Whilst the outgoing BMW F48 X1 has always been a decent vehicle throughout its 6-year run, and while it drove well (as it should), it still had its faults and in a market segment where it had to face up to pretty stiff competition not just from its German contemporaries but also, from the Nordics in the form of the brilliant Volvo XC40, “decent” just wasn’t good enough.
This brings us to the present day and with it, the launch of the latest BMW U11 X1 on our local shores, and if you haven’t already guessed by now from the chassis code, retains its UKL2-derived platform, underpinning a variety of powerplants. A turbocharged 3-cylinder, 4-cylinder petrol, inline-three diesel, inline-four diesel mild hybrid, petrol plug-in hybrid, and the all-important, all-electric electric variant.
What is interesting here is that while the local launch of the X1 has brought with it just a single powertrain, a turbo-charged 3-cylinder, it is not the same SDrive18i unit that can be found in markets elsewhere and for now at least, the SDrive16i remains a Singapore-exclusive. No doubt created to slot itself into the very slightly friendlier Category-A COE market.
Modest power levels notwithstanding (122hp/230Nm), the latest X1 is a much better-looking vehicle than the one it replaces, gone are the modest and ultimately forgetful looks of its predecessors, and in its place, a stouter, chunkier design with strong body lines and chiseled upright surfaces, proud of its own identity even if it is the baby of the X-car stable. It is a very well-proportioned aesthetic that manages to even look good in non-Msport trim (which incidentally is only a $1,000 premium).
For those keen on the latest X1, it is now available for viewing and test drives at our local dealerships.