Have you ever just felt like driving?
I’m quite fond of long drives. Four hundred, five hundred or even six hundred kilometers at a time. There are of course cars I would rather drive long distances and there are cars I would rather drive to the shops, leave there and walk back. Long distance driving requires a few things in my opinion, the BMX X1 has many of these.
Firstly, you need to be able to set your seat comfortably. You want to be able to monitor the road effectively without feeling like the headmistress is going to run her ruler over your knuckles if your hands aren’t at ten and three. You also want to have excellent visibility just in case Joe Soap is practising his low level flying on the same stretch of road.
Next you’d ideally like a sound system that can deliver. No matter how intrusive the road noise becomes you want clear sound without blowing your eardrums with earth-shattering bass or overly tinny treble. Since it is 2016 you’re most likely using a satnav of sorts and a guide with a nice soothing voice is probably a better option than a wild dictator, although if that is ever an option, I am definitely downloading it to my mates’ devices and changing the password.
The third item on my list would be fuel efficiency. Being frugal is fine but you can’t tow a boat or a caravan with a 3 cylinder 1.0 turbo motor, no matter how little fuel it consumes on the urban cycle it’s just not cut out for some things.
Ideally a balance between power on tap when you need it and a clever computer to save you fuel when you’re just cruising along, like Eco-mode.
This leads us to the fourth item, which would be the transmission. I enjoy a stick shift as much as the next guy but when it comes to long distance motoring I have to admit that my gear choices and changes are not as refined as today’s modern auto boxes. Some cars shift so smoothly you don’t even know the computer has you in the cruise gear already. On a long drive there’s nothing better than being able to concentrate on the journey, taking in the sights as you seamlessly pass through the villages and take in our breathtaking South African scenery. A good “drive” encourages you to drive more and nothing beats effortless motoring in your quest for discovery.
Adventure Sunday in the BMW X1. We found this radio dish forest on a remote route on the way to the Sterkfontein Caves, Maropeng before stopping at the Waffle House. . . . . . #BMW #BMWX1 #roadtrip #touring #photography #satellites #explore #photoftheday #reviewcar #runridedive #AdventureSunday #sunday
The BMW X1 xDrive25i offered all of these things and an electric sliding/tilting panorama roof that extends to the boot area allowing enormous amounts of light and warmth into the vehicle. The navigation system would periodically ask us to “Please turn left at …” rather than tell us to make a left, a far cry from the somewhat abrasive early 90’s Garmin instructions. What a difference internet makes in a car.
170kW and 350Nm, enough for anyone
The ride was superb on 19″ rims shod with 225/45 rubber. The 2 litre petrol engine delivers an impressive 170kW and up to 350Nm of torque which should be ample and all this at a claimed consumption of only 6.4 l/100km.
If there’s a criticism of the X1 it would be the fiddly nature of the onboard computer. Entering a destination into the navigation system is so counter-intuitive you’d sooner get lost. Or hand over your mancard and ask for directions the old fashioned way. As you can tell by the first photograph, we found our way to the cradle of humankind, Maropeng. It did take considerably longer to get the destination into the computer than I would like to admit though.
It should be noted that the vehicle tested was fitted with a staggering R 185,000 worth of extras!
Base price: R 630,000
CO2 tax: R 2975.40
Motorplan: 5 years/100,000 km
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Visit the bmw.co.za website and build/configure your own xDrive25i.
Visit the bmw.co.za website and book a test drive!