BMW X1 sDrive20i Review
Mission: Not impossible

Story and photos by Azfar Hashim
7 Jan 2013

With the update, BMW's entry-level SUV looks and sounds very attractive

Introduction, Exterior

Rewind to 2010 and we come to the year the X1 first arrived on our shore.

It sounded like a brilliant idea: a 320i in an SUV body. Price it affordably and, tadaa, X1s after X1s started flying off the showroom floor.

But as quickly as they flew off, equally quick was also how they started popping up in the used car market. The main reason? How ghastly underpowered the X1 sDrive18i – the only variant available back then – is. An outdated engine and gearbox in a heavy SUV: suddenly not a bright idea.

Fortunately, BMW knew the problem with their smallest SUV. It’s their first attempt in this particular segment anyway, so you do have to excuse them.

Now meet the new improved version of the X1 – a bettered-in-every-sense one at that.

At first glance, there might not be any give away that this is the neu X1. Well the colour here, aptly called ‘Valencia Orange’ is the latest addition to the X1 range for the 2012 model. And seen here, packaged as ‘BMW Sport Line’, features some necessary goodies like a reshaped (and sportier) front bumper featuring glossy black inserts at the bottom part and a pair of redesigned headlamps.

Viewed from the sides, the lower skirts that were previously finished in matt aluminium are now in glossy black. Roof rails come standard now, finished in – you guessed it – gloss black. 

Both sides’ indicators have now moved upwards from the fenders onto the wing mirrors. Definitely adding more class...

The rear sports a new bumper as well, with the diffuser finished in, yes Sir, glossy black. And to what BMW deems as ‘sportiness’, the exhaust tailpipe is even finished in – again – glossy black. Those gorgeous 18-inch alloys are standard fitment, wrapped in 225/45 R-18 Pirelli Cinturato rubbers.

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Engine Capacity 1995cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Bore x Stroke (84 x 90)mm
Power 184bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 270Nm @ 4500rpm
Power to Weight 184000 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 215 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4454 x 1798 x 1545) mm
Wheelbase 2,760 mm
Kerb Weight 1,585 kg
Boot Capacity 420 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 61 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs