BMW’s entry level Sports Activity Vehicle receives its first full model change with the second-generation F48 X1 making its official debut in Malaysia today. Fully imported from BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany, the all-new X1 is offered with a solitary sDrive20i front-wheel drive variant wearing Sport Line trim as standard.
Slated for local assembly at a later time, the all-new X1 is underpinned by BMW’s all-new UKL transverse engine platform first seen in the company’s new line of 2 Series Active and Gran Tourer models. Despite pulling from the front, BMW claims that the X1’s body remains faithful to the company’s cherished 50:50 weight distribution for balanced dynamics. All-wheel drive variants are available internationally, but not currently planned for our market.
Powering the X1 in this sDrive20i guise is a 2.0-litre turbo powertrain built on BMW’s new modular engine architecture. Suited for both transverse and longitudinal installation, the four-cylinder b48 engine generates outputs of 192hp and 280Nm, enabling the X1 sDrive20i to hit 100kph from rest in 7.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 225kph.
Paired to an 8-speed Steptronic auto transmission (which is not the ZF 8HP gearbox used in longitudinal engine models), the engine features advanced efficiency-enhancing technologies such as auto start/stop and Eco Pro driving mode to help achieve rated fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100km and carbon dioxide emission of 136 g/km in the NEDC test cycle.
Embracing front-wheel drive and the transverse engine configuration has yielded impressive dividends for BMW in the packaging department. With more space to play with, BMW’s team of interior designers were able to craft a cabin that is significantly more spacious than managed with the previous X1.
Occupants now sit 40mm higher than before, enabling better all-round vision as well as easing ingress and egress for elder passengers. Rear passengers additionally benefit from an extra 37mm of legroom together with rear air-con blowers. The centre console also notably offers greater storage volume for small items.
Being the newest model in the fleet, the X1 boasts the most advanced in-car connectivity package offered by any BMW in the Malaysian line-up. Through the BMW ConnectedDrive Services and Apps package, the X1 is constantly connected to a 24-hour call centre which offers Concierge Services to the driver and will also make distress calls in the event the vehicle is incapacitated by an accident or break down.
Through the specially-developed MY Remote app, drivers can use their smartphones to remotely operate features such as door locks, headlights, and horn. For tight spaces, the X1 comes with front and rear parking sensors along with active park assist for parallel bays. Curiously for such advanced levels of connectivity, smart keyless access and reverse camera are not included.
The all-new BMW X1 sDrive20i is priced at RM279,800 on-the-road without insurance and is covered by BMW Malaysia’s five-year unlimited mileage warranty and free scheduled service programme.