Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Baby Beemer Is Not So Little

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Baby Beemer Is Not So Little

Article excerpt

Byline: Edward Stephens

IT'S said that all good things come in threes - which could be why BMW has introduced its new X1 to complete its trio of 4x4 vehicles.

The range started with the Range Rover-sized X5 and it's the choice of numerous celebrities and premier division footballers.

Its success led to the launch of the smaller X3, based on the BMW 3 Series range.

Now comes the baby of the bunch to complete the BMW 1 Series range, the X1.

It is, however, a misnomer to call the X1 a baby. It might be the smallest and least expensive of the X models but it's certainly no baby. In fact it's a very spacious five-seater which offers an abundance of head room - thanks to its high roof - and an impressive amount of leg room.

Despite being a very practical vehicle, the X1 manages to have a sporting image thanks to its rakish roof line, flared wheel arches and dynamic 17-inch alloy wheels.

X1 models are available with rear-wheel-drive but this car - the flagship xDrive 23d SE - has four-wheel drive with a 60-40 split in favour of the rear wheels, although in problem situations the split can be varied.

And such is BMW's engineering that the system permanently monitors the driver's needs and responds in just 100 milliseconds when any slippage is detected.

BMW describes the car as a Sports Activity Vehicle rather than an off-roader. It is a vehicle which has excellent on-road handling and road holding with no roll. At the same time it is still a very capable off-road performer. Inside the cabin it's a typical BMW layout, with a neat, well laid out dashboard and everything falling easily to hand.

The uncluttered appearance is due to BMW's i drive system, which allows you to control everything from the navigation system to the radio stations via a single knob on the transmission tunnel. …

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