Extra Special? The top dog in the new BMW X1 line-up is the 25d xLine, but is it worth the extra cash over the excellent 20d version? Words: Bob Harper. Photography: BMW.
If you’re pretty convinced by the looks and style of the new X1 but feel you might need a little bit more urge than is offered by the 20d version BMW has the answer in the form of the xDrive25d. It’s been offering a twin-turbo diesel solution in the X1 since the model was launched – first as a 23d and post-face-lift as a 25d – and that latter nomenclature has been carried forward to the new model, too. Improvements have come with the use of the new ‘B’ class four-cylinder though and the 25d now develops 231hp and although its torque output remains the same at 332lb ft it’s quicker than before with 0-62mph taking just 6.6 seconds. Despite this there have also been improvements in economy and emissions by nine and 12 per cent respectively.
BMW often restricts the choice of trim available for its range-toppers and that’s the case with the X1 25d as it can currently only be spec’d as the xLine we’ve tested here, although an M Sport model will be along very shortly with both models costing the same. The xLine trim includes such items as 18-inch xLine alloy wheels, exterior trim with an aluminium finish, black high-gloss interior, Dakota leather upholstery with perforations and contrast stitching, LED headlights with cornering function and front seat heating. Externally we’re not 100 per cent convinced the aluminium trim finish really suits the car, but we’re guessing others will find it attractive, but inside the xLine finish does look pretty decent and lends the interior a somewhat superior air. While we didn’t spend as much time behind the wheel of the 25d as we did in the 20d it does feel a little quicker, but perhaps not as much as the raw stats would indicate.
You have to really stir the 25d for it to feel a step up from the 20d and when we did it does seem to be a little noisier than the single turbo model. In both machines the eight-speed auto was as seamless as you’d expect and for the X1 there have been further refinements with Predictive Shift which uses navigation data and route profile to predict the optimal gear in advance. There’s also now a greater differentiation between Comfort and Sport modes while higher gear shift dynamics allows drivers to switch down multiple gears in one fast action. It’s interesting to note that a recent brief drive of a Jaguar equipped with the same ‘box wasn’t such a satisfying drive as this BMW which must be down to superior software programming by BMW’s engineers.
While there’s no doubting the 25d xLine was still an entertaining drive and drew on the strengths of the lesser-engined models it’s by no means a cheap option at a smidgen over £36k, especially when you bear in mind an X3 20d xLine can be bagged for the same amount of cash. If it were our money we think we’d either opt for the X3 or more likely go for the X1 20d in Sport or M Sport guise and choose some of the tempting options on offer rather than blowing the whole budget on the 25d xLine.
|ENGINE: Four-cylinder turbodiesel|
|MAX POWER: 231hp at 4400rpm|
|MAX TORQUE: 332lb ft at 1500-3000rpm|
0-62MPH: 6.6 seconds
TOP SPEED: 146mph
|PRICE (OTR): £36,060|