Reviews

BMW X1 LCI Driven

Posted on 26-07-2021 by Nilesh Sawant

9 | 621
Brands: BMW
Category: Reviews

It's 2021, and in the last 2 years, while the world is going through a catastrophic pandemic, you have continued to put tremendous efforts at work, and finally this time around the organization recognized your efforts


Video Review

It's 2021, and in the last 2 years, while the world is going through a catastrophic pandemic, you have continued to put tremendous efforts at work, and finally this time around the organization recognised your efforts, and the promotion that you were due for, finally is yours.

The promotion that you have been waiting for since years. The promotion that catapults you in the big league, The promotion that now allows you to fulfil your childhood dream, of owning a car with the Propeller Logo- BMW

BMW today offers strings of options as their entry point to the brand, you get the 2 Series, you have the 3 Series, and of course you have the BMW X1 too.

Launched in 2020 in India, the X1 came with multiple variants to choose from. Top of the line was the M-Sport Variant then, which came with X-Drive, had head-up display, cruise control and awesome sounding audio setup over the regular variants. But along the way, BMW refreshed the X1 to keep it in line with the competition, mainly from its own cousin the Mini Cooper CountryMan and arch rival the all new Mercedes Benz GLA, and in bargain, dropped some of the variants to make it more affordable.

So, in 2021, as you upgrade your lifestyle, which allows you to enter the Big 3 Category, and you are aiming to pick up the SUV's does the BMW X1 cut the bill? Or would you be better off buying something else at a similar price-point? We tell you, as we review the SAV- the BMW X1

However, before you read ahead, if you want to get best price for the BMW X1 any where in India, do reach out to us on hello@mwtv.in or fill in the contact us form with your details and we will get back to you.

Overall, the BMW X1, is a well proportioned SAV, and thankfully, it does not look like MPV from any angles. This is one problem, many SUV's are facing today. Point in case- the Skoda Kodiaq, many out their thought, it looked like a MPV, trying to look like a SUV. Anyways, coming back…

One look at the car upfront, and you know this is a BMW, Second look to the car upfront and then you Thank God for what you see, coz you see the famous BMW Kidney Grill, which is not at all disproportionate. Yes while the grill is proportional in size, it is all chrome, however very tastefully done and we didn't find the finishing gaudy at all.

The LCI X1, now comes with Full LED BMW headlights and gone are those Bi-Xenons for good. These LED's from BMW, have a brilliant throw in the night, that makes night driving a breeze. We did drive around the city and on the highways in rainy conditions and are happy to report that the headlights worked perfectly well. To complement the headlights, the fog lamps too now have gone full LED. They aid that much further to illuminate the road ahead well. We particularly loved the front bumper which get huge air dams on both the sides, and a satin finished chrome plate at the centre to accentuate the look and feel to the SAV. The front air dams, with right amount of cuts and creases, the sharper looking headlights, and power lines on the bonnet, give the front a sporty and aggressive look.

Moving to the sides, nothing much has changed here, except for the new alloys design. Those are 17 inch now and BMW calls them Double Spoke Design, which to our opinion are boring to look at. I personally loved 18 inch Y-Spoke Design that BMW gave in the M Sport Variant. They added a lot of character to the SAV.

A new cool addition to the feature list here is the BMW X1 Hologram underneath the mirrors which illuminates on the floor looks swanky. What we would have additionally loved are the request sensors on the door handles, which is a glaring miss at this price point. What you will enjoy for sure is the swooping roofline and a shoulder line accentuated with a character line, continue to give this SAV a sporty character, something which unmistakably nothing else, but a BMW.

Moving at the rear, nothing much has changed except of the all LED Taillights, just like the all LED Headlamps. There is a rear spoiler which brings in sporty appeal to the SAV, along with dual functional exhausts. Yes you read it right, both the exhausts are functional. What you will also appreciate is minimal badging at the rear, which just variant & model name embedded. However, what you may not appreciate is manual tailgate opening, which opens up to a good, 505 litres of boot space, and then there is 40-20-40 split available to expand the storage space right upto 1550 litres.

Overall, the BMW X1, retains its sporty look and feel, which still remains one of the core drawer towards this SAV even in 2021. And should you be looking for the SAV which looks sporty even when standing still, the X1, will definitely appeal to your senses.

Let's step inside to see, if this X1, appeals you senses there too.

Step inside the X1 and you are greeted with beige interiors all around, which makes the SAV looks bigger on the inside then what it is.

While we are the sucker for the M Sport, 3 Spoke Steering Wheel, but this one also does its job well. The steering wheel is nice to hold, though it misses out on the thumb recess, but is good for multitasking as it comes with multi function buttons, that helps you handle, cruise control, telephony, audio and toggling between the MID behind the driver. Speaking of which, well you will be disappointed that the X1, in today's day and age, and even after a LCI, still comes with analogue display. Which again is a bummer. However, what grabs your attention immediately are those chunky paddle shifters.

The dashboard, as expected from any BMW is driver focused and has everything in the right reach of you, yes you as a driver. What we particularly loved is the centre screen which houses the BMW's intuitive I-Drive. While it is touch enabled, it does get the rotary knob which makes it that much easy to operate even when you are driving. The floating screen may look small to begin with, but as you live with it, you will realise, that the screen perfectly complements the dashboard size, without being feeling unnecessarily big. At 8.8 inch size, in this updated LCI version, BMW has added navigation so just in case, your google maps or apple maps runs out of network, the BMW on demand navigation will come handy. Apart from the navigation the screen can take care of multimedia duties, car settings and host of other functionalities with ease.

BMW X1, comes with host of features that you expect at this price point, Dual Zone ACC, 6 airbags, cruise control, 6 Speaker BMW Hi-Fidelity Audio Setup (about it in our next section), Electrically adjustable memory seats on the front seats, Ambient Lights, Wireless Apple CarPlay, Rain Sensing Everything, Rear Blinds, Panoramic Sunroof and much more to keep you in the lap of luxury and comfort.

Speaking about the comfort, while the bolstering on the front seats is spot on and they hug you well, we would have loved if the seats would have been a tad bit wider. Heftier you will, definitely find your self uncomfortable in the front seats. However, owing to the footprint of the SAV, BMW would have been left with no choice but to give seats which are narrower than expected.

Moving to the rear, the seats are well angled, and sitting four with comfort will no be a challenge at-all. And rear AC vents should keep the occupants cooled too, on most of their journeys. Challenge of charging your devices? Not any more, the X1 at the rear gets 2 USB C-Type charging ports, so the occupants at the rear don't need to fight amongst themselves for charging their devices.

What is definitely going in the favour of the X1 has to be the ISOFIX on all the seats, 3 headrests and a rear quarter glass which ensures roominess in the cabin at all times. The blinds on the windows ensure your privacy too. What could have been slightly better in our opinion is the under thigh support which is just enough for an average size adult, and talking about taller adults, due to the sloping roof line and the panoramic sunroof, be prepared to get hit on the roof occasionally whenever the car goes on rough terrain or uneven roads.

To sum up the interiors then, there are some hits and some misses, but the good part is the hits take over the misses easily, making this a loveable package even in 2021.

BMW in the X1 offers unbranded audio setup, reasonably so to keep the costs under control. If you happen to be at the BMW dealership, and happen to unassumingly sit in the X3, and switch on the audio, pair your phone and listen to your favourite song, you will be lost to the sound of awesome sounding Harman Kardon Setup. Then you step out of the X3, sit in the X1 and follow the same process. Well, chances are, you may take a call, to increase your budget significantly and buy the X3. But remember, you would be shelling cool 25 lacs more, for the audio setup. Unjustified isn't it? Especially, when you know, the X1 as well as X3, come with the same engine, in same state of tune. Also, when you know a full blown Harmon Kardon setup may just cost you shade of 3 lacs, should you have to buy it for your home.

But having said that, does the audio setup in the X1 sound that bad? Well no, it is just really with what are you comparing it with? If you happen to hear it #standalone, then you will definitely enjoy the audio output in the X1, it has meatier bass, to give you right punches, the vocals are clear, and the trebles aren't muffled either. What does not work in its favour, then, that it is not a Harmon Kardon, that you just heard in the X3. Period.

The X1 is offered in two engine options, X20d and X20i. The 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder petrol churns out 192 HP and relatively low 280 NM of torque, mated to a 7 Speed Gearbox and the diesel, which we reviewed, comes with BMW's tried and tested 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder diesel churning out 190 HP and very healthy 400 NM of torque mated to 8 Speed Gearbox.

There is something special about every BMW, and that is the way they tune the engine & the gearbox's. At no juncture do you feel, that the gearbox is mis-shifting or is in the wrong gear, whether you are chugging along in the traffic or blasting down the highway. The 8 Speed Gearbox, chooses right gear at the right time.

We would also love to specifically talk about the quality of deadening materials that BMW has used in the X1, they do a great job of controlling the NVH, and at all the times you are cocooned inside the car, with zero botheration of the noises outside.

Since the BMW X1, weighs less than the previous generation and comes with a front-wheel-drive setup, it has a lot of torque steer when you step on the accelerator. On more than one occasion, a firm tap to the A pedal leads to the traction control light on the dashboard popping up.

The X1 comes with three driving modes- ECO Pro where it gives a disconnected steering feel with a significant lag in throttle response and overall subdued feel. Comfort – Normal mode mostly for Comfortable cruising for those trips within the city. Minor improvement in steering and throttle response is felt here and as mentioned earlier, best suited for City use, and lastly we have the Sport mode: Unleashes the beast. This is where you realise you are seated in a BMW with all sharp throttle response and stiffened steering best suited for overtaking manoeuvres and highway use. It does feel as though the increase in the gruff sound is disproportionate to the corresponding increase in acceleration.

With a soft suspension setup, X1 gives you a more comfortable ride quality. It soaks up bumps and road adulation with ease and keeps you comfortable throughout the journey. One thing which we noted that on rumblers it lost Its composure but regained it immediately. We had noticeable wheel-spin on muddy surfaces and found it tricky to manoeuvre. This is where we sorely missed the presence of AWD that would justify its SAV moniker.

The steering has good heft and feel. It is light at parking speeds and does not weigh up as much as we would have preferred at high speeds. At no point in time does the steering become tight or unusable. It is precise, responds well to inputs and is a joy to command, especially with the steering-mounted paddle shifters.

The ground clearance was adequate on the potholed roads and larger than life speed breakers. The high-speed stability we found outstanding with little body roll on twisties of the ghat sections. Spirited driving was not confidence-inspiring when navigating sharp turns. This is where the body roll was most pronounced even though this is not a very tall car.

While cruising the highway, the sudden outburst of torque available with the diesel version makes it an ideal vehicle to comfortably continue with triple-digit speeds all day long.

Well, the X1 then, at some stages it excites you and at other it doesn't. However, what definitely goes in it's favour are the perfect dimensions, non MPVish looking SUV ohh sorry we should say SAV, has good list of features and can carry 4 adults in utmost comfort. Yes, it does missed out on some key features like request sensors on the doors, electronic tail gate, wireless charging, digital display for the driver cockpit and most importantly all wheel drive.

However, if you are keen to get into the Big 3 German Brands, and want to hop on the SUV bandwagon, the X1, will not disappoint you. The X1 looks sporty even while standing, and has the BMW DNA of #SheerDrivingPleasure.

If this is what you are looking for in your next upgrade the X1 will definitely appeal to you.

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  1. I drive the Pre LCI X1 here in Goa, while the product is great, and you guys have mentioned a stepping stone into the brand BMW, however, I feel BMW hasn't done full justice to the product, as it has skipped lot of key features that BMW offers in this car in the global markets. Something like electronic boot opener should have been a must at this price point. Feels embarrassing when people with cheaper SUV's come back and their SUV's have this feature.

    1. We completely agree with your thoughts Shailendra. There is a list of 'essentials' missing. We have mentioned them in the video review. Do check it out. We say 'essentials', since these are available in cars at half the price .

    1. Yes. If you watch the video review, you will notice the disappointment I faced. For the price point, it sorely misses out on some goodies. BMW recently launched a 'Tech version' of the X1. This addresses some of the short-comings.

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The Verdict

Well, the X1 then, at some stages it excites you and at other it doesn't. However, what definitely goes in it's favour are the perfect dimensions, non MPVish looking SUV ohh sorry we should say SAV, has good list of features and can carry 4 adults in utmost comfort. Yes, it does missed out on some key features like request sensors on the doors, electronic tail gate, wireless charging, digital display for the driver cockpit and most importantly all wheel drive.

However, if you are keen to get into the Big 3 German Brands, and want to hop on the SUV bandwagon, the X1, will not disappoint you. The X1 looks sporty even while standing, and has the BMW DNA of #SheerDrivingPleasure.

If this is what you are looking for in your next upgrade the X1 will definitely appeal to you.


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