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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.
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.
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.