Big, bigger, biggest as new SUVs debut
BMW has revealed its new X1 which has grown in size and gained various electrification options, including the first fully electric version in the form of the iX1. Its smallest crossover SUV now measures in at 4.5m long with prices set to start at £35,130 when it arrives in the UK in a couple of months time.
The X1 gets a complete redesign and you’ll be pleased to see that while its kidney grille is a bit squarer than before, it’s not likely to offend anyone, which makes a change for the latest crop of BMW models. The rest of the styling is much sharper than before to give it a more premium and sporty overall look that we rather like. Instead it’s all different too with inspiration from the larger iX including the latest screens that make up the BMW Curved Display. There’s also loads of other new tech including additional driver assistance and safety systems.
The big news though is in the powertrains, with petrol and diesel versions joined by two plug-in hybrids and the electric iX1. A motor on each axle provides all-wheel drive, combined power of 313hp, 494Nm of torque and BMW is claiming a range of up to 272 miles on a charge. It’ll take up to 130kW of DC charging which means a potential 10-80% charge time of 29 minutes or you can add 75 miles of range in just ten minutes. All models will be available in a wide range of trims with plenty of options available to tick off too.
Mercedes has also been busy updating its GLC SUV with a whole new look inside and out, plus it’s also grown in size. The exterior changes give it a slightly more dynamic look but it’s the interior that gets the biggest changes. The new GLC adopts the look of larger models like the S-Class with a massive touchscreen on the centre console and new digital instrumentation, all contained within what Merc calls a “wing-like” upper dashboard. So not only is Mercedes giving the new GLC more tech and more luxury, it gives you wings too.
It will only be available as a plug-in hybrid with all models offering electric-only running for up to 62 miles. If you are into towing then you’ll be fascinated by the inclusion of something called the Towing Route Planner. This takes into account the type of vehicle you are pulling and then plots your route based on road widths, bridge heights and so on. It all sounds rather clever.
The BMW X1 is larger, the Merc GLC too, but then in weighs Land Rover with its massive new Defender 130, a full eight-seater version of the Defender that looks like it’s ready to carry a bunch of Secret Service personnel. Priced from £73,895 it features a third row of seats for three which ensures space for up to eight people and eclipses the seven seats of the Discovery. Crucially, it still has the boot space of a hatchback at 389 litres when all the seats are in place, but fold both rows down and you can fit in a small country. It goes without saying that Land Rover is promising that the 130 still has the go-anywhere ability of other Defender models too.