Home / Home / BMW X1 sDrive18d Review – For Sporty Activity


The new BMW X1 has arrived with unique styling and the same essential character. However, this one brings back the “18” specification. Here is what the entry X1 turbo-diesel is like.


Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

An 18d BMW today may be the entry model here, but one look at the new X1 and all prejudice evaporates. It looks stunning. There is no badging on the car’s rear or lower down front, save for an “X1” on the tailgate and “M” badges on the shoulders at the front and on the door sills. Why do I start with this? Well, I thought the “all-new X1” was a sensible update with a tweaked interior and new BMW Operating System version. Oh, how wrong was I!


The new X1’s design is modern and it does pack a fair wallop compared to what the badge meant a few years ago. The new BMW X1 intends to raise the level of presence and equipment in the compact luxury SUV segment; spend some time with it and one will immediately realise that it does indeed. The 4.5-metre-long X1 has grown 53 millimetres in length while the wheelbase has been increased by 22 mm. That’s good and all, but the entire vehicle has been completely transformed. The grille is slightly larger but not 7 Series large. The LED headlights get a new curved and rather vertical daytime light signature. There are a lot of angular elements front and rear with the smooth side profile somewhat punctuated by the square-ish wheel-arches. This M Sport version rides on 18-inch wheels with 225/50 rubber and has a ground clearance of more than 200 mm. The rear is also properly new with sharp and rather distinct LED tail-light elements. In terms of silhouette, it’s a fair bit different, but under the spotlight it’s all new indeed.

Even the door-handles are new. My fingers found nothing to hook on to as I glanced to see new lift-up handles. Smooth. The piano-black key with M colour accents is new, too, and proper keyless access and go is now here in the X1. Not once did I need to fish out the fob from my pocket. There’s also the BMW Digital Key that allows access using one’s linked smartphone.


Opening the door was followed by an audible gasp. The cabin is completely new and breathtakingly so. There is more than a hint of the very premium BMW iX in here with the floating centre console with plenty of storage room underneath, the crisp Curved Display with two screens, dark brown upholstery… and, among my favourite steering wheels, the one like the 3 Series with more than a hint of M5 from the chunky bits. The power-adjustable seats offer great support and, as I get inside and settle in, there’s more to soak up.


The large dual-pane panoramic sunroof, the new controls on the steering wheel, the start button on the edge of the centre console-cum-armrest, the little flick-switch of a by-wire gear-lever, and a new “My Modes” button, which brings on the same sort of display on the 10.7-inch centre touchscreen as the super-luxury i7 I spent time with recently. The modes include Personal, Efficient, Sport, Expressive, Relax, and Digital Art—six modes in an X1. As I said, it does not feel like an entry model one bit. However, this BMW X1 M Sport diesel does cost Rs 50.90 lakh (ex-showroom). Looking past the 10.25-inch driver info-display behind the wheel offers a slew of information, selectable from the controls on the right-hand side of the wheel.


On the other side of things, the climate controls are all touch accessed via the centre screen; not the best thing on the move as it takes focus away from the road. The front seat-belts don’t have adjustable top points, so I did feel a little uncomfortable in my relatively low driving position. There are also no ventilated seats; a feature I believe is much needed in India. Nevertheless, let’s get on.

More on page 2>


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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