BMW X1 Test Drive

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    Topic
  • #146041 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    I have just had an hour and a half test drive in a BMW X1 18d sDrive xLine. I ordered a 20i xDrive xLine a few weeks ago but couldn’t drive one at the time due to lockdown. I didn’t pay a deposit, so could walk away if a subsequent test drive wasn’t good. It is to replace a VW Tiguan 2.0i 190PS TDi SEL.

    Good points

    Interior quality definitely better than the Tiguan. More premium look and feel. Wheelchair went in the boot with ease and the boot floor area is slightly bigger than the Tiguan, even though the Tiguan has a bigger boot volume (due presumably due to 3” extra height). Suspension better than the Tiguan – you hear the bumps in the BMW rather than feel them, which you do in the VW. More car like drive than the Tiguan. In fact, much nicer to drive all round. Although 3” lower than the Tiguan, the X1 doesn’t feel lower when sitting in it. Auto gearbox much better than the VW DSG system. No hesitation at all and very quick, even in Eco-pro mode. iDrive an absolute joy to use after the dreadful VW system.

    Bad Points

    I was worried about tyre noise at speed as several reviews had indicated this was a problem with the X1. To make sure I wasn’t imagining anything I downloaded a sound meter app on my phone and measured the decibel count in both the Tiguan and X1 at 40, 60, 70 and 80 mph on both tarmac and concrete surfaces. On tarmac the two cars were broadly the same (quiet) at all of those speeds. On concrete surfaces the X1 is noticeably louder than the Tiguan, by around 5 decibels. I don’t think this is a show stopper as not all roads are concrete and we’ve also specced the Harman/Kardon sound System to try to partially offset the additional noise, but I can see why it gets mentioned. The lack of Auto Hold is a pain. I’ve had it on all my cars over the last 10 years plus and having to either sit with your foot on the brake or apply the handbrake seems a step backwards. I’m sure I’d get used to it but it’s a glaring omission on the X1. The other issue that we wanted to check was seat comfort of the standard seats. Sport seats are no good for us as the seat base side bolsters are too raised and firm for my large build and also as my wife has to reverse in to the seat, sit on the edge and swing around. The X1 seats are a good inch or two shorter than those in the Tiguan, so not as comfortable.

    Summary – I liked the X1 and it feels a step up from the Tiguan in most respects, and is much nicer to drive, but the increase in road noise on concrete surfaces, lack of auto hold and smaller seats are definite minus points.

    Next Steps – My wife also liked the X1 but was more concerned about the seats than me and has said that she would now like to look at the Volvo XC40 T5 Recharge Inscription Pro to compare, whilst we still have an option to change the order. I much prefer the look of the X1 to the XC40 but we are going to look at one tomorrow and have a test drive booked for next week.

Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
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  • #146043 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    A well laid out summery there Glos Guy.

    As a BMW X2 driver, I love the car, but its a world of difference to the X1. Much lower in height. Firmer suspension. However. It really is a great drive just like the X1 is. Lots of feed back and the steering changes in firmness the faster you go.

    The seat are one thing that are often reported as “Firm and uncomfortable” But like you, I am not a guy with a small frame. I find the sports seats very comfortable for my size as the side bolsters can be adjusted electronically. How ever as you point out the seat base bolsters are quite high.

    The volvo’s seats are renowned for there comfort.

    What ever you choose, do keep us updated.

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #146046 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Thanks Joss and will do. I have always said that Volvo make the best car seats, but a number of XC40 drivers on this site have reported problems with them in the Inscription Pro models, and that’s a worry. My sense is that the XC40 will be a less engaging drive and that their multimedia system won’t be a patch on BMW’s iDrive, but I suspect that it will be quieter. Decisions, decisions!

    #146047 Reply
    trevor

    I have the BMW X1 X drive 2.0D sport myself. Found the road noise settled down as the tyres wore.

    Love the auto box, supple suspension. The car is really nice to drive. and comfortable for me (being a heavy man)  Sat Nav is great,  just speak to it. My seats have adjustable leg bolsters so don’t have the problems you mentioned. MPG is outstanding, did a 200 mile motorway run and it returned 47 MPG at the week end. Had a Audi Q3 S Line 2.0D before, the BMW is better.

    Pity the 2.0D engine is not on the list anymore. Will consider extending the lease next year.

    #146048 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    I love the iDrive system. so easy to use. I also have the Harman/Kardon sound System fitted. Very nice sound to it. The DAB radio is also very good. Re electric hand brake You will soon get used to it in traffic. I tend to turn off auto stop/start which makes it easier. Also the auto box is fantastic, so smooth, that you don’t notice the gear changes. Like you said the interior dash and door panels are really well finished. My only gripe is that there is still no digital dash.

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #146050 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Similar to trevor, my 300 odd mile round trip to Cornwall last week got me 47mpg.  We’ve been happy with the standard X1 seats although they did need settling in the rather stiff leather at first. Sitting in the XC40 Inscription the other day didn’t seem much different.  I’ve just measured the X1 seats at 51cm long and 48cm wide. I’ll measure the Volvo ones on Thursday.

    #146053 Reply
    Lou

    I test drove the X1 last year and it was really a comfortable ride, the idrive is faultless. On a personal opinion I would prefer it if we had the option of full leather or partial leather and cloth but I found the seats comfortable and a good height.

    The gear box was so smooth with no lag/jitters although this was a manual. I found MPG really decent aswell but again would of preferred if motability customers had the option of both fuels for this model (and others). The most biggest downfall for this vehicle is no digital dash but I guess with the all new X1 due next year it’s acceptable, the fact it still has the easy to use nobs makes it attractive.

    Sadly I cancelled my order after very very poor customer service, motability were fantastic and helpful in regards to this….there is just a couple of lose ends to tie up so I can order for hopefully a collection this year!

    Whichever car you choose glos guy I do hope you enjoy it and have many comfortable miles 🙂

    #146059 Reply
    George

    I have the Sports seats in my present X line X drive l paid extra to get them as l was dubious about the standard seats. I have ordered the same car again but this time l am going with the standard seats as l think they are a bit softer than the firm sports seats.

    Re. The tyre noise it hasn’t really bothered me and l think it is a very quiet car with no rattles or vibrations etc or maybe l am just easily pleased.

    #146060 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Trevor – the car had only done 2k so that’s a good point about the tyres. Is it the Sport seats that you have? If so, do they have a ‘tilt’ option, or is it just fore/aft and recline (like the standard seats) plus the extendable under thigh pad? I’ve had a number of BMW’s with the 20d engine (3 and 5 series) and I agree it’s phenomenal. The 18d we had today was excellent though. Although 40bhp down on our diesel Tiguan it didn’t feel like it. As I have always said, I have driven hundreds of cars and never found better engines than BMW’s for refinement, performance and economy. They seem to always get the perfect mix.

    Joss – good to hear about the Harman/Kardon system. I regretted not getting it on my last BMW (5 Series) so won’t make the same mistake again.

    Lou / Joss – I know what you mean about the lack of a digital dash as it must be one of the few cars nowadays without one. However, we have a full digital dash in the Tiguan and having tried all settings when we got the car I have never changed it since, so I don’t think I will miss it.

    Wigwam – I’m really looking forward to hearing how you find the XC40 T5 when you test drive it, as you will be a week ahead of us . Also, as a current X1 driver your comparison between the two will be invaluable.

    #146066 Reply
    moggy
    Participant

    Have anyone tried a q3 and what did you think?

    #146067 Reply
    George

    The Q3 is good but with the 1.5 petrol engine the car feels a bit underpowered pity Motability don’t offer the 2 litre petrol.

    #146069 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Could those who have Sport seats in their BMW X1 please tell me if they have a ‘tilt’ facility? I don’t think that the standard seats do but I might have missed it, as I only altered the height and backrest angle, so please correct me on that if I missed it. Thanks.

    #146070 Reply
    Lou

    Myself & my late partner owned a q3 although it was a 2ltr diesel and Quattro a few years ago now, for myself personally it was by far the safest I had ever felt in a vehicle and it handled beautifully but the MPG was quite poor (we always found ourselves at the station). It didn’t have the omph power feel to it if that’s what you were after but it was a smooth quiet drive.

    We purchased a bmw after and the difference in MPG was surprising (in a good way). It weren’t all wheel drive however and was god awful in the snow & ice, the power to it made my knees turn to jelly for the first few months but I’m a seriously big scaredy cat and not a fast driver. Loved both of the cars for different reasons, for safety and comfort I would go more q3 but the bmw is a steal – fast, efficient, comfortable, stylish 👌 It really comes down to your own personal needs and desires.

    #146071 Reply
    Lou

    George motability offer the 2 litre diesel now 👍

    #146072 Reply
    moggy
    Participant

    The reason I asked was I had one as a courtesy car for 4days just over 2 years ago, it was an s line 1.5 dsg. what I remember was how much better it was than the old q3 .

    Also I didn’t find the 1.5 underpowered I was quite impressed with it.

    #146078 Reply
    George

    Diesels are to much hassle now l had diesels for 20 but now what with having to put in Ad blue restrictions on parking etc. When l first got a diesel the price of fuel was almost half the price of petrol

    #146104 Reply
    nosherN

    Glos Guy I can confirm that there is no ’tilt’ seat function to the seat squab on the sport seats of the X1. However, it is quite possible that there is a ’tilt’ adjustment with the electric seat option. Maybe a BMW online ‘genius’ could clarify your question?

    I noticed also that the ‘tyre noise’ issue has been raised again. As I previously mentioned tyre noise is 90% road surface induced. I have just changed my tyres on my X1 from Bridgestone to Michellin Primacy and I have not noticed any change in tyre noise whatsoever.

    #146105 Reply
    Landyman

    Glos Guy, I have the sport seats in leather, the adjustment is back tilt, seat base also as a tilt adjustment, up and down adjustment, the front of the seat also extends to support back of legs, my wife loves that, she as long leg’s, their’s also a button which pumps /deflates the side bolsters. My seats doesn’t have the lumber support fitted it was a cost option at the time.

    My X1 is now 3 years old so I don’t know what /if changes have been made.

    Hope that helps.

    #146107 Reply
    nosherN

    My bad!…..Landyman you are correct!

    There is a lever on the right side on the front of the seat frame which allows the squab to tilt.

    You learn something new everyday, lol!

    #146120 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    I noticed also that the ‘tyre noise’ issue has been raised again. As I previously mentioned tyre noise is 90% road surface induced. I have just changed my tyres on my X1 from Bridgestone to Michellin Primacy and I have not noticed any change in tyre noise whatsoever.

    NosherN – I understand that tyre noise varies by type of road surface, but the issue here is the comparative levels of tyre noise in the X1 versus other cars on exactly the same stretch of road. As it had come up on several group tests I wanted to make sure that I applied a bit of science to this so used a sound meter! I did a round trip between three motorway junctions in both our current VW Tiguan (which I consider to be quite noisy) and the X1, both yesterday afternoon. Same road, same route, same conditions. On the smooth tarmac sections, the two cars were near identical in terms of measured sound in the cabin and both quiet. On the rougher or concrete stretches, the X1 was 5 decibels louder than the Tiguan, which was a noticeable difference. I did all these tests at 60, 70 and 80 mph in both cars. In fact the X1 was even louder than my daughters Ford Focus! So yes, all cars are noisy on concrete or poor road surfaces, but the X1 is louder than most in these circumstances. It hasn’t put us off the car but it’s something that BMW needs to address with the next model due in 2022. BMW does tend to skimp a bit with soundproofing on its lower end models.

    #146122 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Update on seats – thanks for all your feedback. We have just been to our supplying dealer and sat in an X1 with leather sports seats whilst yesterday’s test drive (standard seats) was still in our minds.

    As expected, my wife much prefers the sports seats. She didn’t have a problem getting in (with the raised seat base bolsters) and found that the tilt function (which is standard on the manual sports seats, but not on the non-sports seats) plus the longer seat base (even with the under thigh pad not extended) resulted in much improved seat comfort. She rated yesterday’s standard seats as 4 out of 10 and today’s sports seats as 9 out of 10.

    As for me (being much bigger than my wife) I expected that my problem would be the side bolsters on the seat base digging in to my legs and the backrest bolsters being too snug. Neither of these things were issues, thankfully. Overall, I found that I could get a better driving position with the sports seats (the tilt really helped) and it made it easier getting in and out of the car. The problem for me was the firmness of the seat base. It is much harder than the standard seats and almost like sitting on a bench! I also found that the area between the fixed part of the base and the extendable pad dug into my leg slightly. It was better when the pad wasn’t extended, but still noticeable.

    The dealer is getting two X1 M-Sports in next week so they are going to try to give us one to drive. They have also said that if we want to add sport seats we can and they will give us 15% discount (making them £330) on top of the discounts we have already negotiated.

    As my wife is the recipient of the Motability car I think I might have to go with her preference. I am the sole driver though and hope that, if we do, I don’t live to regret it!

    #146442 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    UPDATE – 2nd X1 Test Drive

    Due to the question mark over the seats in the X1 (see previous posts), I was given a brand new X1 18d xDrive M-Sport today for 4 hours, so that we could see how we found the sport seats. By way of background, there was a lot that we liked about the xLine version that we test drove for a few hours in the week, but the three negatives were road noise (noticeably noisier than our current VW Tiguan on concrete roads), the lack of auto-hold and the standard seats, which my wife felt were poor and lacked under thigh support.

    We have decided that, assuming that we go ahead with the order (because we have a test drive in the Volvo XC40 T5 Recharge on Wednesday), we will definitely spec the sport seats. Even with the extendable under thigh pad retracted they are 4cm longer than the standard seats and with the addition of the tilt function (which comes with the sport seats but isn’t on the standard ones) we could both get far more comfortable. They are firm (a bit too much for my liking), but definitely better for us. I would still swap them for the standard seats in our Tiguan though, which are excellent.

    The road noise on concrete surfaces was still bad (as expected) and behind class standards. The lack of auto hold was just as much of a pain as last time and will take some getting used to. Whilst I can live without a digital dashboard, it is very difficult to get the whole of the instrument binnacle visible between the gap in the top of the steering wheel, even though it’s very small. I either had the bottom text (sat nav turn instructions or digital speed read out) partially obscured or the top of the Speedo and Rev counter. I went for the latter, but it’s a bit irritating.

    In spite of these negatives, I’m quite taken with the car. It’s an absolute joy to drive. Great fun and, as with most BMW’s, you can drive it in a ‘spirited’ manner yet still get great fuel economy. The two X1’s we had were both 18d’s and it’s a shame that engine isn’t available through Motability. Although it’s 148bhp, it felt quicker than our 190bhp Tiguan and on the long mixed driving route we averaged 48mpg. The Tiguan would have been at least 10mpg worse than that and, in comparison, is as dull as ditch water to drive.

    Although only a tiny bit smaller than the Tiguan, the X1 feels a class below it, size wise. The interior feels much smaller but the foreword visibility is better as the dash is lower than in the Tiguan and the windscreen seems to be deeper as a result. The boot in the X1 is also a better shape for my wife’s wheelchair. Quality is a definite class up from the Tiguan, although the door bins in the Tiguan are carpeted, so things don’t rattle around. Those in the X1 are not and are the one area where cheap hard plastic is used. A small detail but shows that BMW still cost-cut with the X1 (as they do with soundproofing).

    Aside from interior space in the cabin, the X1 trounces the Tiguan in terms of drivability, suspension, gearbox, in-car entertainment, engine refinement, performance, fuel economy etc, so we won’t be getting another Tiguan. We discounted the Q3, as we can’t see the sense in getting a 1.5i 2WD Audi when we can get a 2.0i 4WD BMW. Ditto the Mercedes GLA which has a 1.3 litre engine and is also 2WD. The Ford Kuga PHEV appealed in some respects, but the CVT transmission and comparatively low rent interior scored it down. That just leaves the Volvo XC40 T5 Recharge and we have a test drive booked for Wednesday.

    #146445 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    I think that’s where we are, Glos Guy. A choice between two similar but conceptually different cars (setting aside the PHEV aspect), each with their own foibles and flaws

     

    #146452 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    One other thing that I forgot to mention. The first X1 that I drove was 2WD and when you pulled away from rest at a pace, the front wheels scrabbled very slightly and the steering went a bit light. Today’s X1 was 4WD and no such issue. The extra traction was quite noticeable. Given that we would be getting the even more powerful 2.0i petrol version, the 4WD version seems a no brainier, especially as it’s slightly quicker than the 2WD version and the fuel penalty is negligible. My last BMW (5 Series) was as close to perfection as any of the 200 or more cars that I have driven over the last 40 years, but was absolutely hopeless in snow, so the extra reassurance of 4WD will be welcome!

    #146453 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    Lots of detail in this thread.  Invaluable for those contemplating an X1.

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