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BMW X1 Motoring Review

BMW recently released images of its all-new mini crossover vehicle, the X1. The X1 was the pioneer of this highly contested segment when it was launched a number of years ago. It has since then sold around 730 000 units globally and here in South Africa it is loved by people looking for a vehicle which will complement their active lifestyle yet offer the driving feel of a medium-sized sedan. Unfortunately, the BMW X1 seemed to come across as a bit of a soccer mom’s car. Now though, BMW has redesigned it and from what we’ve seen… it looks pretty good.

The second generation, the X1 model, takes to the stage with a body design straight out of the BMW X model mould. It is definitely the offspring between the X3 and X5. It featuresrugged proportions, a powerful presence and dynamic lines. These design elements give the new BMW X1 a commanding appearance and highlight its status as the youngest member of the BMW X model family.

The new model has also grown in height by about 53mm compared to its predecessor, which has helpedincrease the spaciousness of the interior. Its significantly raised seating position (36mm at the front and 64mm at the rear to be exact) optimises the driver's view.

The interior has also been changed and now falls more in line with that of the other BMW X models. The interior combines the driver-focused cockpit design with touches promoting quality, SAV-style, driving pleasure and a contemporary premium ambience. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, an audio system with USB and AUX-in sockets, and the iDrive operating system, incorporating a 6.5-inch displayintegrating into the instrument panel in freestanding monitor form. Meanwhile, the Advantage, Sport Line, X Line and M Sport packages available as an alternative to standard specification, open the door for targeted individualisation.

When it comes to engines and drivetrains BMW once again decided to change a few things. One of the biggest changes is that the X1 will be available in a front-wheel-drive derivative as well. Don’t stress though if you want an AWD version because there will still be xDrive models available. As for engines, BMW will offer the new X1 with two petrol engines and three diesel engines from launch, which should be aroundOctober this year - all of which have four cylinders and are members of the BMW Group's new engine family. Outputs range from 110kW to 170kW. The engines link-up with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed Steptronic unit, both of which are new developments.

With the announcement of the face-lifted Audi Q3 yesterday, and now the new BMW X1, we’re sure to have a good battle on our hands in the months to come. Pricing will be available closer to the launch date and we will keep you updated.

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