The new BMW X1 has been revealed; it will be offered in both front and four-wheel drive forms, priced from £26,780 to £36,060
15 September 2015

The second-generation BMW X1 has made its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show.

The Audi Q3 rival is priced from £26,780 to £36,060, with the fastest engine - the xDrive20i - costing from £31,225, while the most frugal sDrive18d starts at £26,780.

The new model therefore has a slight price increase over the old X1, with the first-generation sDrive18d starting around £25,000 and rising to £35,000 for the top-of-the-line xDrive25d.

Set to go on sale in the UK this autumn, the SUV has been comprehensively re-engineered and gets BMW’s versatile UKL platform, as used on the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer.

The longitudinal engine layout of the first-generation X1 is replaced by a space-saving transverse layout, which helps to provide more interior space and improved safety credentials. Lower-end models also have front-wheel drive instead of the rear-wheel drive of the outgoing X1.

The new X1 takes on a more rugged appearance than that of the model it replaces. It has a bolder front end, angular headlights with LED daytime running lights, round foglights, a contoured bonnet, prominent front wheel arches, extra cladding on its sills and increased ground clearance.

The adoption of the UKL platform has allowed BMW’s design team to endow the X1 with an altered silhouette featuring a significantly shorter bonnet and longer roofline than the old X1. Retaining the five-door layout of old X1, it also receives larger rear door apertures for added ease of entry.

The revised X1 is 36mm shorter but 21mm wider and 53mm taller than its predecessor, at 4439mm long, 1821mm wide and 1598mm tall. A 90mm-longer wheelbase allows 37mm more knee room in the back, which increases by an additional 66mm with an optional tilting and sliding rear seat. Boot space has also increased by 85 litres to 505 litres, rising to 1550 litres with the rear seats folded. The back seats can be folded electrically from the rear of the boot at the touch of a button for the first time. As an option, the front passenger seat backrest can also be folded down.

While continuing to offer accommodation for up to five, the new BMW SUV has a slightly revised seating layout to take advantage of the packaging improvements brought by the switch to a transverse engine layout. The front seats are now 36mm higher than on the first-generation model, while the rear seats are set 64mm higher.

In entry-level sDrive18d guise, the X1 is 135kg lighter than its predecessor, at 1430kg. This is because of the use of more hot-formed high-strength steel and aluminium within the main body structure, the use of tailored blank steel for the front bulkhead and B-pillars and an aluminium bonnet.

Underpinning the new BMW is a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension shared with the 2 Series Gran Tourer. It is allied to an electro-mechanical speed-sensitive Servotronic steering system that is engineered to provide lighter weighting at lower speeds for added manoeuvrability around town and a firmer feel at higher speeds for increased stability on the motorway.

The new compact off-roader rolls on 17in alloy wheels as standard, with 18in and 19in rims available as an option.

In a first for the X1, the new model comes with adjustable dampers in combination with an optional Driver Experience Control function that enables the driver to choose between Sport and Comfort suspension settings, along with Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro driving modes.

The new X1 will be launched in the UK with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in two states of tune and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel in three outputs.

The petrol unit is from BMW’s new B48 engine family, delivering 189bhp and 206lb ft in the 20i for increases of 8bhp and 6lb ft over its predecessor. The xDrive25i is the fastest X1, with a 0-62mph time of 6.5sec and a 146mph top speed. It develops 228bhp and 258lb ft - 14bhp more than the outgoing xDrive28i.

The diesel engine is also a new development. Codenamed B47, it replaces the older N47 unit used by the previous X1. It delivers 148bhp and 243lb ft in the X1 sDrive18d, 187bhp and 295lb ft in the xDrive20d and a class-leading 228bhp and 332lb ft in the xDrive25d.

The entry-level X1 sDrive18d is the only model to receive a standard six-speed manual gearbox. All other new X1 models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which, in combination with the optional Driver Experience Control, includes a coasting function that disengages the clutch when you lift off the throttle at speeds between 31 and 99mph, as standard.

The X1 sDrive18d and sDrive20i come as standard with front-wheel drive, while the others - the xDrive20i, xDrive25i, xDrive20d and xDrive25d - all get four-wheel drive as standard.

BMW claims the four-wheel drive system used by the new X1 is considerably lighter and boasts a 30% reduction in torque losses over the older arrangement for added fuel savings and greater traction in off-road conditions. Among the long list of standard driving aids on all models is DSC (dynamic stability control), DTC (dynamic traction contol) and CBC (cornering brake control).

The most economical model in the launch line-up is the front-wheel-drive X1 sDrive18d. It returns a claimed 68.9mpg combined and emits 114g/km of CO2. The performance leader is the X1 xDrive25i, which boasts an official 0-62mph time of 6.5sec and 146mph top speed.

Further engines will be added to the line-up later on, including the new B38 three-cylinder petrol unit in a front-wheel-drive successor to today’s rear-wheel-drive X1 sDrive18i. Already offered in the 2 Series Active Tourer, the turbocharged 1.5-litre triple delivers 134bhp and 162lb ft of torque.

Also planned is a front-wheel-drive follow-up to the existing rear-wheel-drive X1 sDrive16d running BMW’s new B37 three-pot diesel. The 1.5-litre engine is likely to offered in its highest state of tune, with 114bhp and 200lb ft.

Alongside standard models, BMW is also working on a performance variant of the new X1 as a rival to the likes of the Audi Q3 RS and Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG.

Details remain scarce, but automotive industry component supplier sources close to BMW’s M division confirm the company is engineering a high-output variant of its parent company’s new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. In standard guise, it kicks out a maximum of 231bhp, as fitted to the 225i Active Tourer. However, detailed revisions to the induction system, together with other power-enhancing tweaks, are said to take peak output to “well over 300bhp”.

It is still unclear whether this new engine will be offered in the X1 or remain the preserve of the more sporting X2. But in combination with standard four-wheel drive, it promises to provide the hot SUV with heady levels of performance. Nothing is official, but a 0-62mph time of under 5.0sec and a limited 155mph top speed are well on the cards for the hottest of Munich’s new pairing.

Also under development, but not likely to form part of the initial launch line-up, is a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid version of the new X1. It is claimed to use a similar powertrain set-up to that of BMW’s original Active Tourer concept, revealed at the 2012 Paris motor show.

The concept used a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to drive the rear wheels, with a combined system output of 190bhp, combined fuel economy of more than 130mpg and an electric-only range of almost 19 miles.

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Our Verdict

The BMW X1 is a rival for the VW Tiguan, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque

The BMW X1 is fine to drive, but buyers looking for premium feel may be better served by rivals' offerings

Join the debate



12 December 2014
The next Saxon X1 shares platform with the AngloSaxon Mini, saving costs. If it drives nicely it can provide a good alternative to the Tiguan and CX-5... perhaps.

31 July 2014
I don't understand stuff like this: "For markets such as China, Russia and the US, BMW plans to offer an extended cabin option for the new X1, with a longer rear overhang increasing the capacity of the boot to enable the packaging of a third row of seats and accommodation for up to seven occupants." At what stage do you just accept that customers wanting more space move up to the next model (e.g. X3 or whatever), rather than having 47 different versions of smaller models?

14 December 2014

31 July 2014
This story is about the X1 going front-wheel-drive in 2015, not the whole 1-series range. I'm sure that the smallest BMW will go front drive eventually, but not next year. The only surprise for me is that the company has held out so long on its rear wheel drive only philosophy despite the overwhelming packaging and cost advantages of front wheel drive for smaller moderately powered models.

31 July 2014
Seem there's a niche to fill every day now,are car makers creating them?,how many different types of transport do we really need?.

Peter Cavellini.

5 June 2015
Peter Cavellini wrote:
Seem there's a niche to fill every day now,are car makers creating them?,how many different types of transport do we really need?.
I really dont follow stupid comments like these. If it is a 'niche car' and not one that interests you, why are you bother the manufacturer has niche models? Its like some people just want to be offended by something they dont like. Well hey, maybe some people actually like a 'niche' car and not the standard mondeo rep mobile.

31 July 2014
we all know where this is leading, the next 1 series will be based on the latest Mini and be front wheel drive, everyone will say how marvellous it is, and what a ground breaking innovation it is, to offer a transverse engine and FWD, 40 odd years after about everyone else.. Well done BMW... ;) When in fact it will be just an overpriced, poorly driving hatchback, with dodgy styling..

31 July 2014
If it can't drive itself it's already obsolete! What's with wing mirrors, headlights what is the point of an elevated seating position where are the lasers and multi wavelength cameras and where is the 50 inch TV for entertainment I think a wrap around central bench (sofa) would be more sociable for passengers.

31 July 2014
Another ugly duckling from BMW... They have not made a nice looking car in over ten years now.

31 July 2014
called Umfelt. It is sometimes referred to when a car brand's nice-looking models rub off onto the newest, which boosts its appeal and sales. BMW's such as the X1 and the 2 series Active Tourer do exactly the opposite. It's also the permanent avalanche of new BMW models, meant to fill in every imaginable niche that really starts to irritate.


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