Doing the autobahn aboard this new generation of BMW X1 is not very revealing. We can, of course, check the stability at high speed and note that the noise of its entry-level diesel unit is a little too present in the passenger compartment at full load. But the very smooth asphalt that we find across the Rhine is not the easiest thing to tell you about the comfort of German. On paper, he enjoys a evolution of its predecessor’s platform, with revised suspensions. On our test models, there is the SelectDrive M option (700 €) with passive shock absorbers with two laws. Unfortunately, not the shadow of a degraded portion in sight, “French style”, nor even a simple speed bump to put them to the test! We feel quite sharply the rare manholes and bleeding encountered, but it will be necessary to take this X1 on our usual test roads to confirm that this SUV remains as frequentable as its predecessor.
In contrast, the hilly roads highlight the dynamism of the Bavarian, fitted here in 19 inches with very sporty Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. A tire that usually equips much more powerful cars, like the new DS 7 E-Tense of 360 hp. With high grip, body roll and controlled body movementss, without forgetting a reactive double-clutch auto box, this X1 is really not clumsy and will please dads and moms in a hurry. The big downside comes from the steering, which isolates far too much from what is happening under the wheels to feel completely confident. A defect shared by many recent BMWs (2 Series Active Tourer, restyled 3 Series, etc.).
Sufficient in 18d
For its part, if it growls too much when accelerating, the 150 hp 2-litre four-cylinder diesel provides the essentials. Namely a nice extension thanks to its 360 Nm of torque and a pleasant flexibility in town. And, although it lacks the micro-hybridization offered by its big brother 23d (211 hp), this 18d variant promises to be sober: the on-board computer promises less than 6 l/100 km in current use. Enough to go far without refueling all the time. Especially when opting for the increased tank option, which adds 9 l to the 45 l available as standard. As it only costs 55 €, it would be wrong to deprive yourself, even if it is petty that this X1 does not come with it. And it’s not the only equipment we would have expected from the start, since the bench seat sliding over 13 cm and folding in three parts 40/20/40 asks for 310 € and the €600 Drive Assist, a pack that incorporates the blind spot warning, one of the few truly relevant driving aids.
In terms of style, looking for a subtle balance between classicism and innovation – like the embossed taillights – this X1 hardly arouses surprise. But he imposes, he who gains in size. It now displays 4.50 m long (+ 5.3 cm), 1.85 m wide (+ 2.4 cm) and 1.64 m high (+ 4.4 cm). Without deviating from the size of a Peugeot 3008 (4.45 m), the German SUV seems larger than before. Including on board, thanks to the high ceilings, the increased wheelbase of 2.2 cm (2.69 m) announcing a light better in habitability. Bruno, our measurement specialist, will confirm this shortly. Indeed, my 1.71m is well treated in the rear seats, with plenty of room to stretch my legs when the bench seat is pushed back all the way. The trunk also benefits and now claims a volume of 540 dm³ minimum, or 35 dm³ better.
Obviously, the most striking development in the passenger compartment is the new dashboard with a redesigned interface. The X1 is identical to the layout already seen in the Active Tourer. With two screens joined as a display and, grouped on the armrest between the front seats, essential controls : a trigger serving as a gear lever, the choice of driving modes, a wheel for the volume, the hazard warning lights or even the activation of the parking brake. If a period of adaptation is necessary, the whole appears quite intuitive and you can adapt it to your sauce. Some functions can be accessed (almost) directly. What I did not deprive myself of to disconnect the lane keeping aid. In the absence of a real dedicated button, it then takes two quick gestures on the central screen to deactivate this function, which is reactivated with each restart. For the rest, this X1 is quite practical to use, with well-sized storage spaces, not to mention USB sockets available in front and behind.
At launch, only automatic transmission variants are offered. Besides this reasonable 18d diesel displayed from €42,200, the X1 range offers a wide range, including two plug-in hybrids and, for the first time, a 100% electric called iX1. All that remains, for X1 enthusiasts, is to choose the version best suited to their use.
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