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BMW bookends X1 range

Less is more: The rear-drive X1 sDrive20d is 0.3 seconds quicker to 100km/h and 0.5L/100km more frugal than the AWD xDrive20d.

Extra models broaden BMW’s compact X1 luxury SUV range

25 Oct 2010

BMW has broadened its X1 model line-up in Australia by releasing both an entry-level four-cylinder two-wheel-drive variant priced under $50,000 and a larger six-cylinder all-wheel-drive version to top the petrol range of compact SUV models.

Also joining the X1 range is a two-wheel-drive (sDrive) version of the mid-range 2.0-litre X1 20d turbo-diesel, bringing to eight the number of models in the all-new E85 five-door wagon range that became available in Australia in April in all-wheel-drive (xDrive) only.

Available now, the rear-drive sDrive18i is the new X1 range-opener, priced at $43,500 as a manual or $45,700 with an automatic transmission – both with six speeds.

14 center imageIts 2.0-litre petrol engine delivers 110kW of power and 200Nm of torque, accelerating it to 100km/h in a claimed 9.7 seconds while returning average fuel consumption of 8.2L/100km (8.4L/100km for the auto).

Now topping the petrol range at $56,800 is the new xDrive25i, which only comes with a six-speed auto. Its 3.0-litre inline petrol six delivers 160kW and 280Nm, claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in 7.9s, a 205km/h top speed and 9.3L/100km fuel consumption.

The xDrive25i is the heaviest in the range at 1600kg and, like all X1s, comes with a maximum (braked) towing capacity and maximum towbar download weight of 1400kg and 140kg respectively, which BMW points out is “on the same level as the Subaru Forester”.

Positioned between the two new petrol models is the rear-drive X1 sDrive20d, powered by a 130kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and is claimed to accelerate to 100km/h in 8.1s while returning just 5.3L/100km, making it 0.3s quicker to 100km/h and 0.5L/100km more frugal than its AWD sibling.

BMW Group Australia managing director Stavros Yallouridis said the addition of models that drive just two wheels instead of four – a lower-cost configuration in which most Japanese compact SUVs are now available, albeit driving the front rather than rear wheels – will make the X1 even more popular. More than 1300 have been sold this year.

“Many SAV (SUV) customers enjoy the ride height, load space and all-round practicality of a lifestyle vehicle without necessarily wanting all-terrain capabilities,” he said.

“For these customers, the new sDrive X1 models offer better fuel economy, even better on-road agility and exceptional value for money.” In addition to compatibility with EU5 emissions regulations – as is the case with all X1 engines – the new models also come with brake energy regeneration and, at least with manual versions of the xDrive20d and sDrive20d, a fuel-saving idle-stop system and ‘Optimum Shift Indicator’.

Like all X1s, the new variants offer between 360 and 1350 litres of cargo space, the same 2760mm wheelbase as the E91 Touring wagon on which it is based, ground clearance of 145mm and length, width and height measurements of 4454mm, 1798mm and 1545mm respectively.

An extensive option list includes satellite-navigation, the ‘Performance Control’ rear lateral torque differential, adaptive Xenon headlights, a Panorama glass sunroof, rear-view camera, rear DVD system and seat heating.

Built alongside the 1 Series in BMW’s Leipzig factory in Germany, the X1 was the fourth BMW SUV to be released in Australia after the X5 (2000), X3 (2004) and X6 (2008), and will be joined by an all-new second-generation X3 in Australia early next year.

While BMW expects up to 80 per cent of X1 sales to come from buyers of top-shelf versions of Japanese compact SUVs like Subaru’s top-selling Forester and the Toyota RAV4, its most direct rivals – the new Range Rover Evoque and Audi’s still-secret Q3 – are yet to appear here.

2010 BMW X1 pricing:
sDrive18i $43,500
sDrive18i (a) $45,700
sDrive20d $49,300
sDrive20d (a) $51,500
xDrive20d $52,700
xDrive20d (a) $54,900
xDrive25i (a) $56,800
xDrive23d (a) $59,280

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