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BMW’s X1 gets a subtle upgrade

Dirty weekender: BMW’s X1 range gains several exterior and interior enhancements ahead of the arrival of Mercedes-Benz’s GLA-Class later this month.

Equipment upgrades and price tweaks mark mixed bag for BMW X1 buyers

7 Apr 2014

BMW has pegged entry-level pricing of its updated X1 crossover at $46,300, but says buyers will benefit from an eight-speed automatic transmission that becomes standard across the four-variant line-up.

The move saves buyers up to $3500 over the models that the facelifted versions replace, although comparative prices rise slightly at the higher end of the range. This is because the old base pricing was for a cheaper six-speed manual gearbox, now discontinued.

The biggest update to the four-variant X1 range since September 2012 includes subtle changes to the exterior such as a new satin-look insert in the front air dam, different 17-inch alloys, and low-sheen aluminium roof rails.

Inside, the rear-drive X1s also gain a sports steering wheel, self-dimming rear-view mirror, and puddle lighting that shows up the area around the car, lights in the vanity mirrors, and stainless steel bash plates and a light in the cargo space of the boot.

The audio system is also upgraded to include Bluetooth audio streaming and better media player integration so it displays album covers on the X1’s media screen.

Despite ditching the six-speed manual gearbox, BMW has kept pricing for the rear-drive sDrive18d, powered by an all-aluminium 2.0-litre 105kW/320Nm turbo diesel engine shared with the base 3 Series sedan, at $46,300 before on-road costs.

Likewise, pricing for the entry-level rear-drive petrol-engined model, the sDrive20i featuring a direct-injected 2.0-litre turbo petrol under the bonnet and producing 135kW/270Nm, remains steady at $48,300.

The two all-wheel-drive variants, however, have both risen but gain extra features including steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a better smartphone docking system, headlights that adapt to conditions, and more city-friendly kit including a reversing camera, front parking sensors and self-dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors.

At $56,900, the $300 more expensive all-wheel-drive xDrive20d keeps its 135kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, while the $600 more expensive 180kW/350Nm xDrive28i, essentially featuring the same engine as the rear-drive sDrive20i but in a higher state of tune, is priced from $59,900 .

BMW has also taken the opportunity to trim some cost from the list of packages it offers on the X1.

The car-maker has cut $100 from the package’s cost to price it at $1400, and adds automatic high-beam dipping to the bundle that includes bi-Xenon headlights that can look around corners.

While a reversing camera and parking sensors ore standard on all-paw xDrive variants, rear-drive sDrive buyers can add them for $850, a $100 saving.

The car-maker said it had also made changes to Sport Line, xLine and M Sport packages that alter the styling of the X1.

According to BMW, the enhancements across the X1 range represents a minimum of $4400 in extra value for buyers.

BMW’s X1 has grown in popularity with buyers, selling 515 units for a 20 per cent gain over the first three months of last year.

However, it still lags Audi’s strong-selling Q3, which leads the segment with 777 sales for the same period, although down slightly over the same period last year.

In contrast with its diesel-engined rival, earlier this year Audi announced it would Audi kick off its SUV range with a newly introduced $42,300 Q3 1.4 TFSI powered by a 100kW/250Nm 1.4-litre direct injection turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine, giving it a price advantage over its BMW-based adversary.

BMW dropped its price leader, the $43,900 sDrive18i powered by a 110kW/200Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine, during a range-wide update to the X1 in September 2012.

The compact luxury SUV segment is bracing itself for the arrival later this month of Mercedes-Benz’s GLA-Class, which will start from $47,900 and feature a front-drive entry-level model powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine delivering 100kW of power and 300Nm of torque.

2014 BMW X1 pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs.

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