Replica 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee replica for sale in eBay. But it's not in Georgia, it's in the good old UK
BMW X1 review (2009 onwards)
Image © BMW
What - BMW X1
Where - Leipzig, Germany
Date - September 2009
Price - £22,660-£29,055
Available - October 24 2009
Key rivals - VW Tiguan, Ford Kuga, Subaru Forester, Land Rover Freelander, BMW X3
BMW's all-new baby 4x4 opens up the X range of 'sports activity vehicles' to a whole new audience, the diesel-only range offering both rear- and four-wheel drive versions
We like - Shrunken X5 looks, solid and chunky feel, steering feel, ride, performance, makes the X3 even less appealing, low CO2 and decent economy
We don't like - Pricey, gruff engine, aggressive looks won't appease SUV haters, 3 Series Touring does the same but is more fun to drive
GALLERY: BMW X1
See more BMW reviews
Does the world need another 4x4? With its X range of 'sports activity vehicles' accounting for a fifth of its overall sales BMW says yes, hence the appearance of this all-new X1 to offer a new, more affordable entry into the world of all-wheel drive Beemers and more dynamic alternative to the 3 Series Touring.
Of course, this is BMW's definition of affordable, meaning the X1 starts at nearly £23K for the rear-driven sDrive18d. Both this and the sDrive20d use variants of the same engine and can be had in four-wheel drive xDrive form for another £1,300 or so. The flagship twin-turbo 23d is available in xDrive spec only and costs £29,055.
Given that even the cheapest X3 is unlikely to leave the showroom costing much less than £30K there is, it seems, room on the pricelist for a cheaper X model. And the X1 is far better looking, with much more resolved styling and a clear junior X5 vibe likely to score highly with the target audience.
And though intended as the baby of the X range the X1 isn't what you'd call small, coming in longer and lower than rivals like the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga. 115mm shorter overall and with 35mm less in the wheelbase it's appreciably more compact than the X3 though. Like for like it's also a significant 165kg lighter at 1,650kg.
Other markets will get a 3.0-litre petrol xDrive28i but the UK line up will be diesel-only. Given that even the entry-level sDrive18d comfortably outpaces the sporty looking Ford Kuga and the xDrive20d driven here manages an 8.4-second 0-62mph sprint and class leading emissions and fuel consumption it's not hard to see why.
This single-turbo 2.0-litre diesel is familiar from the 1 and 3 Series line-ups, the 177hp and 258lb ft comfortably out-gunning the equivalent VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI and Kuga before you even take the 204hp twin-turbo xDrive23d into consideration. Six-speed manuals are standard on the 18d and 20d, a six-speed auto optional on the 20d and standard on the 23d.
Ride and handling
The junior X5 feel extends to the way the X1 drives too, with a chunky weighting to the controls entirely in keeping with the rugged looks. You sit relatively close to the floor, adding to the sporty feel, although the overall seating position is 80mm higher than in the 3 Series with which the X1 shares its basic architecture.
The X1 will really shine on rain-slicked, greasy winter roads. So, though pleasant, the balmy autumnal sunshine of the launch wasn't going to challenge it. Still, when the need arises the X1 can vary drive torque from a default of a 30-70% rearward bias. There's also an optional version of the X6's Performance Control, dividing torque across the rear axle to cancel understeer.
Given that rear-driven BMWs are, to put it bluntly, rubbish in snowy conditions, muddy fields and suchlike this will be a reassurance if you live out in the sticks. And if you don't, well, for the first time in an X model you can opt for rear-drive only and bag the savings in emissions, fuel consumption and asking price.
In xDrive form the all-wheel drive system reduces drive torque to the front wheels for improved steering feel and in marked contrast to front-biased rivals like the Tiguan. Compared with a 1 or 3 Series the X1 trades playfulness for authority and security, the chassis firm and composed but the extra suspension travel meaning much improved ride comfort.
Typically BMW, put simply. Which is to say conservative in design and sturdy in construction, the look, feel and, indeed, controls, stalks and switches familiar to anyone who's spent time in anything in the firm's current product line up. Headroom is extremely generous too, adding to a much more spacious feel than a 3 Series.
The front seat squabs are a little short for those of a bigger build though and while BMW claims the rear bench is comfortable for three the person sitting in the middle may beg to differ. Still, this can be folded individually for long items of luggage, a vertical 'load' setting for the rear bench boosting boot space from 420 to 480 litres.
Economy and safety
The added wet weather traction afforded by the four-wheel drive versions is obviously a safety boost in poor conditions but all X1s get six airbags and rear parking sensors to account for everything from major shunts to supermarket car park dings. The general sense of toughness and strength is, of course, reassuring too.
For a burly looking SUV the X1 is commendably light-footed when it comes to the officially recorded measures of CO2 and mpg, the xDrive20d respectively boasting figures of 153g/km and 48.7mpg, improving to 139g/km and 53.3mpg for the two-wheel drive sDrive version. The automatic carries a CO2 burden of 164g/km though.
The MSN Cars verdict
The X3 has never seemed quite comfortable in its own skin but there's no such criticism of the X1, which is every inch the junior X model in looks, driving style and performance. It further crowds an already packed product range but, in its own right, the X1's blend of ruggedness, performance and sportiness are a class act.
|Need to know|
|Engines - petrol||N/A|
|Engines - diesel||2.0 single turbo (two versions) and twin turbo|
|Torque (lb ft)||174-295|
|0-62 mph (secs)||10.1-7.3|
|Top speed (mph)||121-127 (limited)|
|Rating||BMW X1 xDrive20d SE|
|Ride and handling||****|
|MSN Cars verdict||****|
related stories on msn
Latest Cars videos
On the road with the landmark Lambos for special golden anniversary drive.
Date 13/05/13, Duration 4:26, Views 8963