2016 BMW X1 Review


The X Series which is the SUV lineup for BMW consist of the X6, X5, X3 and the X1. The X1 being the smallest of the lot now enters its 2nd generation, globally launched late last year the 2016 X1 is now on sale in India. India first saw this latest X1 at the 2016 Auto Expo early this year where it was also launched. We drive the latest BMW X1 which promises to be a lot more mature and totally different than the outgoing model. Read our extensive road test review to find out all on the 2016 BMW X1.

Food For Thought: BMW revealed the concept X1 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show As per BMW more than 730,000 units of the first generation X1 have been sold globally. The X1 was the 1st BMW SUV to offer rear wheel drive. The BMW X1 is called the Zinoro in the Chinese market.


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First things first, the New X1 stands at 4,493mm in length, 1,821mm in width and is 1,598mm in height making it taller, longer and wider than its predecessor. The new X1 is more of a cab forward design built on the all new UKL platform that it shares with the Mini Cooper Clubman and Countryman.


The 2016 BMW X1 looks a lot larger in proportion as compared to the outgoing one. The body styling now gets a lot more like the elder brother X3 in terms of exterior panels and design language. The face now gets a wider and prominent BMW kidney grill with chrome bordering and vertical chrome slats. The front bumper comes with a much more muscular design language. The bumper gets the air dam in glossy black color along with a neat looking skid plate in silver. Fog lights are a bit larger in size over the older model and continue to have the round shape and yellow glow.

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The headlights come with BMW signature twin corona rings that act as day time running lights, full LED headlights come with cornering function. Like the grown proportions of the X1 the headlights also have grown in size and look very imposing on the face of the vehicle. The bonnet gets a bit shorter in terms of length as compared to the older model. The shorter bonnet is a result of the transversely mounted all new engine. The bonnet comes with smooth flowing body lines that flow down towards the kidney grill.

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The side profile now is a lot raised as compared to the older model and also looks a lot proportionate due to the shorter bonnet and fenders. The fenders get unpainted wheel arch insert to extend the SUV look on the sides. The waistline is smoother and flows back passing through the door handles and mates on the tail lights. You get an extended side skirts in silver that makes the car appear broader and also gives it a much better SUV feel. The glass area gets larger with matt black window frame and pillars.


The roof gets a pair of brushed aluminium roof rails and an all glass panoramic electric sun/moon roof along with a shark fin body colored antenna. The body colored wing mirrors come with fresh new design and look larger too. Body colored door handles get white LED back light inside them that glow when you lock or unlock the car. The 2016 BMW X1 drives on 225/50 R18 spec Bridgestone Turanza tubeless tyres mounted on 18-inch double-Y design alloys.


The rear profile gets a neat looking spoiler that has glossy black wind diffusers on its sides. The boot lid gets a muscular design thanks to the horizontal body lines that run along the breadth of the tail lid. The tail lights now look a lot slimmer and sharper in styling and come with a distinctive LED glow in them and stretch themselves from the edges till the license plate.


The rear bumper gets its lower section unpainted and also gets a rear skid plate in silver. Twin round exhausts placed on either sides of the bumper look extremely eye catchy when viewed from rear. Overall the X1 now looks a lot larger, in proportion and with a lot lesser overhangs. The fit and finish is excellent as with all BMWs and paint quality is top notch.


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Step inside the 2016 BMW X1 and you will be amazed with the amount of roominess and space that this car has in it over the older generation version. The interiors, cabin layout and overall plushness all remind us of the bigger X3. The cabin comes in dual tone color in black and beige. The xLine trim that we drove gets brushed metal inserts flowing across the dash and door pads along with dark green wood inserts that look and feel extremely real.

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The steering wheel is a three spoke design with silver inserts and leather wrapping. Steering gets manual adjust for height and reach. The instrument cluster is made up of twin round dials with all the tell-tale warning lights spread around it. A neat little color LCD display placed on the bottom center reads out the time, temperature, shift modes and other drive mode details.

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The latest generation X1 gets the BMW iDrive included on it. A neat looking 16.5cm color display screen is mounted in the center dash. You can control all the multimedia, connectivity, Bluetooth, navigation, drive modes etc via this display screen using the latest generation iDrive system. Both the front driver and passenger seats get full electrical adjust for height, reach, backrest angle, tilt etc.

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The center console gets a all new design shifter. You also get a closable storage bin on the center console which acts like an arm rest with height adjust. The rear seats get 40-20-40 split configuration along with foldable arm rest in the middle. You also can slide the seats ahead or back individually if needed as per comfort or to increase boot space if needed.


The front seating is at a commendable height giving a very SUVish feel. Leg room and head room are excellent and the seats offer very good levels of under thigh and back support. The drivers seat has 3 preset memory function too. The front seats space is 53mm taller and 23mm wider than the older one.


The rear seats offer excellent comfort level overall and good visibility all around too. In fact the 2016 BMW X1 has 33mm more of leg room on the rear seats as compared to the older one. Head room is very generous too. The car is actually shorter in overall length but the wheels are spaced out hence enhancing in the overall cabin space. As for space well there are large bottle holders in the door pads, storage space in the center console and a neat closable cubby space on the right side under the steering wheel. You also have a closable storage box under the passenger seat.

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In terms of luggage capacity the new BMW X1 can load 505 litres which is around 85 litres more than the older car. You can further extend this boot area by folding down the rear seats using the electrical fold system. BMW has also included a space saver spare tyre in the boot. The cabin is very well put in place using the best of quality materials, the space is huge and features in here is very similar to the X3 a vast improvement over the older gen X1.

Engine – Transmission – Drive:

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The 2016 BMW X1 that we drove is the xDrive20d version that gets all wheel drive AWD as standard. It is powered by a 1995cc 4-cylinder twin-turbo Diesel engine that makes 190 HP at 4,000 RPM and produces a very healthy 400 Nm of torque between 1,750-2,500 RPM. This engine is mated to a 8-speed Steptronic transmission. The New X1 comes with an all intelligent AWD system that distributes the engines power between the front and rear axle exactly as the drive situation requires. You also get DSC and hill descent control system on this AWD unit.

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Engine refinement is extremely high inside the cabin partly also due to the high quality of sound deadening done to it. On the road, the drive feels extremely comfortable at all speeds. You can choose between 3 preset drive modes i.e. Comfort, Eco Pro and Sport. These modes work on BMWs Adaptive Suspension System. Comfort mode soaks down all the bumps put to it. The steering gets good amount of feedback but is on the softer side and the transmission shifts happen at a preset RPM.

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On the Eco Pro mode is best suited to get best mileage and more for traffic conditions while the Sport mode gets the real deal from this amazing engine. In this mode the Servotronic speed assisted steering gets stiffer, the gear shifts get quicker and the suspension gets stiffer as a result power delivery is at the quickest. You get 165mm of ground clearance and the X1 wont complain a bit if you took it off roading.


The AWD system works flawlessly and we loved the hill descent mode that is a pleasure to drive in while coming down steep declines. There is extremely no wind or tyre noise at high speeds. The new 8-speed steptronic transmission is a smooth operator working relentlessly with shifts being butter smooth. You never feel that the transmission is hunting between gears or out of breath in any gear. You also get nice large paddle shifters to add to the drama on here.


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The 2016 BMW X1 is a bigger car than before, its got taller and a lot better in terms of looks, features and drive feel. The X1 now feels very much in line with the other X series SUVs in terms of looks and also in terms of how it drives on and off the roads. The AWD system and the Adaptive suspension system bring a lot of SUV character to the X1. On the whole the New X1 is a huge improvement on the previous car, massive with sharp looks, amazing road manners, tons of equipment and its on and off road capability. A worth buy in the entry level Premium SUV with prices starting at Rs. 29.90 lakhs for the sDrive Expedition and Rs. 35.90 lakh for the xDrive20d xLine that we drove during our review. You also get the X1 in the M Sport package that is priced at Rs. 39.90 Lakh (All prices are ex-showroom, Mumbai).

2016 bmw x1 specs chart

2016 BMW X1 Photo Gallery:

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Photography: Ritesh Madhok