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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 15th 2010
6--- Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au Saturday, May 15, 2010 Breaking in the new Bimmer First impressions can be the wrong ones, says Keith Didham ODDLY APPEALING: BMW's new X1 comes with a premium price tag, impressive cornering grip and sexy interior design, inset. firstname.lastname@example.org with KEITH DIDHAM E VER bought a new pair of shiny shoes you saw in the store window --- then came close to throwing them away? You liked the look but once you started wearing them you found them just too uncomfortable. Then, after a week, you have broken them and can live with them. BMW's new X1 is a bit like that. Parked in the showroom window the styling is oddly appealing --- this is a premium priced softroader but it looks more like an oversized hatch so it doesn't look too bulky. But like the new shoes, I couldn't get comfortable with the baby Bim- mer for the first three or four days. I came close to hating it. By the end of the week that all changed. The heavy gearshift didn't feel so truck-like, the steering not as heavy, the ride not so uncompliant and the seating position not so awkward. The X1, launched last month, is the tinytot in BMW's X family, joining the oversized (and some would say irrelevant) X6, the excellent X5 and the somewhat lacklustre X3. It is based on the 3 Series platform --- a big plus because it offers plenty of cabin space thanks to a longer wheel- base than the 1 Series hatch. So what's on offer here? OK this is where it gets a little confusing. At present you have a choice between two all-wheel drive 2.0-litre turbo diesels --- an auto-only 23d with 150kW to play with or the lesser 20d (as tested here) with 130kW; it offers a six-speed manual as standard but you can option a six-speed auto. BMW will broaden the X1 family next month with a rear-wheel drive which will be badged the sDrive (BMW-speak for two-wheel drive) to distinguish it from the xDrive all- wheel drive. It will share the 2-0-litre turbo diesel motor but being only two- wheel drive will be cheaper to buy. Also being added to the X1 lineup will be two petrol variants, an entry level, two-wheel drive four-cylinder 18i (110kW) and a straight six-cylinder all-wheel drive 25i (160kW) and this one will be an auto only. Now there's no escaping these pint- sized softroaders (sorry, BMW likes to call them SAVs, that's Sports Activity Vehicle) come with a premium price tag. BMW says the X1 is the world's first luxury compact wagon and has priced it accordingly. Hence the price range from $43,500 for the base 18i to $56,800 for the 25i. But a word of caution is timely here. BMW likes a long list of options, so if you start ticking the boxes for extras the price rises rapidly. For example, we drove the manual 20d this week. It has a list price of $52,700, plus onroad costs. That buys you a reasonable stan- dard kit including a full raft of safety gear, hill decent control, a decent audio system, automatic air con- ditioning, trip computer, central lock- ing, push button start and automatic wipers and headlamps. Missing from action? Power adjustable front seats and multi stack CD player. But the test wagon was also fitted with nine options --- worth $15,400. BMW charges $1700 for metallic paint (you don't have much of a choice here because most of its paint colours are metallic). Add on $2500 for larger 18-inch alloy wheels, $3000 for a panorama glass roof, $2900 for a satellite navigation system, $900 for a rear-view camera, $1200 for alloy roof rails and side sills, $715 for front and rear park distance warning system and $2340 for a smart interior design package with leather sports seats. Now the price is more than $68,100 --- before onroad costs. Of course it's all a matter of personal choice. If I were buying the wagon I'd go for the glass roof, the excellent and easy-to-use nav system, rear camera and park distance con- trol and save myself nearly $7900 on stuff I don't really need. on the road THERE'S a lot to like about the X1 once you settle in. For example, there's a neat stop- start party trick to save fuel wasted when running at idle. Once normal operating temperatures and desired cabin temperature have been reached, the X1 will automatically switch off the engine when stopped if neutral gear is selected. Pushing the clutch fires it up again. There's also an indicator on the dash which suggests what gear you should be in to give the best fuel return. And fuel consumption is excellent. We hovered between 6 and 7 litres per 100km without trying too hard for a mix of city and country running. BMW's own consumption figure is 5.8l/100km combined. We also loved the X1's strong disel engine and its road manners. This is a wagon which loves to be driven and has the ability to do so in spades. Cornering grip is impressive. The ride, on those horrible runflat tyres, is hard and sometimes unforgiving and the suspension is firm. The downsides: gear shifting is tiresome because it is heavy, so the auto is a better choice. The steering is far too heavy in city traffic but, conversely, good on the highway. Oddly, even the door mirrors are too chunky and hinder your side view at a time when most manufacturers make them too small. And while BMW has made a big effort to improve cabin storage, the X1 is still lacking. There are generous door pockets, but centre console space is limited and the roadbook all but swallows the glovebox. The lack of a spare wheel helps, of course, with good space under the rear floor. The X1 won't appeal to all, but if you're into fashion, it has much going for it. small torque BMW X1 20d How much: $52,700 plus on- roads. Power: 2.0-litre turbo diesel, 130kW @ 4000rpm, 350Nm @1750-300rpm. Transmission: 6-speed manual. Rivals Subaru Outback 2.0D Premium (from $43,990) VW Tiguan 103 TDi (from $36,990) John Farnell PH 03 6231 3666 MOB 0409 313 332 FAX 03 6231 3332 email: MRCARSOFTASMANIA@bigpond.com 318 Argyle Street, Hobart 7000 Finance available to approved clients OPEN SAT & SUN TILL 6PM 06 HYUNDAI GETZ 2 DOOR 97 NISSAN TERRANO 2 WAGON 08 FORD BF MK III WAGON 07 HOLDEN ASTRA CD WAGON U O O G SAN TERRANO 2 WAGON O G O S N A W 2 RAN R E T AN O G G O O 8 8 A A W W I I I I I I K K M M F F B B D D R R F F O O G G A A W W I I I I I I K K M M F F B B D D R R O O F F 8 8 OLDEN ASTRA CD WA C AS O A W D RA T N E D L Alloys, manual, tinted windows. Was $9,500. NOW Automatic, silver, 41,000 klms. 7 seater, silver, manual. Auto, white, tinted windows. Only 36,000 klms. 99 HOLDEN VECTRA WAGON 04 HILUX 4X2 UTE 07 MAZDA BT-50 4X2 D/CAB 06 HOLDEN VZ UTE 05 MITSUBISHI LANCER SEDAN 02 SUBARU LIBERTY RX SEDAN 08 COMMODORE VE SEDAN 02 HOLDEN ASTRA CONVERTIBLE O G C C / 0 5 B A D 2 X 4 T B A D Z A M B CA / D X2 4 0 5 T B A D AZ M U O S S U U U U D D E E X X X X R R R R Y Y T T R R R R E E B B I I L L R R R R A A A A B B D D E E S S X X RX RX R R Y Y T T R R R R E E B B I I L L U U R R R R A A B B U UB U B D COMMODORE VE SED COMMODORE VE SED O O C C S S B B I I T T R R R R E E V V N N N N A A A A R R R R T T A A A A N N N N E E D D B B I I T T R R R R E E V V N N N N O O C C RA RA R R T T AS AS N N N N E E D D CO B Automatic, blue, very clean. Manual, silver, low klms. Was $19,990. TODAY 2.7 manual, 120,000 klms, white. Turbo diesel, manual, 103 klms, very clean. Auto, f/glass canopy, white only. Aut whi 139,000 klms. Mnaual, 2.5, silver. Was $14,990. TODAY 20" alloys, dark blue, rear spoiler. 97 SUBARU IMPRAZA WRX HATCH 03 MAZDA 323 PROTEGE 08 MITSUBISHI LANCER WAGON 04 CLUB SPORT AZDA 323 PROTEGE 3 3 G O E E T R P 2 A D AZ 8 MITSUBISHI LANCER WAGON 8 MITSUBISHI LANCER WAGON O O S S U U C C T T R R R R P P B B L L 4 4 T T R R R R O O P P S S B B U U L L C C 4 4C UB S O Lots of extras VY blue, all Club Sport extras. Was $25,990. TODAY Manual, silver, only 108,000 klms. Automatic, white, 37,000 klms. ONLY 00 FORD XR6 AU 07 MITSUBISHI LANCER SEDAN 06 HOLDEN CREWMAN VZ 05 FORD BA FLAT TRAY 8990 00 FORD XR6 AU 00 FORD XR6 AU U U 6 6 O O 0 0 0 0 A A R R X X D D R R F 00 FO D 6 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 89 9 9 990 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 89 9 9 9 990 S C S U S tomatic, te, 000 klms HOLDEN CREWMAN 6 HOLDEN CREWMAN V A A A A R R R R T T T T A A A A L L F F A A A A B B D D R R R R Y Y RA RA R R T T T T LA LA F F A A B B D D R R R RD B Manual, silver, only 120,000 ks. Gas only. 43,000 klms. Was $16,990. NOW $ , Automatic, 43,000 klms, fibreglass canopy. 2019359-100515 07 MITSUBISHI LANCER SE 07 MITSUBISHI LANCER SE Auto, blue, e alloys. Was $17,990. NOW W W W y 15990 24990 15990
May 8th 2010
May 22nd 2010