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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Used Car Review - BMW X1 (2010-2016)

Is this compact SUV worth the effort? Myk Belmonte decides to investigate it further.

2010-2016 BMW X1

If you think that BMW's X family is too small enough, we have some bad news for you. Since the X5 and X3 were successful, they had added the X6 but as a niche vehicle in 2008 and introduced their smallest member in the form of the X1 the following year. Ok, BMW added the X4 in 2014 slotting between the X3 and X5 and a seven seater SUV which rivals the Audi Q7 and Mercedes Benz GL/GLS Class is on the pipeline.

Started as the X1 concept previewed at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, production commenced the following year at BMW's Leipzig plant with local assembly in various countries later on. Based on the 3 Series touring platform, it slots below the X3 when it comes to size and price. Do take note that both vehicles share the same underpinnings of their passenger car counterpart.

Asian Carmakers Corporation, the official distributor of BMW vehicles in the Philippines, welcomed the fourth member of the X family in the form of the X1 in January 2010. Two models were first launched, the xDrive 20d diesel and the xDrive 28i gasoline which can only be purchased via indent basis. A mid-cycle update occurred in August 2013 which became the sDrive 18d which was only rear wheel drive, as opposed to the pre-facelift's all wheel drive system.

Value and Costs
Since this is BMW's entry level SUV, brand new prices do range from P2,400,000 to P3,900,000 throughout its selling life and that price range alone may also give you the 3 Series, whose platform is based on. If you want one second hand, first generation X1 models cost between P1,500,000 to P1,800,000. As an unspoken rule for premium brands like this, it pays to check out their certified pre-owned units since they are inspected and backed-up by an extended warranty.

Maintaining one is much higher than your Japanese PPV (duh) but the same with its contemporaries from Germany. Parts are compatible with the 3 Series, so there is nothing to worry with. If you aim for AWD, xDrive models have it which were sold from 2010 until mid-2013 and this could be done through a test drive which could potentially see if unusual noises upfront which may mean transfer case issues. sDrive models are rear wheel drive and sold later on which does not inherit the problems of the "X" models. Another thing to inspect for high milers is to start-up the vehicle and hear for any rattles which means to change the timing chain or the tensioners.

Exterior and Interior
You may mistaken this vehicle for a station wagon than a crossover SUV (which BMW wants to market), especially that its outside appearance is long and low which suggests for more concrete usage than something for the beaten path. Do take note the facelift models gain run flat tires, which sounds good at high speeds but when you run out of tire sealant, you'd be thankful for regular tires.

Don't expect X3 levels here, since the interior is a letdown especially it does not look luxurious if you are picky enough. The front seats suggest that they are for spirited driving but those who will seat at the back may not like it, despite adequate space for their heads and legs. All models get the iDrive system, automatic start/stop function, and cruise control.

We shall discuss the diesels since you will encounter them more often. Both xDrive and sDrive models are powered by BMW's N47D20 2.0 which puts out 177hp at 4,000rpm and 350Nm at 1,750rpm for 2010 to 2013 models and 143hp at 4,000rpm and 320Nm at 1,750rpm-2,500rpm for 2013 to 2016 units. Although these figures may be conservative, the diesels provide lively performance for city driving but go high speed driving wouldn't motivate you more. Updated models get an automatic start/stop function which aims to cut fuel consumption in low speeds, making things more fuel friendly. Another engine option is in the form of the N52B30 3.0 gasoline providing 258hp at 6,000rpm and 310Nm at 2,600rpm but since this one is a rare find, we wouldn't bother with this.

Driving Impressions
Don't let the size and positioning fool you, especially that the X1 is one fun to drive beast. You can live with this vehicle as a daily driver and the electronic power steering makes things easier. Going with the xDrive models gives you hydraulic assist but makes the steering and chassis heavier. Choosing the sDrive variants will reward you a lighter chassis since no all wheel drive system exist to fiddle plus it is more responsive to drive.

Life is a compromise, especially that you van get a crossover SUV which can be a city tourer but driving dynamics is missing or a sedan that is fun to drive but not practical to live with. Although the X1 combines these two aspects in one body but as an all around, there are better options that you can find.

The Good:
  • Drives like a BMW
  • Available diesel engine
  • Easy to live with
The Bad:
  • Not that practical
  • Not that BMWish
  • Interior quality isn't that good
The Pick: xDrive2.0d

Engines: 1,995cc N47D20 I4 diesel, 2,996cc N52B30 I6 gasoline
Power: 177hp @ 4,000rpm (2.0, 2010-2013), 143hp @ 4,000rpm (2.0, 2013-2016), 258hp @ 6,000rpm (3.0)
Torque: 350Nm @ 1,750rpm (2.0, 2010-2013), 320Nm @ 1,750-2,500rpm (2.0, 2013-2016), 310Nm @ 2,600rpm (3.0)
Fuel Consumption: 10-12km/L (city), 14-20km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic (2010-2013), 8-speed automatic (2013-2016)
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multilink

Price (New): P2,400,000-P3,900,000
Price (Now): P1,500,000-P1,800,000
On Sale: 2010-2016
Rivals: Audi Q3. Lexus NX, Mercedes Benz GLA Class

Autohaus BMW - (02) 638-0734

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