Home / Reviews / Premium notch – BMW X1 sDrive20d


If you went through the contents page of this magazine, you would notice how the sport utility vehicles (SUV) dominate the review section. This clearly reflects the fast-growing fascination for these big wheels in India. BMW have been quick to recognise the market potential and have now targeted the heart of the segment by launching their smallest SUV, the X1. BMW already have the X6, X5 and X3 in the country, which have been received well. The Bavarian auto giant has introduced the X1 in three versions –  the sDrive18i, which has a two-litre petrol, 152 PS, 200 Nm mill; the sDrive20d in two variants, a stripped down base and the Exclusive with all the bells and whistles. We got our hands on the latter and bring you this exclusive road test.
Assembled and rolled out of BMW’s plant the X1 is a CKD (completely knocked down) and it will be available only in the sDrive, that is, the two-wheel drive or rear wheel drive option. We hope the company also launches the xDrive for those looking for 4×4 capability. You can now have an SUV with premium BMW characteristics from just Rs 22 lakh onwards (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The price is at par with other soft-roaders and off-roaders such as the Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Captiva, Hyundai Santa Fé, Toyta Fortuner and Ford Endeavour et al. Yikes! The intention is clear; thrill the buyers with the German marque and kill competition with a killer price. So far as homeland rivals are concerned, BMW won’t have any competition until Audi decide to bring in the compact Q3 or, maybe, until the advent of the Range Rover Evoque.
Visually, the X1 stays true to the Concept X1 unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2008. It has bits and pieces from its siblings like the 5Series GT and 1-Series with whom it shares its platform. The baby SUV is the last BMW to carry the Chris Bangle design and has a typical kidney grille, contoured bonnet, deep wheel arches and GT inspired tail-lights. There is no split boot lid, something one would want in an SUV. Overall, it looks long rather than tall, unlike most others in this segment. You get 17-inch run-flat shrouds with star-spoke style alloys on the Executive variant, but no spare wheel. The variant also has a panorama glass sunroof to brighten your journey. The external RVM seem large and too close for liking. The matte aluminium skirts on the front bumper and similar aluminium roof rails add a sporty touch. Which is why it does not have an aggressive posture nor does it look intimidating. Having said that, the X1 is taller and bigger than the sedans and though the design looks familiar, it’s the unusual size that attracts attention. So long as the limelight is on you, there won’t be any cause for complaint.


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