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AN X CLOSER TO THE SPOT (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The improved second generation version of BMW's smallest SUV, the X1, seems a much stronger all-round proposition. Jonathan Crouch checks it out..
Ten Second Reviewword count: 50
The X1, BMW's most compact sports utility vehicle, has been quite a success in the UK. This improved MK2 model aims to build on that, being smarter and better equipped and now offering the option of plug-in petrol power. Will this revitalised X1 continue to hit this segment's sweet spot?
Backgroundword count: 124
The first generation version of the X1, BMW's smallest SUV - which the Munich maker insists on calling an 'SAV' (or 'Sports Activity Vehicle') - had a troubled birth. First launched in 2009, it was initially criticised for its looks and for not driving as a Beemer should. Yet its popularity endured among its buyers and in 2015, its fans were rewarded with a second generation version which proved to be taller, roomier and cheaper to run. That's sold well but since 2015, a range of tough competitors have arrived in to the marketplace for premium compact SUVs, including cars like the Volvo XC40, the Jaguar E-PACE and the Lexus UX. So BMW has improved the the second generation X1. Let's take a look.
Driving Experienceword count: 262
The MK2 model X1 uses BMW's efficient generation of four-cylinder engines. Plus the brand's intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which distributes the engine's power between the front and rear axles as the situation requires, has been upgraded. Most buyers though, will be happy with front-wheel-drive. There's also a wide track, short overhangs and the usual 50:50 weight distribution. The petrol range only comes with sDrive 2WD and starts with the 140hp 1.5-litre sDrive 18i model available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch auto. The petrol alternative is the 2.0-litre X1 sDrive20i, which delivers a total power output of 192hp and can only be specified with a seven-speed Sport dual-clutch automatic. There's also an xDrive 25e petrol/electric plug-in hybrid version. Here, a BMW TwinPower Turbo engine, which generates 125hp and peak torque of 220Nm, powers the front wheels, while an electric drive system with rated output of 95hp and torque of 165Nm channels its power to the rear wheels. The interplay of the two power sources produces an intelligent, part-electric version of BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive technology. Most X1 sales though, are made with the two 2.0-litre diesel variants. There's a 150hp 2WD sDrive18d diesel variant, offered with either sDrive 2WD or xDrive 4WD and available with an 8-speed Steptronic auto gearbox as an alternative to the usual slick 6-speed BMW manual stick shifter. Or you can have an xDrive-only 190bhp 4WD xDrive20d model, which comes only with eight-speed Sport automatic transmission that enables it to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 7.8s and go on to a top speed of 136mph.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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