After only a few years of production, there is a new generation of the BMW X1 and it encompasses some drastic changes. Arriving in Canada in 2012, and 2013 in the US, the X1 is BMW’s smallest SUV. Previously sporting a rear wheel drive platform and an optional straight-six, the 2016 refresh puts an end to both of these.
To the surprise of many, the X1 compact SUV was always a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, built on the 1-series platform. 2016 will see the X1 xDrive28i switched to the front-wheel-drive layout as is in the third generation mini. The revitalized BMW X1 doesn’t have many cosmetic changes from its predecessor, however, the change of skeleton is evident from the vehicle’s footprint. The X1 is shorter, with a shorter wheel base, thus the body overhang is a bit more at both the front and the back. With a shrink in length, the X1 compensates with a growth in height, providing additional interior space.
The new underpinnings of the 2016 BMW X1 means that it can no longer host the inline-six engine option. North Americans will get the X1 with BMW’s 2.0 liter four cylinder engine that outputs 228 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque. The power train set up will direct all torque to the front wheels, with the capability to drive the rear via a clutch. A six speed manual will be available some parts in the world, but our shores will only see an eight-speed automatic. Those looking for a bit more can opt for the M Sport package which will provide shift paddles, firmer suspension, M steering wheel and sport seats.
The 2016 BMW X1 gets some of the latest technology too, with lane departure/forward collision warning and automated parking. Even with these additives the new generation X1 is about 65 pounds lighter and can make a modest 6.3 second naught to 60mph. In conclusion, the BMW X1 has changed its platform, drive type, and engine; yet it appears to be the same vehicle as it was before. We can only wait for a road test to challenge that hypothesis.
Source: Car and Driver