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2015-06-04 09:45

A PROPER BMW SAV? The new BMW X1 has broken cover. It's certainly better looking than the first generation. Due in SA in October 2015. Image: Newspress

MUNICH, Germany - BMW’s compact Sports Activity Vehicle, the X1, according to the automaker, has been a huge success since its launch in 2009. More than 730 000 have been sold globally of that first generation, with 6875 sold in South Africa.

Now an all-new X1 has been unveiled with dynamic BMW X styling (BMW speak), a sporting character blended with outstanding efficiency, and an array of innovative equipment features in comfort, safety and infotainment.


Expect a tech-fest with full-LED headlights, dynamic shock=-absorber control, a head-up display and 'Driving Assistant Plus' available on the X1 for the first time.

BMW says fuel-consumption and emissions have been reduced by as much as 17%, model-on-model.

The big news about the X1 will feature new engines and gearboxes and, in keeping with the whole less-fuel, less-carbon footprint nonsense, an ultra-efficient version of xDrive all-wheel drive.


The previous X1 also seemed a bit frumpy - with its long bonnet and short overhangs it was never the best-looking small SUV. This new model is 53mm higher (to see those potholes better?) which has helped to increase cabin space. Occupants in front (36mm) and back (64mm) now benefit from higher seats - perhaps the X1 can now venture into Kruger?

VIDEO: BMW's X1 goes off the beaten track

The now 505-litre boot is 85 litres larger than that of its predecessor. Load capacity can reach 1550 litres if the angle-adjustable seat option is specified. The (also optional) folding front-seat backrest and a rear seat bench which can slide 13cm fore and aft offer additional variability.


The interior design of the new BMW X1 includes a "driver-focused" cockpit. Standard equipment includes aircon, an audio system with USB and AUX sockets, and the iDrive operating system whose 16.5cm display is a free-standing monitor.

For those looking to stand out from the crowd, BMW offers interior packages labelled Advantage, Sport Line, xLine and M Sport, for those who want to add their touch to the interior. 


This the second-generation BMW X1 lines up with all-new engines. Two petrol and one diesel will be available from launch in South Africa (October 2015), each a four-cylinder and available in other models in the stable. Outputs range from 110 to 170kW and drive through either a six-speed manual or eight-speed Steptronic gearbox - each also redeveloped.

The xDrive all-wheel drive system also has a place in the new BMW X1 in a further-developed form. The weight-saving, compact and efficient system, BMW says, has an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch to distribute drive between axles, as required for the situation at hand.

The BMW X1 sDrive20i and BMW X1 sDrive18d have only front-wheel drive, the same as the 2 Series Grand Tourer.


The X1 now benefits, BMW says, from technical highlights showcased in other models - such as BMW ConnectedDrive. The X1 can be specced with a head-up info display projected on to the windscreen ahead of the driver.

Also available is 'Driving Assistant Plus' - active cruise control with stop/go function, lane-departure warning, traffic-jam assistant and collision/pedestrian warning and emergency braking.

Technophiles can add to the car’s comfort, navigation and infotainment functionality with an up-to-the-minute selection of apps, downloadable to their android or iOS smartphones.'

BMW seems to have given the X1 the full X-car treatment, but ultimately it will mainly be used in the city. (like most other SUV's). However xDrive models will offer those who seek an adventure on rougher roads some peace of mind.

The new BMW X1 will go on sale in South Africa from October 2015 with the following engines:

 •  BMW X1 sDrive18i
 •  BMW X1 sDrive 20i
 •  BMW X1 xDrive20d
 •  BMW X1 xDrive20i
 •  BMW X1 xDrive 25i

Prices will be announced nearer to the launch date.

COFFEE INTERIOR: The new BMW X1's cabin follows the automaker's familiar layout. Ride height and seating positions - front and rear - been increased. Image: BMW

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