Test Drive: BMW X1 xDrive18d Sport Line – The Sleepwalker image

The BMW X1 has been in production since 2009, offered as a 2010 model year, but the crossover has “suffered” a facelift last year. In order to find out what the “new” X1 has to offer, we have recently went for a spin in an xDrive18d Sport Line.

Engine and Transmission

The vehicle tested was powered by the smallest version of the i4, the 2.0 liter engine, which is producing a total output of 143 HP (105 kW), at 4,000 rpm, and 320 Nm of torque (236 lb-ft), available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The engine has remained in the same configuration ever since the model was launched a few years ago and it’s also offered on the two-wheel drive version, the sDrive18d, with the same “figures”. Power was being sent to the xDrive all-wheel drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission with a sequential model and with a sport mode too. The gearbox is simply brilliant, it responds almost immediately, and we found out why: it’s unique in this segment. Watch and learn, Audi!

The engine, just like in almost every BMW out there, is longitudinally mounted and pushed forward for better weight distribution. This is translated into improved maneuverability, considering the fact that the gearbox is centrally mounted and the battery can be found in the rear. All of these innovations, perfected over the years by the company’s engineers, will let you corner faster and safer than in any other similar crossover, no matter what logos you may find on its body.

Talking about the gearbox doesn’t stop here because it will automatically detect, faster than a blink of an eye, the situation you’re in, climbing a hill for example, and it will adjust and select the proper gear so you won’t have to push harder on the acceleration pedal or, even worse, switch into the “manual” mode. And if you can’t hold the vehicle steady while trying to shift between the brake pedal and the acceleration, don’t worry, BMW has you covered: HSA is the trick, or Hill Start Assist.

Parking the BMW X1 or trying to maneuver it in tight spaces seems like a child’s play because its “brain” automatically figures it out that you’re trying to park it and a few” settings” later you will find out that you have enough space to squeeze into that parking space thanks to another brilliant system which is automatically adjusting the steering angle. Again, most of these features are also found on other vehicles made by BMW.

Fuel Consumption

The BMW X1 xDrive18d is more fuel efficient on paper than in real life. For example the official figures stand at 6.1 L / 100 km in an urban environment, 5.1 L / 100 km extra urban and 5.4 L / 100 km combined. The figures we achieved were more like 8.4 L / 100 km urban, 6.2 L / 100 km extra urban and almost 7 L / 100 km combined. These were achieved in normal driving, with the climate control on. In a crowded city, if you’re in a hurry, you can quickly increase the fuel consumption to an average of approximately 10 L / 100 km and achieving the official figure of 6.1 L seems almost impossible. This cannot be said on the 5.1 L / 100 km extra urban because this can be achieved with at approximately 80 – 90 km/h on the highway. The lowest figure achieved by us was standing at 5.4 L. CO2 emissions stand at 143 g/km.

The Ride

Comfortable is the key word when talking about the BMW X1 because its premium feel will let you enjoy driving. Don’t imagine that this has the same suspension system found on the facelifted 7-Series but it won’t shake your lunch either. The suspension has a single setting so you can’t change that at the touch of a button, so make sure you properly test the vehicle before paying for it because this might not be what you’re expecting. The steering is more than precise and the xDrive is a “must” when ordering an X1, and not only, because it will make you feel comfortable in just about any situation. It’s not the case here to talk about under steer or over steer because this is a premium crossover and therefore it sits quite above the asphalt but you won’t have to push the brake pedal too hard no matter what the next corner looks like and also you won’t be annoyed by speed bumps and so on.

I would like to talk about the seats in this section because they are simply brilliant. You have enough settings to adjust both the driver’s and the passenger’s seats in order to enjoy the vehicle even if you weigh more than Oprah back in the “good” days or even if you’re thinner than Lady Gaga. The word I’m looking for is probably synonymous to “sleep”, because there is a good chance that you will enjoy these seats more than your favorite arm chair. So, yes, if you want to characterize the BMW X1 xDrive18d Sport Line in one word, than “sleepwalker” is the right term. It will take you from A to B no matter where A is and B will be without asking any questions and, if you run out of “juice”, you can always take a quick nap on that comfy seat.

Interior Design

The cabin of the BMW X1 we tested came with just about everything, starting with the Nevada Coral Red leather upholstery, going through the leather-wrapped M steering wheel and ending with the voice control and the HiFi loudspeaker system. I couldn’t get anything to annoy me except for the satellite navigation system which, sometimes, was showing me on a parallel road or simply in the middle of the field, even if the road is was riding on was built several decades ago. I guess an update can solve this problem.

All the buttons are where they should be and if you’re familiar with other BMW cars you will get that “déjà vu” feel once you will step into the “cockpit”. You even get a proper handbrake and not that new electronic crap but my guess is that this will most likely miss from the future generation of the crossover. The BMW X1 we tested had the EcoPro button on the lower central console which will take care of your “wallet”. The parking sensors can “come out” whenever they are needed, at the touch of a button, so you won’t feel uncomfortable when the street in front of you will become narrower and another vehicle will approach on the opposite side. Simply push the “P” button located near the “EcoPro” and squeeze vehicle in that tight space without sweating. The BMW X1 is offering enough space in the cabin even on the rear seat for someone tall, with the driver’s seat pushed almost all the way back, so taking a long trip in it with your basketball buddies won’t annoy anyone.

From what I understood, the X1 in question was “app friendly” with iPhone users, but I am a Samsung fan and I felt left on the outside just a bit. Maybe I didn’t know what to search for in terms of BMW apps for Android but these are problems suited for youngsters so you will quickly move over them. Overall, the interior of the BMW X1 is living up to what the model should be, a premium crossover, so the materials used in the cabin are suitable, but they won’t steal your heart. Except probably for the front sport seats in the Nevada Coral Red leather option.

Likes / Dislikes

A big “like” goes to those brilliant seats, but we can’t ignore some of the EfficientDynamics elements either, just like we can’t ignore that impressive eight-speed automatic transmission, which unfortunately comes as an option, but if you can afford it, go for it! The xDrive is a “must” again, just like the stop/start system, if you’re concerned with fuel consumption. The HiFi loudspeaker system is in another league compared to Bose and the M leather wrapped steering wheel will constantly remind you that your goal for when you get that promotion is to buy a real M car, as a vehicle to use on weekends.

The dislike list is smaller than expected and, just like in every other car tested, the rain sensing wipers are useless. In heavy rain they are wiping like just a few sprinkles are falling and when indeed there are only a few sprinkles, they will sometimes go mad and engage the “storm mode”. Of course, you can adjust their settings but until a proper sensor will hit the market, I suggest using the old fashion finger touching the lever when it will start raining. The big difference between the official fuel consumption figures and what we achieved is suitable for this category, just like the price for the model we tested, 48,519 EUR, VAT included. The cheapest X1 will set you back for 32,116 EUR, VAT included, but you won’t get any interesting “goodies” to go. If a small crossover is what you’re into and money is no problem for you, than the X1 is definitely the first choice, because even if the starting price is high, maintenance won’t be that expensive.

Safety: Roof strength – Good / Side impact – Good / Small overlap frontal offset – Marginal / Moderate overlap frontal offset – Good
The BMW X1 received a 5-star safety rating when it was tested by Euro NCAP, with 87 percent in Adult Occupant, 86 percent in Child Occupant, 64 percent in Pedestrian and 71 percent in Safety Assist.
Length – 4,457 mm (175.5 in)
Width – 1,789 mm (70.4 in)
Height – 1,535 mm (60.4 in)
Wheelbase – 2,760 mm (108.7 in)
Curb weight – 1,500 kg (3,307 lb)
NET 25,900 EUR – GROSS 32,116 EUR
BMW X1 xDrive18d (price including VAT) 32.116

Official Data

LINE Sport Line € 1.597 1.980
Technical Data
Capacity 1995 cm3
Output 105 kW (143 CP) la 1/min
Urban 6,1 l/100km
ExtraUrban 5,1 l/100km
Combined 5,4 l/100km
CO2 emission 143 g/km
Colour and interior trim (price including VAT)
A96 Mineral White metalic
LUTZ Leather ‘Nevada’ Coral Red/leather piping Grey-
€ 1.336 / 1.657
Standard equipment (price including VAT)
1CC Automatic Start/Stop function
1CD Brake Energy Regeneration
258 Tyres with emergency-run system
423 Floor mats in velour
428 Warning triangle
520 Fog lights
5DA Front passenger airbag deactivation
Optional equipment (price including VAT)
205 Automatic transmission € 1.765 / 2.188
2PA Locking wheel bolts € 0 0
3BE Mirror caps Black € 0 0
3MC BMW Individual roof rails high-gloss Shadow
€ 496 / 615
420 Sun protection glazing € 294 / 365
431 Interior rear-view mirror with automatic antidazzle
€ 143 / 177
609 Navigation system Professional € 2.008 / 2.490
614 BMW Internet access € 84 / 104
620 Voice control € 0 / 0
676 HiFi loudspeaker system € 454 / 563
6NR BMW Apps € 126 / 156
6NS Convenience telephony with extended
smartphone connectivity
€ 336 / 417
760 BMW Individual high-gloss Satin Chrome € 194 / 240
775 BMW Individual headliner anthracite € 177 / 219
2AG Light alloy wheels comb styling 323 withmixed
€ 840 / 1.042
481 Sport seats for driver and front passenger € 0 / 0
4AT Interior trim finishers black high-gloss € 0 / 0
710 M Leather steering wheel € 84 / 104
7NH BMW Basic Service Inclusive 5 years/100.000
€ 0 / 0
879 German/Owner`s Handbook/Service Booklet € 0 / 0
ZP2 Advantage Plus Package € 2.740 / 3.398
216 Servotronic € 0 / 0
249 Multifunction for steering wheel € 0 / 0
2VG Performance Control € 0 / 0
493 Storage compartment package € 0 / 0
494 Seat heating for driver and front passenger € 0 / 0
4AE Armrest front, retractable € 0 / 0
4U2 Driving experience switch incl. ECO PRO € 0 / 0
502 Headlight washer system € 0 / 0
508 Park Distance Control (PDC) front and rear € 0 / 0
521 Rain sensor € 0 / 0
522 Xenon light € 0 / 0
534 Automatic air conditioning € 0 / 0
563 Lights package € 0 / 0
Subtotal colour & interior trim and options € 13.228 / 16.403
List price € 39.128 / 48.519
Price of specified car € 39.128 / 48.519