HOT on the heels of the latest 1 Series models, BMW has launched facelifted and updated versions of its' smallest SUV, the X1.
In fact buyers who prefer the high-rider to the hatchback can get in first with this latest range which is on sale now with first deliveries expected in mid-July, a couple of months ahead of the latest versions of the hatch.
Initially there's a choice of two petrol and two diesel power units - but for those who relish the thought of greener motoring and who are prepared to wait, there's the promise of a plug-in hybrid power train next year with the same fourth-generation PHEV technology as used in the BMW i8.
Not a lot has changed in terms of design but there's a new, larger BMW kidney grille which matches the face of the new 1 Series hatchback, new standard LED headlights and a fresh front bumper which now comes with integral LED foglamps and larger air intakes.
One novel feature, however is a puddle light mounted in the driver's-side mirror which projects a two-tone LED ‘X1' image when the car is unlocked and also lights up the door handle recess.
Only minor detail improvements have been made inside, including new upholstery, an updated navigation and infotainment system and contrast stitching on the instrument panel on higher grade models. Four trim levels are available - SE, Sport, xLine and M Sport - the latter coming with upgraded suspension and an aerodynamics package.
Amongst the many extra-cost options, a full-colour, high-resolution, head-up display is available for the first time which, according to BMW, is a first in its segment - conveniently forgetting, perhaps, that a head-up display is already available as standard on higher grade Kia and Hyundai compact SUVs. Perhaps BMW does not consider them to be in their ‘segment'!
The engine line up comprises 1.5 litre, 140hp, three cylinder and two-litre, 192hp, four cylinder petrol power units with either a six-speed manual gearbox or seven speed dual clutch auto plus a pair of two litre diesels with either 150 or 190hp which can be mated with either a six-speed manual transmission or eight-speed dual clutch auto. All wheel drive is only available on diesel variants.
Prices for the entry level SE versions start at £28,795 for the X1 sDrive18i rising to £34,595 for the X1 xDrive20d.