NEW FOR 2016:

– All-new model

It’s been a long time in the making, but the second-generation X1 has arrived and it’s ready to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3. Underneath that more SUV-like skin is the most radical change for BMWs since the universal adoption of turbocharged engines.

The X1 is the first BMW sold in North America to use the front-wheel-drive UKL platform, which is shared in common with the Mini Cooper. From a point of packaging, this move makes sense: not only does the X1’s chassis allow for a space-optimized design, there’s considerably more interior room for rear-seat riders. A taller body allowed BMW to raise the driving position; the view out the cockpit is less like a conventional car and more like a crossover. Meanwhile, the cargo hold grows by a useful 85 litres with the rear seats up to 505 L. Enthusiasts fear not: the X1 comes standard with an all-wheel drive system that can divert up to 100 percent of the engine’s power to either axle in less than 250ms.

For the time being the X1 is only offered in xDrive28i form. Though the name is familiar, the X1’s drivetrain is completely new. Under the hood is BMW’s new B46 2.0-litre turbo four which is shared in common with the motor featured in the new Mini John Cooper Works. With this new motor, BMW puts emphasis on refinement and usable performance. Total power is down from 241 hp to 228, but torque remains the same at 258 lb-ft. While BMW favours ZF transmission for its larger vehicles, the X1 gets an Aisin ‘box with eight gear ratios. Other radical changes: The quirky BMW joystick gives way to a conventional gearshift selector, and the X1 can be had with regular tires instead of runflats(!).

The X1 xDrive28i comes equipped with 18-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, LED daytime running lights, Driver Dynamics Controller (Normal, Sport, EcoPro modes), hill descent control, tilt and telescoping steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel, tire pressure monitor, power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, rear privacy glass, electronic parking brake, rain sensor, automatic headlights, fog lights, push-button start, 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, 6.6-inch Control Display with iDrive controller, 205-watt seven-speaker AM/FM/CD, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in jack and more.

The Executive Package adds 360-watt 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, garage door opener, Driving Assistant, front and rear parking sensors, and self-parking functionality.

ConnectedDrive Services Professional adds in-car internet, real-time traffic, BMW Online, and concierge services.

The Premium Package adds alarm, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, power tailgate with hands-free functionality, auto-dimming side mirrors, sports seats, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel and proximity key.

The Premium Package Enhanced builds on the Premium Package with navigation, head-up display, and satellite radio.

Sport Line adds gloss black exterior trim, contrast floor mats, aluminum interior trim with blue highlight, M body kit, 19-inch wheels, gloss black roof rails, M Leather Steering Wheel, run-flat tires, and variable sport steering.

Sport Performance Package adds sport automatic with paddles, 19-inch wheels, run-flat tires, and variable sport steering.

Key options include ski bag, headlight washer jets, Harman Kardon sound system, full smartphone integration, lumbar support, compact spare tire, sliding and reclining rear seats, and wood or brushed aluminum trim.

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