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2021 BMW X1 SportX Review, First Drive

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The BMW X1. The SUV from the manufacturer that aims to take on the likes of the Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40 is finally here with us. BMW has an aggressive strategy of giving best-in-class value packages, driving dynamics, and great after-sales experience in India. This SUV is no different either. Be it on the inside and outside, it has what it takes to impress a set of consumers as always. After all, the BMW X1 is meant to be the most practical car as it serves entry-level customers. Like always there is a lot to talk about any BMW. We find out what the BMW X1 SportX variant offers and doesn’t to its prospective buyers.

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On the outside, the SUV is much better compared to the previous generation, but with this facelift, the grille and headlights have changed. The height and wheelbase are longer than before which makes it the most SUV-type just like its elder siblings. The elements on the car make it stand out. The build quality on the outside seems and sounds great and it scores high on crash tests like any other BMW. The large wheels and the unique head and tail lamps with LED’s make it stand out. The propionate grille always helps it stand out against most of its competitors. The rear profile also makes it look much bigger than what is lending it the premium luxury SUV look.

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On the inside, the build and quality are good and so is the expansive feature list we have explained time and again in our launch reports. You get every feature possible in the SUV. Right from automatic lights and wipers to reversing cameras, front and rear parking sensors, and projector lamps, the SUV has a large panoramic sunroof, wireless apple car play and ambient lighting to speak of the top few features. The lack of LCD screen in the instrument cluster area is surprising and we think it is only coming with the new generation car that will come in the next 2 years.

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Space is good with sufficient shoulder and knee room you expect is here. Leg and headroom continue to be in good supply. The boot space is good by segment standards. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well controlled. Like any other BMW, it is a pleasant place to be. Safety kit continues to be high with electronic stability control and six airbags, Hill Hold Assist, ABS and EBD, and more come as standard.

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All BMW engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the X1 is no different. Be it in any part of the rev range. Low and mid-range are good on the diesel that makes 190 PS and 400 Nm of torque going through the fantastic 8-speed automatic. Top-end is good enough as well and it cruises at legal speeds and higher than that, quite easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway duties and makes driving comfortable enough thanks to the precision in every driving mode. 13 km/l for the diesel in the city and 18 km/l on the highway is what we got in our Mumbai-Pune run.

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Like most BMW SUV’s, the ride quality is good at all speeds, and high-speed stability is spot on thanks to ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance. BMW X1 ride is the best riding BMW in the Indian context. Body roll is well in check at all speeds and changing lanes at high speeds is a very confidence-inspiring input. Steering is light, precise and has just about enough feedback on offer which makes the car fun and 100% confidence-inspiring to push harder.

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With four passengers on board, it still pulls well, the ride is settled, ground clearance is not an issue. All of this makes it a great family car to live with for long or short journeys, Brakes are good with good pedal bite and more than enough stopping power. Overall, very easy to drive and quite fun to drive but this time, the rivals have caught up and BMW does not have complete dominance in this regard.

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2021 BMW X1 SportX India Review, Verdict

All BMW cars are quite reliable, have warranty schemes that suit your needs, and have enough reach and quality when it comes to after-sales service. BMW has priced the X1 right and this SportX variant does seem rather well-specced for an entry-level car. You now also have a petrol variant to choose from but the lack of AWD may matter to some but not all, that is quite certain. Overall, it is efficient, practical, fun to drive which can do it all for five passengers and luggage, this is clearly your choice if you are in the mood to cut a Rs. 50 lakh cheque.

October 2022 prices
X1 sDrive20i SportX Rs. 39,50,000
X1 sDrive20i xLine Rs. 41,50,000
X1 sDrive20i Tech edition Rs. 43,00,000
X1 sDrive20d xLine Rs. 43,50,000

2021 BMW X1 SportX Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Dynamcis
  • Value
  • Features
4.8
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