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BMW X1 (2009): first official pictures

Published: 02 July 2009

Click here to watch the video for the BMW X1

CAR’s Georg Kacher drove a camouflaged prototype a few months back, but now BMW has pulled the covers off its X1 mini-SUV and revealed UK specs and pricing for the first time.

Don’t tell me: the BMW X1 is another gas-guzzling 4x4

Nope. Firstly, only diesel power will be offered in the UK, buyers getting a choice of 18d, 20d and 23d models. Secondly, rear-wheel drive variants will be sold too. In BMW speak that’s sDrive for RWD, xDrive for 4WD, all X1s being based on 3-series underpinnings with a 30/70 torque split in normal driving conditions for the four-by-four.

The bidding starts at £22,660 for the sDrive18d and £23,940 for the xDrive18d (2.0-litre single turbos with 141bhp and 236lb ft), both models coming with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The sDrive20d (£24,205) and xDrive20d (£25,510) use the same standard six-speeder and basic 2.0-litre engine, but push the performance envelope a little further with 174bhp and 258lb ft.

Finally, the 23d is available only in xDrive trim and comes with a six-speed auto as standard for £29,055. Despite the badging, it’s still a 2.0-litre, but a double dollop of turbocharging takes power to 201bhp and a punchy 295lb ft.

So how much power and mpg does the four-wheel drive gubbins sap?

The rear-wheel drive 18d cracks 62mph in 9.6sec to the all-paw’s 10.1sec, and both top 120mph. But those extra driveshafts really impact on fuel efficiency – the two-wheel drive car’s 54.3mpg and 136gkm playing 49.6mpg and 150g/km.

It’s a similar story for the 20d, where 8.1 and 8.4sec 0-62mph times and identical 127mph top speeds are offset by the rear-wheel drive model’s 53.3mpg and 139g/km significantly trumping 48.7mpg and 153g/km.

The xDrive23d, meanwhile, is four-wheel driven only, and turns in 7.3sec to 62mph, 127mph, 44.8mpg and 167g/km.

Of course, there’s the obligatory Efficient Dynamics spiel too. So all X1s get the basics (brake energy regeneration, intelligent ancillary management, improved aero etc), but only the manuals get auto stop/start – the first on a BMW Xmobile.

Shouldn’t I just buy an X3?

Good point. The X3 boasts very similar proportions (it’s 116mm longer, 57mm wider and 130mm taller), but the new X1 usurps its territory, pushing the next X3 up a segment.

And, no, don’t be tempted by a dealer desperate to clear old stock – the X3 is the worst BMW currently on sale. Being based on the latest 3-series both inside and underneath (and outside to a certain extent), the X1 promises to be a far finer machine.

The 20d and 23d variants of the X1 go on sale in the UK in October 2009, with the sDrive18d and xDrive18d models following in December.

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By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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