On the test, we have a BMW X1 in a restyled version of the F48 body. The exterior of the crossover was updated exactly a year ago, probably so that it does not look outdated against the background of the new generation of Audi Q3, presented in 2018. But in fact, the changes in appearance are minimal. The designers only slightly redrawn the bumpers and optics, removed the round fog lights, and reworked some details in the cabin.
BMW X1 front view
The dimensions of this generation of the X1 model almost do not differ from competitors (Mercedes Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque): the length of the crossover is 4447 mm, width-1821 mm, height is 1598 mm. For clarity, it is worth mentioning that the size of the X1 is comparable to the Nissan Qashqai, although they play, of course, in different price categories.
Features of the model
Even if you do not choose a car in this class, but are just interested in cars, something about this crossover you should definitely know. It is built on BMW’s first front-wheel drive platform. Yes, the Bavarians held on to the last, and a few years ago even made fun of competitors in advertising, talking about the advantages of rear-wheel drive. But still, they “gave up”, presenting in 2014 the first front-wheel drive model, built on the new BMW UKL platform. It was a compact MPV 2-Series Active Tourer F45 in the body. By the way, in my opinion, this is one of the most ugly BMW. Nevertheless, the model sold very well in Europe.
BMW X1 side view
The main thing is that customers did not care what kind of drive in the car, if in the end it became cheaper, more spacious and more economical. Fuel consumption has decreased primarily due to weight loss, because the extra pounds at least do not go to the heavy driveshaft. Although all-wheel drive is also available here.
It is also worth saying that the same platform was received by Mini cars. In General, on the UKL platform, in addition to the “two” Active Tourer and our X1, a decent number of models were released. Among them – BMW X2 (F39), 1 Series in the body “sedan” (F52) and “hatchback” (F40), as well as the new 2 Series (F44). And I am sure that in the future such models will only arrive and arrive.
BMW X1 rear view
All we have to do is make sure that the X1 is still a “real” BMW. Or, on the contrary, find out that this car has lost all the advantages that the Bavarian brand is loved and appreciated for.
Our BMW is equipped with the M Sport package, which includes a slightly more aggressive body kit, branded wheels and a number of certain external attributes. An alternative to it is the X1 and the “crossover” version of the xLine, which, by the way, I like even more. Although we must admit that the “M” nameplate has always had some magical influence, and not only on BMW fans.
But despite the rather sporty appearance of the test car, it is equipped with a completely “civilian” 18D engine. This is a diesel 2.0-liter engine with 150 HP and a torque of 350 Nm. Do not be surprised that nowadays you can buy a car with an M-package and with such a relatively low-power engine. This is exactly the case when you want to “seem” and not “be”.
In fact, this power unit is not so bad. The last generation BMW X1 (E84) was built on the basis of a rear-wheel drive “Troika” and was even sold with a 3.0-liter engine for 306 HP.But that time can not be returned, and now the crossover under the hood of a motor with a volume of more than 2 liters can not be found. First, the demand for large capacity was small, and secondly, environmental standards dictate their own rules. In addition, now, if desired, even with a volume of 2 liters, you can shoot the same 300 “horses”.
BMW X1 motor
By the way, even a three-cylinder 1.5-liter 18I petrol engine with 140 HP and 220 Nm of torque can be installed here. This engine was developed for the legendary I8 coupe. However, in that model it was supplemented with an electric motor, and there it was “removed” already 230 HP.
There is also a smaller diesel engine (1.5 l) called the 16d. Its power is only 116 HP, so the dynamics of the car with this engine was very weak (by BMW standards). But 2.0-liter engines are more interesting. Especially when it comes to diesel units of the B47 series. By today’s standards, they are quite economical, quiet, and can be quite powerful depending on the settings. But what is also important (especially in the context of BMW engines) is the relative reliability of the B47 series engines, apart from problems with the EGR valve. But they say that after a large-scale recall campaign, this issue was still resolved. Experts estimate the approximate resource of current engines at 250-280 thousand km of mileage, depending on the boost and the number of turbines.
Under the hood of the test BMW X1 is an engine with only one turbine, despite the loud inscription TwinPower. This power unit, again, produces 150 HP, which is today the most “gentle” boost B47. This fact indicates the possibility of chip-tuning the engine; on Stage 1, the return can be brought to indicators similar to the 20D version (190 HP and 400 Nm of torque). At first glance, this seems like a good idea, because this way you can save about 5 thousand euros without overpaying for the more expensive version.
BMW X1 tail lights
But in fact, this is not quite true, because the return of the 20D version, in turn, can be increased by another 20 %, and in this case, from the base 190 HP, we will get 222 HP and a torque of almost 450 Nm. It turns out that there is a difference in attachments between these units. And the X1 with the 18d engine is equipped with only one exhaust pipe, but the 20D version has two exhaust pipes (like the 25d). That is, the sound of the power unit will still be different.
The most productive diesel version is the 25d. Structurally, this motor is even more complex. It already has two turbines, a different fuel injection and a few other differences. Since 2015, this engine was installed on the previous generation X5 (F15). And now it is equipped with the new X5 (G05). Of course, for the X1 model, this motor was slightly deforced. But the smaller crossover is 600 kg lighter. As a result, with such an engine, the car accelerates to the first “hundred” in 6.6 seconds.And as a bonus, the buyer gets a quiet sleep, because the unit does not work at the limit of its capabilities.
BMW X1 acceleration to 100
Petrol engines of the B48 series also proved to be quite good (better than the previous series). But, traditionally for BMW, they do not really benefit from their performance from diesels: the same power, the same dynamics, the same sin of vibrations, but the consumption is far from the same. In addition, it is desirable to fill gasoline units with 98 gasoline, and also change the oil every 10 thousand km of mileage (at least).
But we don’t end the conversation about reliability (unusual for BMW test drives) on motors. Gearboxes are an important topic here. We immediately noticed that the “automatic” lever is quite high here, which is not typical for the latest BMW models, because the Bavarians have long been using their proprietary joystick. But the X1 of this generation has a Japanese transmission.
BMW X1 wheels
After switching to a front-wheel-drive platform with a transversely positioned engine, BMW engineers needed to find a compact transverse box, and engineers from the Japanese company Aisin are better at this. Thus, the 2.0-liter BMW X1 received probably the most reliable in the class “torque Converter” TG-81SC, which was developed for … Lexus RX350. In addition, the Germans preferred to choose a more modern version of this box for the X1 (AWF8F45). This unit can easily withstand up to 480 Nm of torque. In it, the oil can be changed no more than once in 100 thousand. km, and if you regularly check the quality of the box will easily outlast the life of the engine.
BMW X1 automatic transmission selector
And do not be surprised that we are talking about the BMW brand, where luxury versions of cars sometimes do not reach up to 100 thousand. mileage before serious repairs. Buyers of BMW X1 class cars have different priorities and different requirements for cars, so the manufacturer has to adjust. Yes, the X1 is not a Toyota, but it is one of the most reliable models among modern BMW models.
I’m sure many fans of the brand are wondering why it was impossible to install a more elegant and familiar joystick for BMW instead of the high “poker” of automatic transmission control. And at first I was sure that this was impossible, because Aisin uses a classic cable drive to select driving modes, and such a lever is a necessity. But then I found out that the European versions of the BMW X1 still managed to mount the usual joystick. And even in the 18D version, as we have, European cars have two exhaust pipes. It’s not fair.
But if we talk about practicality and reliability, it is this “traditional” solution with the “automatic” selector that is the simplest and most convenient. So” suffer ” from the usual gearbox handle will only be fans of the brand.
The Aisin box easily allows you to start even with two pedals – this is not a problem for it. But even in Sport mode, the acceleration of our X1 with the 18d engine to 100 km / h was not impressive – 9.55 s. The self-esteem of BMW buyers (and even with the “M” nameplate) may well suffer from this.
Although when you normally move around the city, there are plenty of dynamics here. In real life, the feeling of overclocking is much more pleasant than “on paper”. In addition, the crossover continues to accelerate quite cheerfully even after 100 km / h (up to 150 km/h).
BMW X1 dashboard
After 100 km/h, the engine is heard much less. But it’s not a good sound insulation, but the fact that at high speeds (and after warming up) the engine runs really quietly. After 150 km/h, the acceleration rate drops, but you are guaranteed to accelerate to 200 km/h.
Fuel consumption during our test was about 7L/100km.
As for the suspension, even on 18-inch wheels, the BMW X1 is one of the softest cars in this class that I’ve ever driven. Yes, the crossover significantly tilts, and in this respect it can be compared with the Volvo XC40. But how nice it is to travel on our roads! Large swells, speed bumps, some holes – all these interferences are quite well swallowed by the chassis.
BMW X1 road behavior
But the previous words are relevant about the suspension system. The fact is that the test crossover is “shod” in RunFlat tires. In my opinion, RunFlat is an absolute evil, and not just for BMW. But specifically in this case, they spoil the whole idyll. The fact is that such tires are not just hard, but also heavy. As a result, some hatches, asphalt shagreen and small joints are transmitted to the body in the form of not even blows, but just some vibrations, unnecessary noise. The good news is that you can opt out of this type of tire when buying a BMW X1 (while saving another 300 euros). But when choosing X5, this is not possible.
At high speed, when driving on medium-quality asphalt, the car practically does not bounce and keeps a straight line confidently. Thanks to the steering adjustment, you can also adjust at high speed without problems: Servotronic at high speed makes the steering wheel” adult ” heavy, but the suspension stiffness is really not enough.
BMW X1 in the city
I wonder how this suspension is controlled by a crossover with a 230 HP engine, where the maximum speed is stated at 235 km / h? Although in fact, the solution to this behavior on the road is quite simple: it’s all about a specific test car, or rather – in its configuration. Despite the fact that an external M-package is installed here, during the selection of equipment, they refused to add an M-suspension as well. Probably, they wanted to either save money or leave the 17 cm clearance unchanged. Or maybe there was a desire to maintain the comfort of the chassis. But in this case, you could just order an adaptive suspension (it costs only 160 euros). In this case, it would be possible to change the settings of the shock absorbers from Sport to Comfort. And for a surcharge of 270 euros, an optional system for increasing the sharpness of the steering wheel with increasing speed is available. It will reduce the intensity of “taxiing”, because-by the standards of BMW-at high speeds, the steering wheel has to be deflected too much.
On the other hand, thanks to the perfect weight distribution along the axes (50/50), the rolls I mentioned earlier do not lead to anything frightening at high speeds – the X1 reactions are predictable. Thanks to proprietary chassis settings and disabling stabilization, the crossover can even be turned into a gambling toy.
BMW X1 clearance
In a test car, the implementation of all-wheel drive is quite simple. The torque is constantly transmitted to the front wheels, but the rear axle is connected by a rather “pop” multi-disc clutch Haldex, in which BMW probably left only the settings. Therefore, the xDrive nameplate here can also be equated to the Quattro for Audi or 4MATIC for Mercedes-Benz.
Still, this X1 feels more rear-wheel drive than the new clunky X5. And the steering here is rather excessive than Vice versa. Probably, the reason for this behavior is the smartly tuned suspension geometry and steering, which even soft shock absorbers can not spoil.
Recently, we often measure the performance of the braking system during tests. Those cars that have a braking distance of more than 40 m at a speed of 100 km / h are considered not so safe. BMW X1 in this discipline showed an average result of about 37 m. However, it is not possible to improve the brake system from the factory. For 660 euros, you can only order the option of painting the brake calipers in blue. But this possibility is unlikely to have a positive impact on the braking distance.
BMW X1 in a u-turn
The sound insulation in this car has not changed. In the same way as with the crossover of the previous generation, it seems that it simply forgot to add here. So you can’t hear just the suspension here. As for me, it is outrageous when a manufacturer allows itself to customize a luxury car like this. In comparison with the German crossover Mazda CX-30 is much quieter in all conditions. Therefore, an obvious question is brewing: why was Mazda able to provide good noise insulation for 27 thousand dollars, while BMW failed to implement this for 45 thousand?
If we talk about the cost, then BMW allows a fairly broad approach to the choice of options. But in the process of selecting a variety of equipment “for yourself”, the final price just takes off. The fact is that the basic version is equipped with minimal, and literally for each button you have to pay extra. But it is worth noting that BMW often offers package options. Therefore, most of the BMW X1 that drive on our roads, bought in these configurations. In other words, you get a car from the warehouse in a ready-made configuration at a special price.
BMW X1 optics and bumper
A car with an 18d engine and in a good configuration costs from 35 to 40 thousand euros. I have no doubt that many people will think that this is quite serious money for this size and class. I am even sure that for this amount, many will be inclined to choose, for example, Volkswagen Tiguan R-line or Toyota RAV4 (which is also longer).
But if you compare the X1 with direct competitors such as the Audi Q3 or Mercedes-Benz GLA, the cost is comparable. Although now the main question is different: what will we get inside the car for these 40 thousand euros?
Interior and trunk
If you look at the interior from the point of view of an ordinary buyer, and not a fan or fan of the BMW brand (who for some reason did not accept the new interior design), then the materials, decor, details and tactile sensations of the X1 can be called a leader in the class. This is about the same feeling I experienced in a Volvo, but only if the car is very well equipped. If you compare with the Range Rover, the British crossover should cost about 80 thousand, so that it has about the same materials (according to their perception).
BMW X1 salon
It is unlikely that for 40 thousand euros you will get a real unpainted wood somewhere else and the same soft plastics everywhere. And the blue line on the front panel, which is only available in the M-pack, deserves separate compliments. It is quite practical, strict and sometimes sad interior immediately makes elegant. In addition, the interior is very pleasantly illuminated at night.
BMW X1 front panel stitching
As a result, everything we touch in the salon is of high quality. Even ordinary plastics in X1 make a pleasant impression: they look quite expensive, and fingerprints do not linger on them. Yes, the Dakota leather on the seats is quite rough, but everything is sewn almost perfectly. The stitching is smooth and the fabric inserts are very nice. As for me, these combined seats, which are offered in the M-package, are the best choice.
But on all these pleasant materials, the lack of that very feeling of luxury leaves a trace. The reason for this is probably the front panel architecture. No, it’s not that the interior may seem small to someone (for example, in the Range Rover Evoque, the interior is even smaller). Just the layout in the same Evoque is implemented in such a way that it gives the impression of being in a more expensive car. And the interior of the BMW X1 creates the feeling that the highest quality materials equipped with a budget car.
BMW X1 front seats
Brand “emony” the wheel – just gorgeous. By the way, if desired, this “steering wheel” can be ordered separately. The design of the front seats is almost absent, but they are incredibly practical and comfortable. The pillow can be increased in length, the height and girth of the back is beyond praise, and even without electric controls, even a tall driver can easily get behind the wheel. I, for example, sometimes could not sit so comfortably even in cars two classes higher. But the basic seats in the BMW X1 are disgusting: they have almost no side support. I don’t recommend them.
The multimedia system in the BMW X1 is not the latest generation. For example, in the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, as well as in the X5, the seventh generation of “multimedia” is already installed, here – the sixth, but modernized. Here we added gesture control and voice commands. The Apple Airplay feature is offered for a surcharge. After this and several tests of other cars of the Bavarian brand, I can say that the menu here is quite convenient, clear and logical.
BMW X1 multimedia system
The test car has already passed more than 7,000 km, and its interior does not give out any extraneous sounds. This indicates a high build quality, but not least this silence is created due to the abundance of soft plastics.
In the back row of the BMX X1, tall people are predictably cramped (primarily at the knees). The back is set fairly vertically, which is the main disadvantage of landing. The rear passengers have an armrest with Cup holders, two type-C chargers and two deflectors. The rear door cards are padded with soft plastics. One of the practical features is the separate folding of each of the three sections of the back sofa.
BMW X1 rear row seats
If you need a car with a lot of space on the second row, the Volkswagen Tiguan is the best choice. However, I wouldn’t expect much more in this class. An alternative is to buy the basic version of the BMW X3 or Mercedes-Benz GLA. The last seat in the back row has more than all the seats listed above. The situation with the lack of space behind could change the extended version of the X1 (F49), but, as usual, its main market is China.
BMW X1 trunk
When you open the trunk, you immediately notice that the electric drive works almost noiselessly, and the lid rises quickly enough (to the envy of many competitors). The trunk seems small at first, but we must remember that we are not talking about a class where you can expect huge volumes. Despite the presence of RunFlat tires, under the floor of the cargo compartment lurked dokatka (which contradicts the logic of RunFlat). A set of tools was also placed in a niche under the floor. On the left there is a convenient pocket for small items, on the right there is a grid. An outlet is also available. If you take into account the space reserve and under the floor, the cargo compartment X1 does not seem so small. It is also worth noting the convenient and practical metal trim on the trunk doorstep.
First of all, I should mention the wide choice of engines, as well as suspension and steering options. If you want to drive smoothly around the city, feel free to take a car with a basic suspension. And if you need to move more actively, an adaptive suspension and steering wheel with sports settings are available for just 500 euros. At the same time, even in the basic version, the X1 will feel like a driver due to high-quality chassis settings. There is more drive here than, for example, in the Range Rover Evoque or Mercedes-Benz GLK (but you need to compare it with the Audi Q3 in more detail).
I also consider the quality of finishing materials, ergonomics, and driver’s comfort to be a big advantage of the BMW X1. Even a tall driver will fit well in the front, which is a rarity in this class. But the downside can be called a fairly budget architecture of the front panel, which prevents you from fully feeling like a luxury class.
For engines, everything is ambiguous (although for the Japanese machine-a separate plus). A test car equipped with an 18d engine seems like a good option at first glance. But from the crossover for 35-40 thousand expect more. Although if you think about versions with more powerful engines, you should consider their cost, commensurate with some versions of the X3.
For myself, I would look for a crossover with large dimensions. But if I had to choose a car in this class, then I would not refuse the BMW X1. In General, I like it.