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BMW X1 xDrive20d 2016 review: top 5 reasons to buy

BMW’s X1 first went on sale in 2009 giving buyers a relatively affordable entry point into a prestige SUV. In late 2015 the second generation X1 arrived redesigned inside and out.

Prices range from $49,500 for the front-wheel drive sDrive18d and top out at $59,900 for all-wheel drive xDrive25i. This places the X1 at the foot of the BMW SUV range which steps up to the X3, then X4, followed by the X5 and X6.

We drove the mid-spec X1 xDrive20d recently and here are the top five reasons to buy it.

#1 Plenty of Room

The X1 is the smallest SUV in BMW’s line-up but it has a surprisingly roomy interior. This new-generation X1 is 53mm taller and 23mm wider than the previous model. The X1 also uses the same platform as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer which was designed with an emphasis on spaciousness.

There’s even more headroom in the X1 than the X3 and more boot space than many of its rivals. A cool feature of the boot is the storage space under the floor allowing you to tuck away items, leaving a clear cargo area above it.

#2 Higher driving position

The X1’s ride height allows better visibility in traffic. Some people also find the higher driving position adds a feeling of security. The increased ground clearance means you can take the X1 down dirt and gravel roads that you’d never think about venturing down in a sedan.

#3 Great engine

BMW’s new generation 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel moves the xDrive20d. There’s plenty of power with 140kW under your foot, but it’s the torque which is impressive – 400Nm. The eight-speed automatic transmission feels seamless in its shifts while an all-wheel drive system watches the wheels for any slippage and will distribute the drive to ensure optimum traction.

#4 Rugged good looks

The X1 shares the rugged good looks of its bigger SUV siblings. The new-generation’s exterior was styled by BMW’s Australian designer Calvin Luk. The changes are subtle and include shaper lines, sleeker headlights and a bolder grille.

The X1 looks every bit a prestige SUV and your neighbours may never know it’s one of the most affordable BMWs you can park in your driveway.

#5 Cool features

The xDrive20d is placed fairly high in the X1 line-up and so comes with a decent swag of standard features. There’s the auto parking system which will find a space and steer the X1 into it. There’s also warning systems which can tell you if you’re wandering out of your lane or if there’s a risk of a collision with a car or pedestrian. Other standard features include satnav, a reversing camera and gear shifting paddles.

Our test car came with the optional kick tailgate opening function, which opens the back of the SUV with a swish of your foot under the rear bumper – great if your hands are full.

The drawbacks

The X1 xDrive20d looks great; it’s practical and has an excellent engine with all-wheel drive – what else could you possible need? Comfortable seats, please. We found the front and rear standard seats to be a tad hard and flat – we know this is a budget Beemer but surely it can be mroe comfy?

At a glance

Price from: $56,500
Warranty: 3 years/Unlimited
Service Interval: 24 months/25,000km
Safety: 5 stars
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel, 140kW/400Nm
Transmission: 8-speed auto; AWD
Thirst: 4.9L/100km
Dimensions: 4439mm (L), 1821mm (W), 1598mm (H)
0-100km/h: 7.6 sec

You'll find anything X1 related at our X1 hub here.

Click here to see more 2016 BMW X1 pricing and spec info.

Related: Check out our buying guide for small SUVs here.

Plus: Find all our luxury SUVs here.

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