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BMW Leasing (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

1,899,000-6,999,000 baht/unit

Address:87/2, Wireless Road Rd., Pathum Wan, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Tel:+6623058915

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 09:00-06:00

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Editorial Reviews

When small isn't enough

Saving 200k for a petrol-powered BMW X1 might not probably make that much sense. Here's why

What's new?

Our first outing with BMW's second-generation X1 earlier this year was in sDrive18d form. It had a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel-turbo engine driving just the front wheels (as the sDrive moniker indicates) via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Now, there's an 18i petrol version that can be had for 2.29 million baht -- 200,000 baht less than the 18d in X Line trim. The 18i comes with a 136hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol-turbo engine but with an older six-speed automatic.

Eagle-eyed punters will note that the previous X1 in entry-level form had prices starting from 1.99 million baht. BMW Thailand say the new X1 has more standard features including 8.8-inch control display with navigation and parallel parking assist. Hence, the 300k price premium.

The closest rival to the 18i is the Mercedes-Benz GLA200, which comes with a 156hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol-turbo engine and costs 2.09 million baht. Both the GLA and X1 are assembled here in Thailand.

What's cool?

One of the biggest failings in the previous petrol-powered X1 was its engine was a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine that felt mostly gutless on the move and thirsty on fuel as well.

It appears than the new 1.5-litre motor has helped iron out some deficiencies at low to medium speeds.

With the presence of a turbo, the 18i lurches forward with less throttle effort than in the old 20i model, thus promoting fuel economy in the process, as well. Because the 18i has 136hp, it's possible to achieve 15kpl under the right circumstances.

This was something you could hardly do in the outgoing 20i. Moreover, the modest amount of power means that the front-wheel-drive chassis won't be overwhelmed when the driver pushes the car around corners. The decision to make those aforementioned features standard across the range is quite useful due to the nature of potential buyers of the X1.

The navigation/infotainment system, in particular, is very relevant today. As well, the parking aid takes some stress away from placing bulky vehicles next to the kerb. And if you happen to be eyeing the Mercedes GLA, be reminded that it doesn't have an airy or practical package as the X1. It appears that the X1 is a more proper SUV than the GLA, which still looks like a jacked-up A-class hatchback.

More standard features have made the X1 slightly dearer in price than before. KWANCHAI LUANGSATHIT

What's not?

Despite being bolted with a turbo, the three-cylinder engine feels quite weak outside the city. Floor the throttle and oomph continues to flow casually rather than with more commitment.

And just because BMW has been a little more generous this time with more features doesn't mean that the X1 has the same level of driver assistance systems as in the Volvo V40 Cross Country, a nearby rival which also aims to attract people needing a higher-riding body than a hatchback.

Buy or bye?

The X1 has always been in a unique position in the Thai luxury car market by being the only one (Audi's ultra-rare Q3 aside) to offer a true SUV package, that is, spacious and practical interior, commanding driving position and high-riding body.

And if you had already made up your mind about going out and purchasing the X1, the only question remaining is the engine. Is it worth saving 200,000 baht for the 18i if your life is not just about counting beans?

To us, the answer is no. There are two simple reasons.

First, the 18d performs with much more conviction, be it during the daily school run or when vacationing over a holiday weekend.

Second, if you're planning to go for a premium SUV (which could get you two mass-market ones for the same price), you'd really want to have a satisfying driving experience.

Turbo three-pot more suited for city driving. KWANCHAI LUANGSATHIT

Automatic gearbox is still a six-speeder. KWANCHAI LUANGSATHIT

The 18i guns for the Merc GLA200. KWANCHAI LUANGSATHIT

 

Location

87/2, Wireless Road Rd., Pathum Wan, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

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