Guest Review – By MotorMatters

In fact, this version is very close in size and more importantly, space than the last generation of bigger brother, the X3.

This may all sound rather confusing, but not in the modern world of shared platforms in the motoring world……..try getting your head around the fact that some BMW’s share a platform with the latest generation Mini.

bmw heading 

Then try getting your head around the fact that the 2 series Active Tourer is BMW’s first front-wheel drive car.  SACRILEGE is a word often used  BUT……hold it, because the X1 is still rear wheel drive and this particular version has BMW’s x-drive 4 wheel drive system so all is ok again in the world order of motoring .

Another aspect of platform sharing is that it enables manufacturers to produce far more derivatives and styles of vehicles, so we have the previously mentioned 2 series Active Tourer being the MPV and the X1 the SUV both offering very similar space but VERY different driving experiences.

bmw x1 pic2 

By now I am sure you are totally confused, so let’s concentrate on the very handsome and not exactly small, dark blue X1 that arrived for testing.  Equipped with the 2l turbo petrol engine used throughout many of the ranges, it puts out a very adequate 141kW and 280Nm.  If that’s not enough for you, the range topping 25i offers 170kW and 350Nm from the same engine with the turbo turned up a fair amount.

For my tastes, the 141kW version certainly proved more than adequate in all usage combining with BMW’s standard silky smooth 8 speed automatic box to provide ultra smooth motoring whether fighting Jozi traffic, commuting, cruising or pushing on through the twisties.

Another fact of life when testing many cars today is studying the specification lists and working out what is standard or what options are available for the particular car you’re testing.  Then study the cost of the options and decide which you need or which you simply want.  The price of your shiny new pride and joy can escalate quicker than the rand can fall during “Nene-gate”.  Many options are safety items that I believe are essential and I think will soon become standard …… these are the ones you need.  Look at items like upgraded headlights, lighting systems and braking options. 


The test car had enhanced lighting which I always appreciate plus a panoramic sunroof. Maybe not an essential but something I happen to really like.  Many modern cars have very dark interiors and the sunroof brightens up your environment.  Speaking of the interior, it takes only a few seconds inside the X1 to appreciate the sheer quality and fit of the entire vehicle and to realise that you are in a premium quality car.

Our test also included a country drive with 4 adults on board.  The X1 provided more than adequate space and comfort, confirming its suitability as a family vehicle for both daily use as well as holiday trips.  Another extra, especially useful in my book, is the self-closing rear hatch at the touch of a button.

Fuel consumption for a week’s motoring was 8.5l per 100km. Considering that this included a mix of all driving conditions, I believe that this is a very fair figure for real-life usage and a good consumption for such a smooth and comfortable vehicle.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed my week with the X1 finding it to be a more premium vehicle than I had expected.  Personally, I may sway  towards the diesel  version over the petrol which offers 1 extra kW and 120Nm of torque for an extra R19 000 on the purchase price ……… while consuming almost 25% less fuel.  Whichever you choose, this is a vehicle to transport your family in safety while offering lots of extra ability and safety if you choose to go onto dirt roads or similar.


X1 sDrive 181                                     R 454 400

X1 sDrive 18i Auto                            R 471 900

X1 sDrive 201i Auto                         R 514 500

X1 sDrive 20d                                     R 501 000

X1 sDrive 20d Auto                          R 519 900

X1 xDrive  20i Auto                          R 564 000  (R 684 500 as tested)

X1 xDrive 20d Auto                          R 583 000

X1 xDrive 25i Auto                           R 630 000

All vehicles include  a 5 year/ 100 000km Maintenance Plan 


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