By Asian Journal Auto Editor

22018 BMW X1- PIC 3The BMW X1 is a compact SUV/CUV that’s has done very well in North America for the German automaker and now has a fairly extensive redesign from the 2016/17 model years. It now has a smoother, more integrated look, with its tight front and rear over hangs and revised front fascia. The new version is larger inside with more headroom and legroom for passengers and a 15% boost in cargo space over the first generation X1. The X1 also has a lighter, lithe more athletic look to it. Power is via a two-litre four cylinder engine that is mounted sideways and produces 228 horsepower, teamed to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The xDrive AWD system is also biased towards the front wheels and switches power automatically when sensors and computer determine which wheels need more grip. The interior is typical BMW, neat, immaculate, austere, driver focused and very well finished legroom and headroom is excellent due to the high roof and sliding/ reclining rear seats. The rear seats fold 40/20/40 split fold down with an optional power folding feature. There is also a power operated rear tailgate with a hands-free operation mode.

Standard interior features include: Power front seats with driver-side memory, Anthracite headliner, storage package and multifunction sport leather steering wheel, push-button start, dynamic cruise control, and a plethora of full power features interior trim options include a Black high-gloss interior trim with Pearl chrome accent strips. Perforated Dakota leather trim is available in Black, Canberra Beige, Mocha, and Oyster. Optional Brushed Aluminum and fine-wood matt Oak Grain and Fineline Stream interior trims are also available. Technology equipment is also high with the much improved BMW iDrive operating system’s Control Display coming with a high resolution 6.5-inch or the optional, 8.8-inch freestanding monitor. There is head up display for road speed, reversing camera and a comprehensive range of safety equipment. The standard sound system with 7 loudspeakers, while the optional audiophile quality Harman Kardon audio system arrives with 12 loudspeakers  and a digital amplifier with 360-watt output, providing simply fabulous sound quality. Storage cubbies and compartments abound throughout the X1— with door pockets compartment, an instrument panel storage on the driver’s side and a front armrest compartment.

As with all BMWs, the available options package list is very long and begins to get pricy, but they include must-haves on a vehicle of this class such as such as the active parking assistance, active cruise with stop-and-go and automatic collision-mitigation braking and other technology and safety aids. On the road, the BMW X1’s 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder produces 228 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm and is as smooth and willing as BMWs celebrated six cylinder units. Most of the usable power is available across the tach from 1,250 and 4,500 rpm. Shift points are well calibrated for the delightful eight-speed transmission that work wonderfully well together with sweet engine. The X1 is outfitted with the latest version of the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system which if needed can transfer nearly all of the torque to the rear wheels for maximum traction. Other aids such as the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), help the X1 delivers superb handling and road feel, giving the X1 a light, refined feel in all road conditions. Fuel economy is rated at (litres/100 km): 10.7 city; 7.4 hwy.

To sum up, the 2018 is sleeker both inside and an out and technologically advanced to compete with its rivals. I like the BMW X1’s new look that keep the instantly recognizable corporate front fascia. It is an ideal entry to the BMW SUV/CUV segment and is attractively base priced. It has the engineering, luxury and performance chops to be highly considered. Outstanding and recommended if BMW premium quality is what you desire.

2018 BMW X1 xDrive 2.8i base priced from: $39,750 plus options.