Auto Express drives the 2016 BMW X1

BMW X1 | September 25th, 2015 by 7
2016 bmw x1 M Sport package images 16 750x500

The current BMW X1, the second generation model, gets a bit of mixed opinions from BMW enthusiasts. Being the first front-wheel drive BMW, it was …

The current BMW X1, the second generation model, gets a bit of mixed opinions from BMW enthusiasts. Being the first front-wheel drive BMW, it was bound to take some flak. Though, surprisingly, it didn’t get as much heat as we had originally anticipated. I supposed people understood the reasoning behind the switch, regardless of agreeing with it. Anyway, the new X1 has proven to be a damn fine small SUV, despite having the wrong set of driven wheels. So, to give the X1 a proper test, to find out if it has what it takes to be a real BMW, Auto Express gave it a whirl.

In the UK market, only four engines will be made available and they all displace 2.0 liters and have turbochargers. There’s three 2.0 liter diesel engines, with one making 148 hp (X1 xDrive18d), the second making 187 (X1 xDrive 20d) and the third making 228 (X1 xDrive25d) hp. The petrol engine produces 189 hp in the xDrive20i. Oddly enough, the BMW X1 xDrive25d, with its 228 hp 2.0 liter diesel engine, is the quickest of them all, taking just 6.6 seconds to get to 60 mph. It also only produces 132g/km and manages in the mid to high-50 mpg range on the EU cycle. That’s a pretty excellent performance/economy compromise. All can be mated to an Aisin eight-speed transmission.

2015 BMW X1 F48 Sparkling Brown Zubehoer 08 750x497

But we’ve known about BMW’s excellent diesel engines for ages now (wake up, America, we need them), but the big news is how the new X1 drives. BMW decided to take a more mainstream approach to the new X1, raising the ride height, giving it more interior room and making it much more comfortable and practical as opposed to dynamic and fun, like the previous car was. However, this doesn’t stop the X1 from being lovely to drive, it just makes it more livable as well. According to Auto Express, the new X1’s steering is best in class, even if it isn’t up to par with other BMWs. It can’t be up to par, though, as it’s still front-wheel drive-based, but it can be damn good and it is. It also has good chassis dynamics for its size, is nimble to drive and has good body control. The ride is also quite good.

On the inside, the X1 is business as usual for BMW. While the design is very different from other BMWs, the materials and ergonomics are of typical Bavarian-excellence. This is actually one of the more comfortable interiors to come from BMW, as headroom and legroom are excellent and the cabin is very spacious and open overall, thanks to the front-wheel drive-based layout. Another benefit of its drivetrain change is cargo space. Without the rear-drive layout, BMW was able to give the X1 a bigger ‘boot’ than the previous model. So the new X1 is more practical than the previous car and one of the more practical cars in its segment.

2015 BMW X1 F48 Kastanienbronze Metallic Zubehoer Fahrradtraeger 04 750x497

Overall, the new X1 is an excellent vehicle. It may not scream “Motorsport Heritage” like other BMWs do, but it’s a fantastic all-around package. It looks great, one of the best looking new BMWs in my humble opinion, has a great interior, drives very well and is practical to boot (see what I did there, with boot, like trunk?). It’s also cheap, starting at £26,780 in the UK and at $34,800 in the US, it’s one of the most affordable BMWs on the road. It’s really very difficult to pass up that kind of value. The BMW X1 may very well be the best small SUV on the market.

[Source: Auto Express]

7 responses to “Auto Express drives the 2016 BMW X1”

  1. Lucky13 says:

    This article has more holes in it than the Titanic. None of those engines are available in the US, front wheel drive is not in the US, the X1 does not have the ZF transmission in the US and you couldn’t give away a diesel in the US right now. Other than that what was the purpose of the article, bad timing to be pushing diesel anywhere.

    • We know these aren’t available in the US, the article was on a review of a UK publication and we mentioned it. We have readers all over the world so it’s important to talk about cars in every market.

  2. wdeal says:

    what exactly is the status of the arrival of the sDrive18i in the USA? The current AWD x1 is pushing $38k with leather seating….that’s insane. If the sDrive18i isn’t coming to the US, I am moving-on from BMW

    • :) says:

      You won’t see anything below the 2.0 in the US. Americans like (marketed to/tricked into) power and straight line performance, not modesty and fuel efficiency. Otherwise you would see compact hatches everywhere with multiple passengers, not giant SUVs with 1 person in it. The only way anything smaller will make it is in a PHEV variant. :(

      I’m with you though. I might be jumping ship (partially) to MINI, VW (yeah yeah.. dieselgate.. whatever), or GM. I would really really like GM to put the Votlec drivetrain in the Cruze Sportwagon as well, and not just the sedan.

  3. Lucky13 says:

    Nico, since when does it have the ZF transmission? If your reporting on what’s happening at BMW you shouldn’t make a simple mistake like that. How can you possibly be making positive statements about diesels right now, you should be ducking for cover when even mentioning the word diesel anywhere. Just saying, if your “promoting” BMW you need to chose your choice of words a lot better because an article pushing diesel that is read in the US right now is about as politically incorrect as you can possibly be.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Yes, it’s not a ZF, Aisin. He made a mistake.

      But to say we shouldn’t report on diesels….why is that though? I don’t get it. BMW has done nothing wrong, they still make some great diesel engines which sell quite well in Europe. No one is promoting BMW, we are reporting the facts on BMW.

    • Hidefvi says:

      I am specifically looking for the diesel X1 in the USA. Why not report on the D? 50MPG! in a cool car. I’ll take it. I’m looking at the D X5 but that is adding 20K to my purchase.

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