Mean off-road muncher

2010-05-01 09:53

BMW has delivered the smallest sports ­activity

vehicle (SAV) in the local market, and while it’s a very capable machine, very

few X1 buyers will actually take it to any kind of extreme.

The German manufacturer is

known for delivering innovative technology and this SAV gives buyers the choice

of either an all-wheel drive or a rear-wheel drive. The range features two

diesel-powered engines and a petrol one, available in either sDrive or xDrive,

in manual or automatic six-speed gearboxes.

The rear-wheel drive

sDrive18i and sDrive20d are more efficient, thanks to their weight reduction.

The xDrives have optional ­performance control and a standard hill decent

control function, while the xDrive20d is a single-turbo diesel 2.0-litre unit

kicking out 130kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The range-topping xDrive23d

features a ­twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine with power figures of 150kW and


Green-conscious buyers will

probably find the sDrive20d more appealing, with an average fuel consumption of 5.6litres/100 km and a CO2 emission rating of 148 grams a kilometre. With

the new tax emission law set for September later this year, this will probably

be one of the good choices on the market.

The X1 is the fourth

X-model in the family and is much ­smaller than its big brothers – X3, X5 and X6

– but just as butch and even better looking.

The five-seater’s wheel

arches are not the usual curved shape found on most cars and look ­almost

square. The double ­kidney grille is more upright and emphasises the high ground

clearance and the protection trim around the lower part of the front end.

The ground clearance looks

quite high on printed ads, but in reality, the car

is much lower. This could be a concern if you want to do some serious

bundubashing, though the car has a silver

underfloor to protect the vehicle when driving off-road.

The X1 measures 4.45m in

length, and strong design lines and dual round headlights give it a touch of


Its off-road nature was

tested on the rocky mountain side of Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town.

If you want to order an X1,

brace for a waiting list of up to four months before delivery.

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