UK magazine AutoExpress compares the BMW X1 SAV against a similar offering: Audi Q3. Since its market launch in fall 2009, the BMW X1 has notched up worldwide sales of more than 300,000 units.
The two variants tested are the 141 horsepower xDrive18d in xLine trim. The Audi responds with a 138 horsepower 2.0-liter TDI quattro version S line.
Which one should you buy? Let’s see the verdict from AutoExpress:
“BMW has been on a roll of late. The 1, 3 and 5 Series are our current favourites in their respective sectors, while the new 3 Series Touring recently took victory in its first test. Unfortunately, minor updates to the X1 haven’t done enough to change our opinion that it’s the weakest car in the range.
Its dated cabin, awkward looks and heavy steering all disappoint. The X1’s flaws are even more obvious when pitched against the Audi Q3, which is a well rounded and desirable package.
It isn’t exciting and it’s far from revolutionary, but a first-rate cabin and smart looks mean it feels just like a scaled-down Audi Q5, while the driving experience strikes a careful balance between comfort and handling. It also has a bigger boot and more passenger space than the BMW.
Still, the X1 isn’t all bad. The 18d engine is refined, punchy and clean, while taut body control and secure grip mean that, aside from the heavy steering at low speeds, the BMW is pretty good to drive.
Also, the new xLine trim is relatively well equipped and it’s cheaper to buy than the S line Q3. The pair returned identical fuel consumption, but the BMW is cleaner. Yet the Audi has better residuals, and is also easier to live with, roomier and more desirable than the X1. It’s a clear winner.”