THE upgraded BMW X1 crossover has hit Australian showrooms, armed with new TwinPower turbo petrol and diesel engines, freshened exterior styling and a more upmarket interior.
Arriving less than two years after the launch of the original model, the mid-life update also includes the addition of a new eight-speed automatic transmission and a plethora of fuel-saving technologies.
As before, the range is divided into two ‘sDrive’ rear-drive and two ‘xDrive’ all-wheel-drive variants, but the price of entry has increased by $600 to $44,500 (plus on-road costs) to account for the fact that base models will now be diesel – rather than petrol – powered.
The rear-drive sDrive18d replaces the previous entry-level 110kW/200Nm petrol 18i, and is powered by the all-aluminium 2.0-litre 105kW/320Nm turbo-diesel engine also used in the base 3 Series sedan.
As with all engines in the range, the 18d is matched to either a six-speed manual gearbox or an extra-cost eight-speed ZF automatic transmission – the same unit used in a host of BMW siblings.
This engine, which shares the same basic construction as the more powerful 20d variant further up the range, powers the 18d from zero to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds and uses a meagre 4.9 litres of diesel per 100km on the combined cycle with either transmission.
The second rear-drive variant is the $46,500 sDrive20i (replacing the previous 130kW/350Nm sDrive20d diesel), powered by a direct-injected 2.0-litre turbo petrol producing 135kW/270Nm.
The force-inducted engine – also used in the 3 Series and 5 Series range, among others – punts the X1 from 0-100km/h in a claimed 7.4 seconds and consumes 6.9L/100km of petrol on the combined cycle (or 6.7 for the automatic).
A higher-tuned version of this same engine is also available in the $57,800 xDrive28i all-wheel-drive variant, producing 180kW and 350Nm, enough to dash from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds.
Claimed combined fuel consumption is 7.8 litres per 100km (or 7.3 for the frugal automatic).
The 28i will also serve as a more powerful yet efficient successor to the original X1’s 160kW/277Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder 25i variant, which was discontinued earlier this year due to slow sales.
The only engine that isn’t completely new to the range is the updated 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit in the carry-over xDrive20d, which now produces 135kW/380Nm (up 5kW and 30Nm) while cutting fuel consumption by 0.3L/100km to 5.5L/100km (5.4 for the automatic).
At $54,500 plus on-road costs, the revised 20d is now $1200 more expensive than before.
All engines feature standard fuel-saving technology like regenerative braking, idle-stop (on both transmission types) and special ECO PRO economy mode.
All prices quoted are for the standard manual gearbox, with the optional eight-speed automatic adding $2693 to the cost of all variants bar the flagship xDrive28i, where it costs $3500 due to the luxury car tax.
Styling changes to all variants include subtly revised front and rear bumpers with extended paint surfaces, indicator lights in the rear-view mirrors, redesigned headlights and new fog light surrounds.
Inside the cabin are new, “higher quality” materials on the centre console and centre instrument panel, and new chrome trim elements throughout.
Standard features on all variants include cruise control with braking function, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and a multi-function display.
Both xDrive variants get larger 18-inch Star-spoke alloy wheels (sDrive variants get 17s), Chrome Line exterior package, interior mirror with dimming function and a leather sports steering wheel.
BMW Group Australia managing director Phil Horton said the revisions would keep the X1 strong against rivals like the recently-launched Audi Q3 and Mini Countryman in the luxury small SUV segment.
“The mid-life update of the BMW X1 reaffirms its position at the top of what has become a highly competitive environment in the compact SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) segment,” he said.
“Now equipped with the latest-generation of BMW engines and a significantly enhanced interior, yet remaining exceptional value, the X1 is again setting the pace.”
Sales of the X1 are down a substantial 35.7 per cent this year, likely stemming from the launch of its Q3 arch-rival in March this year, but it still leads the segment with 50 per cent market share.
The launch of the revised X1 coincides with the introduction of a special complementary servicing offer across all BMW vehicles sold from now until the end of October.
The BMW Service Inclusive Plus package covers basic servicing costs plus additional maintenance items like brake pads, discs, worn clutches and windscreen wiper blades for the first three years or 60,000 km of ownership.
The no-cost package is said to be worth up to $3171 over the full term.