New BMW X1 driven

A decade ago BMW fans had a choice between a 3-series, 5-series, 7-series and a Z3 coupe. That all changed in 1999, when the X5 was unleashed on the world. Now every 5th BMW sold is an X car. That’s a lot of X3’s, X5’s and X6’s. We predict that percentage is going to grow even more now that we’ve driven the brand new BMW X1

The BMW X1 is a difficult car to pigeonhole. BMW are calling it the world’s first sports activity vehicle in the compact premium segment. It’s something BMW like doing – claiming the kudos for inventing new niches. The thing is sometimes they do have a point. There are no obvious competitors to the BMW X1, but cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota RAV and Nissan Qashqai probably come closest to the concept of an X1.BMW X1It is, in essence, a small, premium SUV with the fuel economy of a hatch and the driveability of a sedan. It has the functionality of a stationwagon (seeing that is largely built on the platform of a 3-series Touring) but without the dowdy stigma that South Africans seem to bestow on wagons.BMW X1We like it. A lot. Even though it’s kind of odd looking. Especially from the front, where it looks like the BMW kidneys have been squashed flat. Plus you have to choose your colour really carefully. Still, photographs don’t do it justice. Choosing the right set of alloys (the most expensive and best looking set will set you back R13800) and the car even starts to look desirable.BMW X1I’d want one not because of the way it looks, but because it’s versatile, a great drive which manages to combines a dynamic drive with a surprisingly comfortable ride, fuel efficient and well specced. The price, considering that it’s a premium brand, isn’t bad either.The cheapestX1, a rear-wheel drive only sDrive18i, with the same petrol 2 litre engine you’ll find in a 320i sedan, costs R335500. The rest of the range consists of three diesels, a rear-wheel drive SDrive 20d, a four-wheel drive xDrive 20d and the range-topper, a twin turbo xDrive 23d automatic only which costs R464000.BMW X1Our pick of the bunch is theX1 sDrive 20d– you don’t need four-wheel drive on our ice-free roads and even though ground clearance is relatively good at 194mm, you won’t go rock crawling in this. No Xdrive system means the car’s lighter and more fuel efficient. Diesels work best with auto boxes, which does add another R16000 to the initial price of R376000.The first customers take delivery of their X1’s on 22 April, although we’ll have to wait an extra month or two for the petrol X1 sDrive 18i to arrive. Such is the interest in the X1 locally that the cars on pre-order are already more than the total number of 3-series Tourings ever sold in South Africa.Pricing and specs:BMW X1 sDrive 18iR335500110kW/6400rpm; 200Nm/3600rpm; 0-100kph in 9.7 sec; 8.2 litre per 100kmBMW X1 sDrive 20dR376000130kW/4000rpm; 350Nm/1750rpm; 0-100kph in 8.1 sec; 5.6 litre per 100kmBMW X1 xDrive 20dR418500130kW/4000rpm; 350Nm/1750rpm; 0-100kph in 8.4 sec; 6.2 litre per 100kmBMW X1 xDrive 23dR464000150kW/4400rpm; 400Nm/2000rpm; 0-100kph in 7.3 sec; 6.6 litre per 100km


Welcome to my corner of the automotive world! I'm Mandy Lawson, better known as mandla85, and I'm absolutely obsessed with everything related to cars and motorsports. You bet I'm interested if it has four wheels (or sometimes two!) and an engine. For me, cars aren't just a means of transportation; they're a passion, a lifestyle, and an endless source of fascination. I love diving into the world of automotive engineering and design, exploring the latest trends, and uncovering the stories behind the machines. Email / Facebook