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New BMW X1 review: X-ternal changes only
BMW has given the X1 an easy-to-spot makeover, so if that neighbour you detest bought one last year, driving this new one would irritate him no end.
Octagonal rings sit in place of round ones in the LED headlamps, and the signature double-kidney grilles have joined up, like randy jellybeans.
Under the skin, it's unchanged. There's still a willing but breathless 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbo for the X1 sDrive18i (S$171,888 with COE), whose burbling voice you either love or hate.
Above that is the sDrive20i (S$182,888), with a punchy 2.0-litre that sometimes overwhelms the front tyres.
Around corners, the X1 is like a BMW in high heels: better than most, but not what a real fan expects.
What really sells X1s is how big it is inside. There's space aplenty, and you can play with it by tilting the rear chairs or sliding them.
A new touchscreen system makes the cabin nicer, but the new Audi Q3's interior is even more digital, and fancier to look at. The Q3 is also bigger than before. The X1's facelift does add freshness, but the threat from Audi has literally grown.