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BMW gives X1 a light mid-life facelift

Plug-in hybrid BMW X1 looms for Australia as regular small SUV gets a nip and tuck

BMW logo31 May 2019

BMW has revealed the mid-life facelift of the second-generation X1 small SUV ahead of it entering Australia showrooms in the fourth quarter this year – and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) might join the carryover local range as soon as 2020.
 
While BMW Group Australia has confirmed that X1’s sDrive18i, sDrive18d, sDrive20i and xDrive25i engines will be retained locally, the likelihood of the xDrive25e PHEV joining the line-up sometime after it starts production in March 2020 is still high if its recent history with such models is anything to go by.
 
The xDrive25e pairs a 93kW/220Nm turbo-petrol engine that drives the front wheels with a 71kW/165Nm electric motor that spins the rear axle to create an all-wheel-drive system.
 
The German brand has revealed that the xDrive25e’s lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 9.7kWh, although it is yet to quote the pure-electric driving range it provides.
 
Visually, the X1 now sports a larger version of BMW’s signature kidney grille, with its two intakes now meeting in the middle, while their flanking LED headlights feature tweaked clusters, with LED foglights now located below.
 
Both the front and rear bumpers have been redesigned as part of the xLine and M Sport exterior and interior styling packages that are once again heading Down Under.
 
The driver’s side mirror now features a two-tone ‘X1’ LED puddle light, while the rear end has refreshed graphics for the LED tail-lights and exhaust tailpipes that are 20mm larger, at 90mm.
 
X1’s exterior colour palette has expanded to include Jucaro Beige, Misano Blue and Storm Bay metallic paintwork options, while there are also fresh sets of alloy wheels to choose from.
 
Inside, aside from its addition of contrast stitching, the upper dashboard remains black but can now be juxtaposed against its lower section that matches the chosen upholstery colour.
 
Australian examples will also feature coloured edging and stitching for their floor mats, while M piping now adorns M Sport variants’ black Dakota leather upholstery.
 
While X1’s infotainment has taken a step forward with new satellite navigation, it still only runs the marque’s iDrive6 system and not the BMW OS 7.0 software that is standard on its new-generation models.
 
Nonetheless, the touchscreen it powers can now be had in 8.8- and 10.25-inch flavours, with the latter now offered as part of the facelift.
 
Meanwhile, the 5.7-inch multi-function display utilises black-panel technology, while a windshield-projected head-up display is also available – claimed by BMW to be a unique-in-segment feature.
 
As reported, X1’s sDrive18i is motivated by a 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder unit, while the 110kW/330Nm sDrive18d diesel, 141kW/280Nm sDrive20i petrol and 170kW/350Nm xDrive25i petrol all use 2.0-litre four-cylinder units.
 
Only the latter is all-wheel drive, with the rest front-wheel drive. The former is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and the others an eight-speed torque-converter unit.
 
Sales of X1 have significantly decreased this year, with 781 examples sold to the end of April – a 29.1 per cent decline over the 1101 deliveries made during the same period in 2018.
 
Nonetheless, X1 is third best-selling model in the $40,000-plus small-SUV segment, trailing the Volvo XC40 (985 units) and Mercedes-Benz GLA (824) but ahead of the Audi Q2 (775) and BMW X2 (655), among others.

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