2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
With the X1, BMW wants to stir up the compact SUV segment. In addition to efficient engines, the Munich-based company focuses on one thing above all else: sportiness.
By Frank Mertens
With the Tiguan, the VW Group has shaken up the compact SUV market. In the first eight months of this year alone, over 31,700 units of the Tiguan were sold in Germany. This makes the Wolfsburg off-road vehicle by far the market leader in the segment.
Production in Leipzig
It is true that those responsible at BMW have not been able to elicit anything about the sales expectations of their latest model in the X series these days. But with the X1 they want to compete with the Tiguan. "Of course we see the Tiguan as our competitor in particular," says product manager Stephan Horn. It is therefore clear that the Munich-based company is expecting a lot from the X1, which is being built in the Leipzig plant.
It remains to be seen whether the X1 will be able to match the sales figures of its major Wolfsburg competitor. After all, BMW is paying for its premium claims accordingly. While the BMW X1 sDrive is in the price list as a diesel with 143 hp at 29,550 euros, the Tiguan as an entry-level diesel with 140 hp costs 28,140 hp. The Munich-based company also offers the X1 with rear-wheel drive (sDirve) and all-wheel drive (xDrive). Anyone who opts for the power of all four wheels must reckon with an additional consumption of a good 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers. Incidentally, BMW expects a 50:50 split between rear-wheel and all-wheel drive
But whether you opt for the sDrive or the XDrive - in both cases you get a very sporty car. Anyone who takes a seat in the new X1 has more the feeling of sitting in a raised station wagon than in a bulky SUV. No wonder, because the X1 is based on the platform of the 3 Series Touring and has the same wheelbase (2.76 meters). The passengers do not need to complain about insufficient space, especially at the front. You sit relaxed and can calmly look forward to longer journeys.
Limited knee room
In the rear it is then no longer quite as lush. Two tall people can sit here without any agony, but with a height of 1.91 meters, if the driver is of a similar height, you have just enough knee space that you don't bump into the front seat. But you can look forward to sufficient headroom. Although BMW speaks of a five-seater with the X1, if you are honest, it is more of a four-seater. Because even three normal-weight fellow passengers cannot really be expected to take longer trips in the rear. So be it, you can do that for short distances.
Project manager Peter Krist says that practicality was a priority for the X1. The three-part rear seat (40/20/40) can be adjusted by up to 30 degrees in several stages. This increases the luggage compartment volume from the standard 420 liters to 480 liters. It works, you can imagine, at the expense of the rear passengers, of course. When the backrest is folded down, there is space for 1350 liters of luggage. That's okay, but less than the VW Tiguan can boast. That brings it to 470 to 1510 liters. The interior in the X1 gives no cause for complaint. You take a seat and feel good. It has to be like that.
Of course, you can also go off-road with the X1. It not only has all-wheel drive and a ground clearance of 19.4 centimeters, but also provides an off-road feeling thanks to its plastic paneling. But its real element should be the road. The X1 cuts an excellent figure here. The 20d we tested with 177 hp and all-wheel drive is a small powerhouse. It provides its maximum torque of 350 Newton meters between 1750 and 3000 tours.
It's actually a shame that it is available over such a long speed range. Because shifting with the manual and extremely crisp tuned six-speed gearbox is really fun. The X1 accelerates to 100 km / h in 8.4 seconds and reaches its top speed of 205 km / h - if it has to. The almost 1.55 high X1 can be chased through corners in an amazingly sporty way - it doesn't let that irritate you. Rolling movements are nil. That gives a good feeling in brisk driving, which the X1 challenges you to do.
A look at the on-board computer also gives you a good feeling. While BMW promises a combined fuel consumption of 5.8 liters for the 20d xDrive, in real life outside of the standardized test procedure it was 6.2 liters - a brilliant figure. In addition to the efficient engines, the EfficientDynamics measures such as braking energy recovery, the start-stop function and the shift point display also contribute to this.
Incidentally, the petrol engine is only available with one engine at the market launch. The X1 xDrive 28i has an in-line six-cylinder with 258 hp and costs at least 41,500 euros. A small petrol engine will follow in the spring. Until then we will see how the X1 will hold its own against the Tiguan. From 2011 the cards will be reshuffled again. From 2011 Audi will be sending the Q3 into the race for market share.
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