BMW X120d Sport

BMW X1 2015, front
BMW X1 2015, side
BMW X1 2015, rear
BMW X1 2015, interior
BMW X1 2015, boot

THE BMW SUV series begins with the X1 and since its launch in 2009 over 40,000 have been sold in Britain.

Last autumn the second series was announced and first orders are now trickling through.

The new X1 runs to five models from about £31,225 to £36,060 with a choice of three diesels - 1.8 150, 2.0 190 or 2.5 231bhp - and a 192bhp 2.0 petrol.

The best seller is expected to be the 190bhp 2.0 td which develops a good amount of torque at 400Nm.

There is a familiar but updated appearance to the X1 but in reality it's taller to improve rear seat room and luggage space as well, benefitting from three-section split and folding backrests for immense practicality.

The facia has been restyled and angled towards the driver while the iDrive Control Display has standard 6.5 inch or optional 8.8 inch monitor.

The engines are all new while the xDrive powertrain is further refined to improve front wheel or four-wheel grip.

Key to the improvements and responses is a new chassis platform and linkages intended to sharpen responses but soften the ride.

Engine power and delivery has been improved and the 2.0d gains 7bhp over the previous version, but it also uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions, so it's a win-win X1.

A new body design incorporates air deflectors and even underbody smooth panels to ease its passing, so reducing energy needed and drag.

There is no doubting the new model is an improvement, principally because it's smoother and quieter in character.

The latest 2.0d engine is a good starter and pulls with ease and efficiency, the automatic changes are seamless and mechanical noise levels are very low.

Brakes and steering give a lot of feel and feedback, work well and endow the X1 Sport with great agility and responses over any surface and type of road. A mixture of winding country lanes and more open sweeping roads showed off the X1 to be in its element.

The ride has improved but it's not as soft as I was expecting, the big wheels and tyres on the test car finding the tarmac breaks and ridges and sometimes banging over them.

Inside, the seats do a good job of smoothing out the ride imperfections and they give very good support with a wide adjustment range available and even those in the back would have plenty of knee and headroom.

The standard automatic fifth door opens from bumper level to reveal a wide, flat and deep compartment and the capacity rises from just over 500 litres to a maximum 1,550 litres as the rear seat gradually folds away.

Access for driver and passenger was good, visibility clear all round, wipers were effective and quiet in operation.

For any BMW driver, the major and minor controls relationship and operation are paramount and the X1 will not disappoint. From the moment you slip behind the wheel, everything seems in the right place. Everything works very well and the new wrap-around fascia and straightforward dials are clear.

Heating and ventilation was comprehensive and worked well, powered windows are standard on all but entry level models but a sunroof is not available.

Oddments room was modest however with only small compartments to stow items and most things would end up on the floor or back seat, which is surprising in what many consider a family car.


BMW X120d Sport

Price: £31,550

Mechanical: 190bhp, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 7.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 128g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles


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