BMW X1: A Review
An SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) is a “generic marketing description for a vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light-truck chassis.” These are considered to be light trucks, and have towing capability as well as large passenger seating capacity. BMW has introduced yet another vehicle in its small SUV line, the BMW X1. This smaller utility vehicle is a compact one with high roof and nice internal space.
In Europe, X1 will be available for sale in October. US consumers will have to wait till 2011, though. This is because the company wants to give the second-generation X3 an earlier show up than the X1. As far as European sale is concerned, the company will be offering a choice of 3 gasoline and 3 diesel engines. The petrol engines will be a pair of 2.0-liter fours, with 143 hp in the xDrive18i and 170 hp in the xDrive20i. For US sales, another option of a 258-hp 3.0-liter-six in the top xDrive30i is expected to be offered.
In the diesel area, the options include trio of 2.0-liter common-rail fours, generating 143 hp in the xDrive18d, 177 hp in the xDrive20d and, in its eventual twin-turbocharged variety, 204 hp in the xDrive23d. `Through the BMW’s xDrive system, a permanent four wheel drive has been set. Regarding the ratio of power to front and rear wheels, it is ostensibly 30:70 that can vary form 100:0 to 0:100. It all depends upon the existing grip.
Diesel engine of the X1 is an attention-grabber, indeed. Though the unit is small, the “combination of twin turbo charging and the latest in common-rail technology” is what that takes the smaller BMW SUV flying. 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm is something that shames few larger engines. It goes from 0-to-62-mph acceleration in 7.3 seconds. The figures are quite nice compared to Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi requiring 10.7 seconds and the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI needing 8.9 seconds.
Seats are raised a bit, that proves to be quite helpful for the driver to have a better view of the road. Although, a profoundly angled rear window and a high-mounted rear door creates difficulty in seeing while reversing. Perhaps this is why BMW has offered an optional back up camera.
This is marketed as a five-seater vehicle. The entry to the rear seats is small, whereas there is little shoulder space once seated. Rear seats are low with flat cushions that take your knees almost near your chin! Overall, this is a nice performer.