BMW X1 is 17% more fuel-efficient than old version

2015-06-16 17:12:15

The smallest member of the burgeoning BMW crossover family, the X1, has been unveiled. As the photographs demonstrate, the new model looks a lot more cohesive than the outgoing model – but the biggest changes take place under the svelte new look.

Whereas the old model shared the rear-wheel drive set-up that adorned the 3-series, the new X1 is now underpinned by the ‘UKL’ front-wheel drive modular architecture. This means BMW has been able to swivel the engine into a transverse position whilst shifting it forwards. The ‘UKL1’ architecture supports the three and five door MINI’s whilst the X1 benefits from the larger ‘UKL2’ which also supports the 2-series Active Tourer.

This brings obvious benefits in terms of space. Luggage capacity has increased by a sizeable 85-litres with the rear seats in place, taking volume to 505-litres. A rise in the overall height by 53mm also means that occupants now have more headroom whilst sitting in the three individual rear seats (although a sliding bench is available as an option). The width, meanwhile, has been increased by 21mm

For those who want their SUV to have all-wheel drive capability, fear not, since the BMW X1 can be ordered with the company’s xDrive four-wheel drive system. The electro-hydraulic clutch is able to transfer torque to the axle which has the most grip and, in extreme circumstances, will even be able to transfer 100% of torque to either of the two axles.

Engines on UK-specification cars are diesel-heavy, ranging from the popular 148bhp unit used in the sDrive18d delivering 65.0mpg, to the more muscular 228bhp xDrive25d which is capable of achieving the 0-62mph sprint in 6.6 seconds – putting it on a par with a Volkswagen Golf GTi. BMW say that on average, the engines are 17% more fuel-efficient compared to those used in the previous generation.

Only the most basic sDrive18d gets a six-speed manual gearbox as standard – all the rest use an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The first-generation X1 sold 730,000 since it was launched in 2009 – despite the compromised less-than-beautiful looks, underwhelming drive and relatively cramped interior. With the changes the company have made, bosses at BMW’s Munich HQ will certainly be hoping and expecting that the new-generation model will build further on this figure.

This article was prepared by our car news team First4Auto

Reported By

Andrew Merritt-Morling

Chief Editor

Associate Member of the Guild of Motoring Writers