BMW have dropped the petrol variant and now offer the X1 only as a diesel model. The engine is the same 2.0-litre, four cylinder unit as before but now puts out 184PS@4000rpm, up by 7PS over the older model. This power boost along with a new 8-speed automatic transmission helps the car to propel to 100kmph in 8 seconds flat (0.9 seconds quicker than before). Roll-on figures have also improved as is the overall fuel efficiency. To further extract more efficiency out of the engine, BMW now offers the X1 with the EcoPro mode, this means the car now features brake regeneration and start stop function along with an optimised for economy driving map and a less power sapping climate control setting.
We couldn't test the car in this mode, but in regular driving mode, the car returned 10.9kmpl in town and 19.2kmpl on the highway resulting in an overall figure of 12.97kmpl (down by just 0.1kmpl compared to the older X1). So the car has improved in terms of performance but how is it to drive? TheX1's hydraulic steering is known to be a heavy unit, the new X1 still feels the same but only till I went through the spec sheet did I realize that the hydraulic unit has been replaced with a servotronic one. It hasn't helped in making the steering lighter and is as heavy while on the move. Only in parking speeds can one really make out the difference. The ride too is still stiffer than its competition and could have softened a bit like in the new 3 Series.
In terms of styling, there are a few changes. The X1arrived to us in an all-new Valencia shade that makes it stand out in the crowd like an orange in a sack full of potatoes. The car is striking and in a sporty shade like the one we tested, it looks very tempting. The overall styling however looks similar until close inspection, look carefully at the nose and you will notice that the entire front bumper has been replaced with a newer design unit. The kidney grille is slightly different and the slats in the sport line model we tested are finished in gloss black and so is the bumper lip. The bumper also houses a new air dam that neatly flows into the overall design. The sides of the X1 is same as before, the only change being the newer design V-spoke style 17-inch alloy wheel for the Sport line. At the rear, the bumper is all new with revised reflectors and a new mock diffuser that is also finished in gloss black. The second variant on offer, the xLine features aluminium exterior detailing instead like in the older model. The taillamps look the same but feature LED lighting. Inside, it is similar to the older X1 but the sport line now features an all-black interior with brushed aluminium details. The red stitching on the steering wheel goes well with the sport theme. The xLine variant gets dual-tone beige/black interiors with mock wood detailing.
The X1 will be available in three variants - base, Sport Line and xLine. All variants will feature only rear-wheel drive and no all-wheel drive. Overall, the X1 update could have been more substantial and with the price only expected to go up, the competition won't have to worry.