Test Drive BMW X1 : The Most Chic Urban SUV ?

Test Drive BMW X1 : The Most Chic Urban SUV ?

The BMW X1 has been a best-seller since 2009. The first and second generations have sold approximately 2.7 million units worldwide. The third one arrives with the certainty of doing as well as its two predecessors, especially since customers will be spoilt for choice: gasoline, diesel, micro-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100% electric, everything is there!

Overall, the new BMW X1 takes the codes of the previous generations, while integrating some codes of its big brother, the X3. Longer (+ 5.3 cm), wider (+ 2.4 cm), higher (+ 4.4 cm), the third generation adds up the centimeters compared to its predecessor. It has a new front end with an even larger grille and slimmer lights.


Inside, it’s as upscale as ever, with some welcome new technology. There is, for example, this huge curved slab like BMW iX which combines two screens of 10.25 and 10.7 inches. Within these two screens, which bring together the instrumentation and the infotainment system. The screens have a very good graphic quality and a fluid navigation.

Even though it’s BMW’s smallest SUV, the X1 is still welcoming. Two adults will feel comfortable in the rear seats. The trunk gains 50 liters compared to the previous version. BMW announces a volume of between 540 and 1,600 liters including the space under the raised floor.


Diesel, gasoline, PHEV and electric

The BMW X1 makes no compromises when it comes to energies, as they are practically all offered in the catalog. The X1 is based on the UKL platform shared with Mini, making it a basic front-wheel drive. BMW is expanding its drive modes with light hybrids in 4×4 form for the 218-hp xDrive23i or 211-hp xDrive23d models.

There are also the 245 hp 25th and 326 hp 30th plug-in hybrids, while the 313 hp all-electric iX1 could convince some customers to go electric, especially with a generous range of about 440 km. For the entry-level engines, BMW offers a 150 hp sDrive18d diesel version and a 136 hp sDrive18i petrol version.

Our test version is equipped with a 150 hp four-cylinder diesel engine. This is an engine that we know well at BMW and that does not suffer from any major defect, especially since its consumption remains under control with about 6.0 l/100 km during our trip between highway and urban environment. This is coupled with a smooth and fast seven-speed dual-clutch robotic transmission.

In terms of road handling, even though it is now a front wheel drive, it is still a BMW in spirit. The roll is rather well contained, even when loading the front axle under braking on certain curve The chassis is quite efficient for an SUV, and the steering is quite precise, giving us the pleasant sensation of having a rather dynamic car in our hands. The synthesis is good, even the comfort is appreciable, despite a certain firmness on some marked grooves.


The right price/quality ratio?

The new BMW X1 starts at 39 900 euros. The X1’s competitors are still the same, namely the Mercedes GLA (from 44,800 euros) and the Audi Q3 (from 38,000 euros).

Two other SUVs will play elbows with the X1, including the Peugeot 3008, which is aging, but still in the game with an excellent compromise between comfort and dynamism. The Alfa Romeo Tonale can also be a nice alternative, even if the build quality does not reach that of the BMW.

If, on paper, the BMW X1 does not really change compared to the previous version, the gap is there. It progresses everywhere, both in terms of finish and in terms of driving pleasure, with a chassis that does not offend the brand with the propeller.

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