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by Tim Beissmann

Front-wheel-drive models in the all-new BMW X1 range will be more expensive than their rear-drive predecessors, but will also be more practical, better equipped and more fuel efficient than before.

The 2016 BMW X1 range will start at $49,500 plus on-road costs for the sDrive18d diesel, representing a $3200 hike in the starting price of the German luxury car maker’s compact crossover.

The entry petrol, the sDrive20i, is likewise $3300 more expensive than its rear-drive predecessor, kicking off at $51,600.

The news is better for all-wheel-drive customers, however, with the more powerful xDrive20d diesel $400 cheaper than before at $56,500 and the flagship xDrive25i petrol unchanged from the old 28i’s price of $59,900.


It will be those xDrive variants that arrive in Australia first, landing in showrooms next month, a few weeks ahead of the sDrive variants that are due to arrive in December.

BMW Australia has packed loads of equipment to ensure that each new variant represents much greater value than the model it replaces.

Standard feature highlights include LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, power tailgate, xLine styling package, reverse-view camera, semi-automatic reverse parking, satellite navigation with real-time traffic information, Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices, ConnectedDrive Lifestyle, and Driving Assistant with lane departure warning, forward collision warning and pedestrian warning with light city braking function.

The high-grade xDrive25i uniquely gains larger 19-inch alloy wheels, variable sports steering, the Comfort Access system, Navigation Plus system, head-up display, leather upholstery, and heated and electric front seats with lumbar adjust.


At this stage, BMW Australia has released official local data for the two X1 xDrive variants.

The X1 xDrive20d produces 140kW and 400Nm from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, up 5kW and 20Nm from before. The new model is half a second quicker from 0-100km/h (now 7.6sec), and uses almost 10 per cent less fuel on the combined cycle (4.9 litres per 100 kilometres).

The X1 xDrive25i makes 170kW and 350Nm from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which actually represents a drop of 10kW from the old 28i. Despite this, it’s just as quick to triple figures, stopping the clock in 6.5sec, yet is also almost 10 per cent more frugal at 6.6L/100km.

Local fuel and performance data for the X1 sDrive variants will be confirmed closer to their launch, but you can count on both to be more fuel efficient than their predecessors. The sDrive18d will produce 110kW and 330Nm (up 5kW and 10Nm) and the sDrive20i will make 141kW and 280Nm (up 6kW and 10Nm).

As with the model that came before it, the new X1 comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All variants except the base diesel get steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters.


The second-generation BMW X1 becomes the Group’s third model based on its new front-/all-wheel-drive and transverse engine-aligned UKL architecture, following the third-gen Mini Cooper city car and the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV, and replacing the rear-/all-wheel-drive and longitudinal layout of the first-gen model.

While overall vehicle length is down 36mm to 4439mm, the 2016 BMW X1 is said to be much more spacious inside, thanks to its more space-efficient drivetrain layout, its longer wheelbase (+90mm), and its increased width (+21mm) and height (+53mm).

BMW has raised the seating position by 36mm in the front and 64mm in the back to create a more commanding view from the cabin. Rear legroom has increased up to 66mm thanks to an adjustable rear bench than can slide 130mm fore and aft and will be standard in all Australian models.

The 505-litre boot is 85L larger than before, while dropping the 40:20:40 rear seats opens up 1550L of load space behind the front seats.

CarAdvice is attending the launch of the xDrive variants of the 2016 BMW X1 towards the end of next month. Stay tuned for our review.


2016 BMW X1 pricing (plus on-road costs):
sDrive18d $49,500 (+$3200)
sDrive20i $51,600 (+$3300)
xDrive20d $56,500 (-$400)
xDrive25i $59,900 (no change from old 28i)


2016 BMW X1 specifications:
sDrive18d, sDrive20i and xDrive20d:
Eight-speed automatic transmission (all except 18d get paddleshifters)
18-inch alloy wheels
Reverse-view camera
Driving Assistant with lane departure warning, forward collision warning and pedestrian warning with light city braking function
Parking Assistant (semi-automatic reverse parking)
xLine styling package
Satellite navigation with real-time traffic information
Intelligent Emergency Call and Teleservices
ConnectedDrive Lifestyle
Power tailgate
Rear-seat adjustment
LED headlights

xDrive25i (gains over sDrive18d, sDrive20i and xDrive20d):
19-inch alloy wheels
Comfort Access
Heated, electric front seats with lumbar adjust
Navigation Plus system
Head-up display
Leather upholstery
Variable sports steering