aerodynamics. Just like its bigger counterparts, the X1 also comes with BMW’s turbulence clearing front Air Curtains coupled to wind deflectors on the wheel arches, coupled to a largely smooth underbody and rear aeroblades, which enable the new X1 to achive a drag coefficient value of as low as 0.28Cd.
Fuel consumption figures are further reduced with the inclusion of automatic start/stop and brake energy regeneration.
Suited for Front-Wheel Drive
Though long-time proprietors of the rear-wheel drive ethos, BMW assures us that the X1 is built to deliver the brand’s hallmarks of superior agility and sporting dynamism. To that end the X1 sports a newly developed front axle, whereas its multilink rear suspension is specifically tuned to BMW’s requirement for front-wheel drive vehicles. The X1 sDrive20i also comes equipped with the BMW Performance Control.
Features and Tech
For its asking price, the X1 sDrive20i will come fitted with the Sport Line package as standard. The package adds 18-inch double spoke light alloy rims, sports leather steering wheel, and sport seats upholstered in the Leather Dakota option. Topping off the options list is the addition of the BMW Navigational Professional option, which adds a 6.5-inch Control Display and iDrive Controller.
Safety wise the X1 sDrive20i comes fully equipped with all the necessities in its class, six airbags, dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control, ABS brake assistance, and ISOFIX child seat anchor points.
With the inclusion of the latest driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive, BMW Malaysia says that the X1 sDrive20i is the most technologically advanced vehicle in its segment, and rightly so as it debuts several connective features for the brand in Malaysia. The BMW ConnectedDrive Services and Apps allows the use of the BMW Online internet portal via a SIM card embedded in the vehicle. Aside from enabling mobile device intergration, the X1’s BMW ConnectedDrive comes with the following features:
- Intelligent Emergency Call (debut feature in Malaysia): Automatically establishes a connection with the nearest rescue coordination through the BMW Call Centre, and transmits location information and accident severity.
- Concierge Services (debut feature in Malaysia): Drivers can be connected to the BMW Call Centre at a push of a button, where they can have access to a ‘personal assistant’ on the road. The concierge service can not only book but enter destinations into the car's satellite navigation for the driver.
- Remote Services: By using BMW’s MY Remote app, drivers can use their mobile devices to remotely operate certain aspects of the X1.
- Intelligent Parking: System will automatically find and determine the size of parking spaces. When an appropriate space is found the system will autonomously steer the car into the parking space while the driver operates the accelerator, brakes, and transmission.
In line with the rest of BMW’s offerings, the X1 sDrive20i will also come with BMW’s 5 Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty and Free Scheduled Service Program.
Challenging its Own Establishment
Though BMW stakes a claim to being the first to foray into the premium compact SUV with the first-generation X1, its competitors have gotten pretty good at making attractive-looking and better-packaged entrants in the form of the 2015 Audi Q3 2.0TFSI quattro and 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC.
Both the Q3 and GLA are attractive in their own right. Though when it comes to outright horsepower, the X1 sDrive20i has them outgunned, both competitors are driven by an all-wheel drive systems. That being said, in the context of Malaysian climate and the urban environment these SUVs will be used in, all-wheel drive isn’t all that necessary.
What Malaysians might find more useful than all-wheel drive is the inclusion of the new BMW ConnectedDrive features and conveinences, such as the Intelligent Emergency Call and Concierge Services.
What’s more, the Q3 and GLA aren’t really renowned for their handling prowess, a quality that the original X1 was highly praised for. If BMW’s boffins have worked their magic into the X1’s handling characteristics, along with its improved practicality and better looks, then BMW is well onto a winning formula.
In the meantime read out first impressions review of the X1 in Austria here.