BMW’s tagline of “ultimate driving machine,” doesn’t really make you think of the brand’s SUVs. But then again this isn’t a SUV; BMW is calling its new X1 a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). Being the fourth best-selling vehicle in BMW’s arsenal, right after the 3 Series, 5 Series and the X5, the X1 is a key model for the German automaker all-round the globe. And now, in its second-generation, BMW hopes the X1 to carry forward the legacy while reducing its carbon footprints.
On the outside, the evolution is clearly visible. The X1 is bigger, wider and taller than the model it replaces. On the design front, the shark nose design grille now infuses flawlessly into the twin headlights. BMW managed to aid their design with few key aerodynamic design elements. The engineers at BMW have used the air curtains as the air breather, which forms as a part of the front wing, and aero-blades at the rear reduce the overall aerodynamics of the X1. Further enhancements to the front include a new air intake placed at the extreme corners of the front bumper. However, the Bi-xenon headlights and LED fog lights are now standard features on the X1.
On the inside, the story is however different. Apart from few minor tweaks here and there, it is all the same as before. The 10.25-inch media centre is linked with the excellent iDrive system, which the occupants can use to control the audio and the navigation as well. The screen is also paired up with the standard 360-degree view camera system. The cabin is light and airy; it is dominated by leather and wood or aluminium.
Under the bonnet of the X1 is a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine, which shares the same DNA as the multi-award-winning BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder petrol engine paired up with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination is capable of delivering a healthy power of 136HP. The engine is rather quiet for a three cylinder and it rarely feels as though it is stressed, despite having to move the rather heavy body. The engine somehow manages to work seamlessly with the transmission to be always in the right gear at the right time. The upshot is a 0-100km/h sprint of 9-seconds and a claimed fuel economy of 16-kilometres per litre.
On the safety front BMW is quite generous. The cabin is surrounded by airbags and there is an auto-unlock in the event of a crash. And other features, such as ABS, stability control, brake assist, hill-descent control, deformation elements replaceable for crashes up to 15km/h, and side-impact protection beams add credibility to the safety aspect of the X1.
The BMW X1 is bigger, faster, leaner and cleaner. It takes the challenge to its rivals and it is indeed a brilliant car to drive. It won't get you off the road any faster but it will make sure that you have a comfortable ride while you’re at it. If you want to cruise along the city line is comfort, then it’s hard to look past the BMW X1.
Price: 72 lakhs and onwards
Executive Motors Ltd.
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