THE THIRST FOR ADVENTURE

Leadership’s motoring expert, John Elford, runs the rule over the new BMW X1

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Over the years BMW have adopted the word ‘Evolution’ in all of their products. Even a BMW driver who owns a 10-year-old model can still feel as up-to-date as the owner of the very latest model. BMW have allowed their products to keep their exceptionally good looks while remaining class-leaders in engineering and innovation with all of their products. Many manufacturers change the design styling and lines of their vehicles every few years and, as a result, a 10-year-old cycle in a car design can appear to be light years away from their latest offering. This clearly affects a vehicle’s resale value, but BMW customers always feel part of the family of good-looking innovative products.

The BMW X series has followed this trend over the years and has evolved into a leader in its field, but somehow has succeeded in staying loyal to its roots. BMW have coined the phrase Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) for their range of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), and these practical vehicles have become an integral fixture in the product line-ups of most modern manufacturers today. Virtually all manufacturers produce one or more of these models, and the new BMW X1 is an SUV at the absolute top of its game.

Stunning good looks with rugged proportions greet you when approaching the vehicle, while the dynamic lines highlight its pedigree. The new model has increased slightly in height from the previous model, and the corresponding raised seating allows for a better view for both the driver and their passengers. Better visibility also equates to added safety on the road. The boot area has increased by a whopping 85 litres, making for additional luggae space when enjoying family holidays.

When lowering the rear seats the expanded load capacity is now 1 550-litres, and the passenger seat’s fold-flat feature enables long items to be carried with ease without having to compromise on rear door access. A foot-activated sensor enables automatic rear door opening, a great plus when carrying items to load into the vehicle, especially in dimly-lit areas.

The dynamic cockpit of the new X1 is totally driver-focussed, with all of the controls easily assessable and within reach. An optional head-up display projects key information onto the windscreen including your vehicle’s speed and the prevailing speed limits, as well as entertainment, navigation and even a no-overtaking indicator.

Once on the open road there are a number of features just waiting to enhance the driving experience. You can choose from Comfort Mode for standard driving, while ECO-PRO is designed to enhance fuel economy by adjusting the Steptonic transmission as well as the heating/air con in order to increase fuel economy. The auto stop-start mode also reduces fuel consumption by switching off the engine when stationary, and this feature can improve fuel economy by as much as 20%.

Another unique feature is the X1’s Brake Energy Regeneration, which converts unused kinetic energy into electricity. This is fed into the battery to prevent the alternator from having to run constantly and, in turn, this means that the engine is not needed to power the alternator.

BMW Connected Drive allows the driver to access a wide range of information, entertainment and service features hands-free while driving. This includes Bluetooth phone applications as well as weather, news and even online searches through Google.

Driving pleasure as well as road safety are enhanced with X Drive, an intelligent, all-wheel driving system, with traction being enhanced on all road surfaces through the X Drive and Dynamic Stability Control. Sensors ensure that power is transmitted to the correct wheels in the appropriate balance in order to prevent either over- or under-steering, thereby ensuring that the vehicle is under control at all times. Performance control distributes engine and braking control to manage curves even better, allowing the vehicle to be completely under control at all times.

Other safety features include LED headlights, with ingenious cornering lights which effectively see around corners. Approach control warning advises the driver of a possible collision and even automatically brakes the car when it senses an emergency situation. If needed, the Intelligent Emergency call alerts the nearest rescue coordination centre to come to your rescue.

The BMW X1 is the exceptional driving machine, offering safety and comfort in the form of an executive SUV.

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