Launched in 2009, the X1 did not immediately enjoy today’s success. The first generationwith its raised station wagon looks, was not yet quite comfortable in its segment, as if this X1 had not yet assumed its SUV status.
And at the time, this malaise was felt at the level of sales. With only ” 800,000 models of the E84 generation passed until 2015, the first X1 had a mixed record. Perhaps due to the timing, at one time SUVs came up against a still cautious public. Among the competition, Mercedes released only five years later his GLA for example, presented in April 2014.
It will be necessary to wait for the second generation (code name F48) for the X1 to confirm the test. With over 1.9 million copies soldthe “small” Bavarian SUV has won its bet by taking up the codes of its big brother the X3 with a lower price.
After seven years in the catalog and two facelifts, now is the right time for BMW to renew the smallest SUV in its range.
Visually, this new BMW X1 affirms even more compared to the previous generation. The “small” SUV has taken on both size and muscle.
Just look at the measurements. The X1 gains 5.3 cm in length to reach just 4.50 meters, it widens by 2.4 cm and now do 1.64 meters high (+ 4.4 cm). The wheelbase also evolves and gains 2.2 cm, suggesting better liveability on board.
On the front part, the Bavarian designers wanted to give even more character at X1. This is noticeable with two large ribs on the hood, enlarged openings and air inlets on the sides, a more refined and incisive luminous eyes but also this large grille present on all the latest creations from BMW.
Exactly, these double nostrils yet so decried in the past, fit in rather well with the whole here. The general design of the front face is not reduced to this grille as was more the case on the 4 series for example. Here, the elements are sufficiently well positioned so that it fits in harmoniously to the drawing of the SUV. This is all the more discreet when the M Sport finish is chosen with the “Extended Glossy Shadow Line M” option, which offers a black grille instead of aluminium.
In profile, the very square contours of the wheel arches give more character to the vehicle. Also, many body parts have been sculpted by BMW, such as the bonnet and the side sills.
On the rear part, the changes are also numerous and contrast with the previous generation. The roofline for example, which stops at one very elongated spoiler just above a steeply slanted rear window on the tailgate. Finally, the LED lights are of the most beautiful effect and stand out from the bodywork, giving more character to the X1.
Finally, the rims that equip our test model are in light alloy and measure 19 inches. Note that they scale 17 to 20 inches depending on trim levels.
Before discussing the interior, it is worth recalling the finishes offered by BMW. For the sake of simplification, the Bavarian manufacturer offers this X1 both in a version simply titled X1to which are added the finition xLine and finally MSport.
For our test model, the SUV comes with this latest M Sport pack, billed at €3,900. This tops the range, adding in addition to the elements present on the other finishes a touch of sportiness at the stylistic level but also a “Sport” gearbox.
On board, once installed behind the wheel, the feeling of being seated in an SUV premium feels immediately. The quality of the materials is very good, with the presence of leather almost everywhere. The assemblies are excellentwith no play on the various parts of the dashboard or the center console.
The first element that stands out is the abandonment of needle counters in favor of a « Curved Display », fully digital combining 10.25 inch instrumentation and a 10.7 inch touch screen. The set is connected and can be updated by download (“over the air”) and integrates GPS as well as an Amazon Alexa compatible voice command. The latter is quite responsive, even if it is not the best in its category. The last Renault Mégane E-Tech 100% electric does better in this area with its ultra-responsive 12-inch panels.
A word about the seat, which is very comfortable with the leather upholstery. The driving position is excellent and the seat offers plenty of adjustment, even with an extendable seat length for the legs. Finally, the lateral support is very good without being too envelopingwhich is very pleasant during more dynamic driving.
Finally, in terms of storage, there is a not very deep glove box as well as fairly cramped door bins. It will therefore be necessary to fall back on the space located under a floating center console (the most beautiful effect!) to manage to cram all his personal effects. Note that the induction charging is available for a smartphone, with a small latch to hold it in place just below the central screen. Practical so that it does not fall.
It is in the rear seats that this new X1 stands out even more. L’space is generousand is simply one of the best in its category.
Even for tall people (+ 1.90m), thehead spacing is very good and especially at the level of the legs, with 81 cm available. No doubt, even for long journeys, your passengers seated in the rear seats will be comfortably seated.
Also, even on our test version without a sunroof, we don’t feel locked in at all once seated behind it. This is a very good point for habitability. Note that the panoramic headliner is available with the “Escape Pack”, charged at €1,800. Also, the bench seat offers a good level of comfort.
A word about the trunk volume, which gains in place compared to the previous generation. This one is from 540 liters versus 500 all round for the second generation X1. Another detail, it is possible to opt for the 13 centimeter sliding bench seatequipment charged extra (€310!) to improve the loading of the trunk without having to systematically fold the seats.
A little reminder about the engines available. The X1 starts its career with four engines.
We find two species (136 hp sDrive18i and 218 hp xDrive23i) and two diesels (150 hp sDrive18d and 211 hp xDrive23d). 20i and 20d versions (170 and 163 hp) will be added in November, followed later by plug-in hybrids (xDrive25e of 245 hp and xDrive30e of 326 hp) as well as an unprecedented electric version iX1. This will arrive in November.
For our test, we opted for the “small” diesel, the sDrive18d de 150 chcomfortable enough in all situations even with its 2-wheel drive.
Admittedly, this 2-liter block is not a thunderbolt, but that is absolutely not what we ask of it! In use, it shows particularly flexible and the answer under the right foot is present. That being said, the frank accelerations take place with a rather pronounced rattle of the 4-cylinder, which is particularly sound in the towers. Nothing very disturbing however, even if it remains noticeable. From the outside, once the engine is on, it’s even more obvious. The engine makes noise and denotes the standing offered by BMW with this X1.
For its part, the box is gentle but sometimes unresponsive. On the other hand, the road behavior has been worked on by the engineers of the Munich firm, and it shows. the chassis offers contained body rollthe direction is precise and, despite his 1.6 tons on the scale this X1 shows itself particularly fun to drive. At this level, this new X1 is undoubtedly at the top of the basket in its category.
An efficiency which is not obtained at the expense of comfort which, although firm, remains very correct, the suspensions never breaking.
Finally, on the consumption side, it is on this playing field that the X1 in the 18d version stands out. With the “efficiency” mode activated, we noted a average less than 6 liters on the highway, and 6.7 liters in the combined cycle.
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To conclude, we can safely say that this “little” X1 won the bet to progress a little more on all fronts against its predecessor.
More assertive design with a real personality, neat interior and exemplary finishes for its category, road behavior well studied… The smallest SUV from the Bavarian firm does everything well, and above all better than the competition at this price level.
So of course, not everything is perfect, like the perfectible gearbox engine torque with a noisy block with an unflattering sound, but the quality of the general performance is undeniable.
In terms of the price list, this X1 starts at €39,900 in the 18i version, while 42 200 € are requested for the base of our diesel test model, the 18d. 5 digits to which must be added nearly 10,400 € of options present on our versionwhich is equipped with the M Sport package.
Finally, for larger wallets, you can opt for the 23d and 23i versions, respectively displayed at €48,900 and €47,500.
Options of the model tested (+ €10,600):
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