BMW X1 Test Drive

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  • #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 11 replies - 26 through 36 (of 36 total)
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  • #148249 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Great decision, AlanBang.  We’re giving up our X1 having just ordered an XC40 Hybrid.  There’s lots about the X1 I’ll miss, particularly the driving fun and the way it sounds – neither of which are positives for the XC40!

     

    #148250 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Interesting read AlanBang and I agree with all of your comments. Like you, we are moving from diesel (190PS Tiguan) to petrol and wanted an engine that didn’t feel like a big step down, given that torque will be less. Electric isn’t an option for us yet as we do touring holidays and couldn’t be doing with the range anxiety and faff of recharging. Most of the petrol SUV choices on the scheme are 1.5 variants and, also like you, the drop in both power and torque was a concern. With the 20i engine you at least retain the power and it’s also more economical in real world driving than most of its peers with smaller engines. The xLine version of the X1 is very well equipped and the standard leather is excellent quality (unlike the leather we paid extra for in the Tiguan). As you drove the pre-facelift version you will see a big step up in interior quality with the model that you will end up with. Looks better too.

    We went for Mineral Grey with Oyster & Black interior. After much debate (and trying both seat types in two long test drives) we also opted for the Sport Seats. We’ve also added Sun Protection Glass (improves the look!), Harman/Kardon Surround Sound System and both Technology Packs, which add Adaptive Headlights, High Beam Assist, Reversing Camera, Wireless phone charging, enhanced Bluetooth, Navigation Plus and Head-up Display. Makes it an expensive car (although we got a good level of discount) but we reckon that next time around there won’t have any powerful, fun to drive, decent size SUV’s left on the scheme so we are getting one now whilst we still can!

    I hope that your delivery date turns out to be true. We ordered at the end of March and I will be surprised if we get the car before September. Our dealer managed to nab a cancelled order slot so we had an end of June date which recently slipped to end of July. I can see it slipping further with the component shortage issue growing and wouldn’t be surprised if we get told at some stage that an option or two is no longer available due to semiconductor chip shortages.

    #148251 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Great decision, AlanBang. We’re giving up our X1 having just ordered an XC40 Hybrid. There’s lots about the X1 I’ll miss, particularly the driving fun and the way it sounds – neither of which are positives for the XC40!

    I’d missed the fact that you’d ordered the Volvo Wigwam. What was the clincher for you? I never got to drive one in the end, but based on all the reviews I had read or watched felt that it would be a compromise for us, and your test drive feedback seemed to confirm that. I quite fancied the electric and petrol combo but the electric range on the XC40 in real world driving seems very low and then your left with a 1.5 engine (3 cylinder?) – all points that you identified as I recall. So what tipped you to the Volvo? Did you get a good discount and what’s the lead time?

    #148252 Reply
    Landyman

    I think you will enjoy the X1 Alan Bang, I know I do so much it fact I’ve extended my lease another 2 years.

    I did look at a few hybrids, Volvo xc40, toyota rav4 but decided not just yet. If the BMW 3 series touring was still on then that would have been a different matter.

    #148255 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Glos Guy, we had a second test drive this time of an Inscription and felt the suspension was much smoother than the R-Design, and the handling not compromised. It didn’t feel as though it should corner well when pushed, but it did.

    The electric range will be enough for MrsW when she gets back to her short commute in September, so we anticipate weekdays will rarely see the petrol engine used. Also the ability to pre-condition in the winter was quite a plus.

    I know you are concerned about engine size, but I found the acceleration and power response of the combined engine and electric motor is equal to the 2 litre X1 . Even with an (in theory) empty battery, the electric motor cuts in when it’s needed without hesitation.

    There were two things that tipped the decision in the end. MrsW found getting in and out much easier. The seats come much closer to the doors than our current X1 and the squab bolsters are lower, so she could transfer sideways much more easily.  The other thing was we visited a garden centre car park we know well. The X1 would jostle and bounce over the uneven surface but the XC40 did not.  The ride is much more composed at low speeds, even if the X1 is more reassuring at speed.

    My main negative remains, which is the look of the thing!

    #148256 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    To answer your other two questions, Glos Guy. No movement on the AP (I tried a few dealers) and only 10% on the extras. Lead time 10 to 12 weeks but no guarantees obviously. Two dealers reassured Volvo are not affected by the chip shortage.

     

    #148260 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Pleased that you have made a choice that works for you both Wigwam, as that’s all that matters. Everything else is subjective although I know what you mean about the looks. And I thought that I was the only person on the planet who didn’t like the look of the XC40 😂.

    Interesting about the suspension. We were hugely impressed with the suspension on the X1. Don’t know if they’ve tweaked it with the facelift, but we both commented that we just heard the bumps rather than in the Tiguan where we feel them! Not surprised that the Volvo is a step up again though, as it’s more a comfort orientated drive. Pre-conditioning isn’t an issue for us as we garage our cars, but I can imagine it is a god-send in the winter for those that don’t. I can definitely see the advantage of the all electric range if commutes are short and at least with a hybrid you never have the range anxiety issues or the faff of having to find somewhere to charge when on a holiday or long trip, as you do with a full EV. That being said, once EV ranges reach over 500 miles as standard and can recharge to at least 80% in less than 10 minutes then I will make the move to a full EV and look forward to doing so.

    #148261 Reply
    Richardw
    Participant

    It’s so funny how we all have differing opinions over the look of a car etc. For me, the looks and style of the XC40 are two of its big plus points.

    #148262 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    To answer your other two questions, Glos Guy. No movement on the AP (I tried a few dealers) and only 10% on the extras. Lead time 10 to 12 weeks but no guarantees obviously. Two dealers reassured Volvo are not affected by the chip shortage.

    Well at least that’s something. As I thought, Volvo Bristol were giving me BS as they couldn’t be bothered with lowly Motability customers. I have raised a complaint with Volvo UK about the appalling service that we received, although they seem as disinterested as the dealership!

    #148273 Reply
    AlanBang
    Participant

    If the BMW 3 series touring was still on then that would have been a different matter.

    If the BMW 3 series touring was still on then that would have been a different matter.

    Yep was gutted that the 3 series rolled off, both 318i and 320i were my first choice.  Initially I dismissed the X1, but after seeing a number of positive reviews, we had to test and I’m glad we did!

    We’ve also gone for mineral grey and now we are going to add tinted glass and tech pack 1 to the sports seats as options.  I’m keen to keep for 5 years where possible before we look down the EV route so might as well add some features that we will use.

     

     

    #148275 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Good though the X1 is, I would also rate the 3 Series much higher. More refined, better (and bigger) seats, more up to date tech and better sound insulation than the X1. It was the best car on the Motability scheme by a mile IMHO and it’s a great shame that it was removed. I don’t think it would have suited us though, as we both find the higher seating position that you get with SUV’s to be far better for us, but it would have been nice to have had the choice and I feel very sorry for those who had their heart set on one.

    In my comprehensive research of the X1 (before we managed to drive it) I discovered two things that really surprised me. The boot of the X1 is slightly bigger than the 3 Series Touring boot and the cabin interior dimensions of the X1 are broadly the same as the larger X3 model. That last point really surprised me, as we felt that the cabin of the X1 felt small compared to our Tiguan, but we now think that’s due to the dashboard design. The Tiguan dash is much higher and therefore gives the impression of more space lower down, whereas the X1 dashboard is lower and has a more ‘wrap around’ feel. The X1 is also 3” lower than our Tiguan yet still had loads of headroom and didn’t feel any lower when driving it.

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