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BMW goes three-pot in X1

Wee three: BMW’s 1.5-litre engine is now available in the X1 in Australia, creating a new entry variant at $45,900.

Three-cylinder BMW X1 finally arrives in Australia, cutting price by $4700


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14 Dec 2017

BMW has belatedly slotted its diminutive 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine into its smallest SUV, the X1, in Australia, resulting in a $4700 cut in the price of entry to BMW’s top-selling model.

The new front-wheel-drive variant, called sDrive18i, will hit showrooms in February at $45,900 plus on-road costs. The variant has been available in some overseas markets since the second-generation X1 was launched in 2015.

Until now, the cheapest X1 in Australia has been the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel front-wheel-drive sDrive18d at $50,600.

The good news for diesel buyers is that sDrive18d has also had a price trim for 2018, down $700 to $49,900.

The other two X1 variants, the front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre turbo petrol sDrive20i and all-wheel-drive 2.0-litre turbo petrol xDrive25i, retain the same pricing as before at $53,600 and $60,700 respectively. The 2.0-litre diesel all-wheel-drive xDrive20d has been dropped.

Already a feature in entry level variants of BMW’s 1 Series, 2 Series Active Tourer and 3 Series ranges, as well Mini Hatch Cooper, the 100kW/220Nm three-cylinder engine will be hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission instead of the heavier eight-speed torque converter transmission employed on other variants.

Although the sDrive18i will be the slowest X1 variant, reaching 100km/h from a standstill in 9.6 seconds – 0.4s slower than the sDrive18d – it will be the most efficient petrol variant, consuming just 5.4 litres per 100km on the combined test.

Standard equipment includes BMW’s latest iDrive6 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen that can be controlled by the rotary knob on the console or voice control.

The sDrive18i comes with the basic BMW xLine trim, inside and out, with items such as 18-inch alloy wheels. An M Sport package is an extra-cost option.

Standard features include front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera, parking assistant, cruise control with autonomous braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automated LED headlights with cornering lights, automatic tailgate opener, sat-nav with traffic information and speed limit alert, and instruments with a 5.7-inch display.

Buyers wanting more can order up three extra-cost packages– the $1500 convenience package, $2600 innovations package and $2700 comfort package.

Launched in 2015, the second-generation X1 features five seats with a folding rear seat that splits 40:20:40.

While the first generation was based on a rear-wheel-drive platform, the current range sits on BMW’s front-wheel-drive format shared with other smaller BMW models and Mini.

Despite an 8.0 per cent decline in X1 sales so far this year, the model has emerged as BMW’s best seller on 3476 sales, just ahead of the big X5 (3396, -14.4%) and X3 (3383, -5.5%).

The X1 is also the sales leader in its small luxury SUV segment, ahead of Mercedes-Benz’s GLA (3062) and Audi Q3 (2671).

BMW Group Australia CEO Michael Werner described the X1 as the mainstay of the BMW line-up.

“In 2017, it has proven to be our number one seller across all segments, which is a strong confirmation of the X1’s blend of value and capability,” he said.

2017 BMW X1 pricing*
sDrive18i (a)$45,900
sDrive18d (a)$49,900
sDrive20i (a)$53,600
xDrive25i (a)$60,700
*Excludes on-road costs

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