Right from the word go we were excited about getting into the sDrive18d.
Instead of dropping, the predicted cruising range kept growing until it finally topped the 1000km mark. That was after about 40km of motorway in the fuel-saving Eco Pro mode (there's a switch). Could it be possible . . . don't tell us this stuff really works?
Man-made leather and climate airconditioning. Entry level sDrive variant comes standard with 17 inch alloys, cruise control with braking function (this means it doesn't increase speed going downhill), rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, USB/AUX audio inputs with Bluetooth handsfree facility and a trip computer. Misses out on music streaming abd a reversing camera.
Like its stablemate the 1 Series hatch, the BMW X1 sDrive18d is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine that delivers 105kW of power and 320Nm of torque and posts a respectable 9.6 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash. In manual form it delivers claimed fuel consumption of 4.9 litres/100km or with the automatic a slightly higher figure of 5.0 litres/100km.
sDrive variants such as this one denote two-wheel drive, in contrast to xDrive that is all-wheel drive. X1 models benefit from EfficientDynamics technology, coming standard with Brake Energy regeneration, Auto Stop-Start for both manual and the optional 8-speed automatic transmissions, ECO PRO mode and the Optimum Shift point indicator for the manual models.
Priced from $44,900, it's basically the SUV equivalent of the 1 Series hatch, with which it shares a platform and running gear. It's a higher riding, some would say better value proposition that will set you back an extra $1000.
We didn't like the design initially, but we've warmed to it since the mid-life update late last year that delivered sharper, better looking bus. The driver-focused cabin has also been enhanced with the addition of new, higher quality materials covering the centre console, new centre panel trim surrounds and new chrome trim elements.
Five stars. Fitted with six airbags and all the safety gear you'd expect including electronic stability control.
You get two cars in one here. Driven normally it's quite sporty, with strong throttle response and car-like handling. Put it into Eco Pro mode and the system winds back, set to stay in top gear as long as possible to reduce fuel consumption. The result is a sluggish feel and generally slower throttle response, but you can't argue with the fuel figures the choice is yours.
The diesel is definitely the pick in terms of fuel economy and simply for the way it drives.
BMW X1 sDrive18d
Price: from $44,900
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel,105kW/320Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 8-speed auto
Thirst: from 4.9L/100 km