The BMW Group should say 'thank you' to their X1. The manufacturer has sold a
staggering 264,000 examples worldwide, after all, since the launch in 2009. BMW now
hope to increase this further by introducing the X1 to the US in September. But what does
the UK trim offer Brits? Top of the list is 'the' badge that makes motorists weak the knees.
It oozes prestige – screams 'I've made it' - and makes the neighbours green with jealousy.
The BMW X1 is a sports-utility-vehicle based on the 2005 BMW 3-Series Touring. As
such, its handing is sharp and inspires confidence. The ride can feel a little harsh though,
particularly when fitted with larger than standard wheels. However, unlike its sibling the X1
is available with both rear-wheel and four-wheel-drive. The latter is invaluable when the
road turns to ice and for towing - but the X1 has never claimed to be a tough mud-plunger.
The BMW X1 is powered by a refined 2.0-litre diesel engine. This comes in various guises
from 143bhp to 204bhp. The fastest trims hit 62mph in a speedy 7.3 seconds, whereas
the slowest models take 10.1 seconds. Even that is reasonable. This mile-muncher is
pleasingly economical too, so it averages between 44.8mpg and 62.8mpg. The latter is
impressive. Throw-in the spacious boot, rock-solid construction, and sharp looks and it
becomes clear why the X1 sells like sliced bread. I suspect the Americans can hardly