This is a concise review of the Malaysian assembled BMW X1 xDrive20d. Earlier I had the privilege to test drive a X1 xDrive 20d which is part of an early batch of X1s brought into this country. These were complete built up units (CBU) ie fully assembled and imported vehicles. This sampled model is now a semi knocked down (SKD) version of the X1 assembled in Malaysia with the same high quality parts.
Most of the driving experience with the X1 xDrive 20d was documented in an earlier test drive. For this review I will just highlight further improvements and new features which BMW Malaysia had incorporated into the X1 xDrive 20d. One of the tell tale signs between the CBU unit and the SKD unit is the absence of an external antenna ie. a recognizable hump at the rear-end of the roof on the CBU unit. Usually this would mean the car is equipped with the Navigation System.
The quality of the assembly and finishing of the SKD unit is comparable to the CBU unit. Wheels are now larger with 18 inch Goodyear Efficientgrip 225/45 R18 compared to the 17 inch Pirellis in the CBU unit. I sensed an improvment in stability and ride quality. However, the speedometer tends to run a bit faster than before. With no proper measuring devices I can’t confirm whether my hunch on this is correct.
There is an assumption I made earlier which needs to be corrected. I thought the roof rails on the X1 were there just for aesthetic purposes. However, after browsing through the BMW Malaysia website recently, I realized that BMW has its own optional roof carrier rack system for the X1. To have a better view of this system just log on to the BMW Malaysia website under the X1 model.
Among the added features which are now standard on the SKD X1 xDrive 20d is the iDrive system. Having the iDrive system enables better interface for the driver with the car’s navigation, park distance control, entertainment, connectivity and on board computer system. The dashboard now looks more complete with the prominent LCD display at the centre console.
Visually there is an improvement in the presentation of the Navigation System Professional. The map views especially from a distance up to 2km now resembled actual satellite views. Maybe this is a precursor to future navigation systems where we will get actual site views of recognizable land marks and buildings. However, views closer than 2km reverts to the plain old two dimensional maps.
To enhance the driver’s involvement, the steering is equipped with the latest paddle shifters marked “+” on the right and “-” on the left, respectively. This is a welcome addition enabling quicker gearchanges at your fingertips. The overall interior is classier than before having panels with wood trim pattern at strategic places.
I missed noticing this on the CBU unit, but I just realized that on the right side just above the driver is a sunglasses case. There is an option to now electronically fold the side wing mirrors. This is a useful feature to help minimize the risk of damage on the side mirrors especially when you park at close quarters. To reduce vibration on the steering wheel, BMW has cleverly padded the lower section of the steering system with flexible foam.
The powerplant remains unchanged ie the 4-cylinder N47 turbodiesel. I did not notice any changes in performance specs. There is an improvement in cabin insulation. Diesel clatter is not so prominent. Engine and wind noise levels are now closer to its sedan counterparts. Using a sound level meter, the vehicle registered a maximum reading of 63db during our test run on the North South Expressway with cruising speeds of 90km/h to 110km/h.
In terms of performance, I could not detect any discernible difference between the CBU and SKD unit. The test vehicle had accumulated about 3,000 km in mileage. The average fuel consumption is almost similar to the CBU unit at around 8.0-8.3 liters per 100 km. Initially when the vehicle was newer, I sensed the firing in the engine was not entirely smooth during acceleration. However, this disappeared once the vehicle was sufficiently run in.
Overall, the SKD unit is a better buy compared to the CBU unit with added features thrown in such as the iDrive with Navigation System, paddle shifters, larger tyres and foldable side wing mirrors. To top it all off, the layout of the dashboard has improved and insulation/vibration levels are better now on the SKD unit.
|Full Tank:||61 litres @ RM110 (Diesel Euro 2M)|
|Road Tax:||RM438 per annum|
|Standard Service:||Free service for first 3 years|
|Warranty:||3 Years or 60,000km whichever is earlier|
These are estimated costs applicable to Malaysia only which are subject to change without notice. Road Tax is for private registration in Peninsular Malaysia. Standard/scheduled service excludes additional or specific service/repairs requested. Please reconfirm these terms and costs with an authorized BMW dealer.
|Engine:||4-cylinder in-line diesel engine with four-valve technology|
|Max Output:||130 kW (177hp) @ 4,000 rpm|
|Max Torque:||350 Nm @ 1,750-3,000 rpm|
|Top Speed:||205 km/h|
|Acceleration 0-100km:||8.6 sec|
|Fuel Consumption:||6.5 litres per 100 km|
Source: BMW Brochure
Note: Please reconfirm the above specifications with an authorized BMW dealer