– Article/Photos by Rod Fuller –
When does a small SUV, not feel like a small SUV? When it’s an X1. BMW’s ‘entry’ level SUV just feels bigger and better than its competitors, with style and looks that are certainly eye catching to give it more ‘street cred’ than a SUV normally deserves.
Having undergone a mid-life update, the 2020 X1 has a refreshed look both front and rear, with new tail lights, brilliant (pardon the pun) adaptive LED headlights, a larger grille and styling changes.
xDrive25i is the top shelf of the X1 range and the model I drove was fitted with the optional panoramic glass sunroof, M Sport package and 19” Bicolour alloy wheels (225/45R19 tyres). Interestingly, the tyres are not ‘Run Flat tyres’, nor is a spare wheel/tyre provided, just a tyre inflator kit. Which will be concerning, if the tyre is damaged in a way that an inflator kit can’t repair.
Powering the xDrive25i is a four cylinder 2.0lt TwinPower turbo (170kW/350Nm) petrol engine (with stop/start system), coupled to an eight speed steptronic transmission, and xDrive all-wheel drive system. The transmission has three modes, Sport, Comfort and Eco-Pro. In Sport mode, the pleasing exhaust note is a little raucous, adding theatre to your drive – sweet! Engine performance feels punchy, with good low down power delivery, making it a fun and rewarding drive; far better than you’d normally expect from small SUV. BMW lists fuel economy between 6.3-6.8lt/100km (combined cycle).
There’s just enough stiffness from the lowered M Sport suspension, to provide a very responsive ride with good feedback through the steering for when you are wanting to crack on with it, without compromising the ride quality balance or comfort.
Load capacity in X1 is 505lt’s with the rear seats up and 1,505lt’s with them down. The rear seat also splits 40:20:40 and is slide adjustable, creating greater versatility for carrying different loads. And there’s a ‘foot swipe’ operated power tailgate, for when your hands are too full to open it yourself.
Driver and passengers alike enjoy leather seats, power adjustable and heated in front, with rear seat passengers treated to generous amounts of head/leg/shoulder room. At night, ambient LED lighting in the door trims has six selectable colour settings. Also there’s plenty of hidey holes throughout the car to store your stuff, with decent sizes door bins and four cup-holders. Although, I’m not a fan of the phone holder replacing the centre console bin. Devices can be recharged from any seat with two USB’s in the front and two for rear seat passengers. One 12V is provided in the front as well as one in the boot.
A 10.25” touch enabled screen, steering wheel controls and a central control knob on the console give you choice in operating the infotainment system, which has an excellent audio system, head up display, Sat Nav, Bluetooth and wireless phone charging. Apple Car Play is provided, but isn’t easy to connect to, so I ended up just using Bluetooth instead.
Driver Assistance features include hill descent control and camera based systems are available for:-
- Lane Departure Warning
- Approach Control Warning
- High Beam Assist
- Cruise Control Assist with Stop and Go functionality
- Parallel Parking Assistant
BMW only offer a three year unlimited kilometre warranty and service inclusive packages are available for five years/80,000km (whichever occurs first) from $1650
As tested it’s a smidge over $72K driveaway, the X1 xDrive25i isn’t the cheapest small SUV on the market, nor does it pretend to be. But it does deliver on what it promises, a small SUV that looks good, goes good and will be a practical and versatile daily driver with style and strong road presence, which will put a smile on your face every-day. It is a small SUV par Xcellance.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|Variant||xDrive 25i M Sport|
|RRP (including GST)||$64,020|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$3,219|
This data is from the 2020 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.