Putting an X1's xDrive system to the test

by Bimmerfest.com Member - MiniMike20 on May 6, 2017, 4:44 pm
The car did so much better than I thought it would.

I was terrified most of the morning but it went where I dared to go. The Xdrive system worked great, you could feel it calculating and sending power to the different wheels and the imitation diff lock proved effective in places grip was less than ideal.

Generally, I have faith in the cars capability but we going to need to work on a suspension lift of some kind, the front bumper is simply too prone to damage.

All cleaned up now and with the exception of a few scrapes up front, you would never know.


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9 responses to Putting an X1's xDrive system to the test

stonex1 commented:
May 6, 2017, 5:00 pm

Awesome, cool shots!
MajorTranq commented:
May 7, 2017, 12:44 am

Cool shots. Looking pretty stuck, no.
iamthewalrus commented:
May 7, 2017, 2:03 pm

I take mine off road on the Forest Service roads here in the Cascades, but it's nothing like this. The X1 has enough ground clearance to get me to the trail heads, but that's about it!

Seattle, WA
crankry commented:
May 8, 2017, 4:59 am

looking very confident with the tow hitch already in place, very cool pics looks out of place in the dirt, great shots, Craig
MiniMike20 commented:
May 8, 2017, 9:07 am

The tow hitch was to pull me off here....

For those who want to go off road - Leave the traction control on, turning it off gets you beached like in this pic. I did the same obstacle again with the DTC on and the car did its magic and dealt with the crest much better.

Gadget22 commented:
May 9, 2017, 3:50 pm

Cracking photo's.
MiniMike20 commented:
May 14, 2017, 2:24 pm

This time I say thank you to Shaun Strydom for taking me out to Melkbos 4x4 with the BMW.

So, three corners in I was stuck already, we figured it was going to happen, even with the tyres dropped to 1 bar (the sidewalls have no give because runfalts) the car had bogged. Slightly disappointed I was pulled out by Shaun's Jeep.

We came to some obstacles which the BMW handed surprisingly well and then went along the "trail" which basically meant the BMW turned into a plough - First, Second, rinse repeat, sliding all over the place while the Jeep in front casually cruised along, probably having a fat laugh at the BMW behind.

I was struggling in the corners before eventually bogging down and getting stuck for a second time, at this point the BMW had enough and decided to chuck a coolant temp warning. Stuck we dug it out, let it idle with the heater on in recovery - I must admit, I was pretty chuffed with the car despite being stuck.

In the moment of being stuck I turned the Traction Control off (previously I reported it seemed to like being on more), and then the games started! Suddenly there was no bogging, no hesitation, just a ton of fun, hell I was working a sweat sliding and powering through everything (while my better half sat, or rather was chucked around the car with our friend in the back).

We came out the other side, to the obstacle course which became the "lets see how far we can go" course, and I had an absolute blast. Mud, sand, crests, two wheels, three wheels, beached, up, down, it just went. Slow was suddenly more fun that I could imagine.

In hindsight, I did get a bit cocky, which explains the missing arch-liner and damaged driver front trim. I think my alignment might need some attention too! Again, I have to be somewhat subjective here. People buy X1's (or any other name-brand psuedo SUV/SAV) for many reasons that don't include off-road use.

BMW Markets Xdrive as a safety feature, the wading depth no deeper than the shallowest puddle after some rain, they give it the potential but I think they do so hoping nobody will be stupid enough to actually test it out. I have tested it, and its utterly brilliant.

Ride height and approach angles aside, it loves the challenge and when in doubt you just push harder and it huffs and puffs and gets on with it.

I am investigating a lift kit made by Eibach along with slightly beefier profile tyres that can actually be deflated - I think an extra 9 inches will change this cars prospects drastically.

For now, I am going to take a break before I roll the car, we detailed it today and Ceramic Coated it, all in the name of taking a mommy wagon on lifted suspension and making it do things most people did not think it could do.

dougefish commented:
May 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

That looks pretty fun. I'll be interested to know what you end up with for tires and wheels, would like to see what sort of mini All-Terrains can be fit inside that wheel well, and whether it can be done without a lift.
MiniMike20 commented:
May 29, 2017, 5:53 am

Another fantastic day out, this time with Leighlan Gardener & Wayne Smith at Dirt & Dust.

First up, I was super upset that there was no mud, in fact, less mud than the last time we were there. That said, it was great to come back to a place where I would likely not ruin the X1 and had a good idea of what it could or could not do.

We started off with some minor stuff, beaching the car and finally learning to brave the moment when it comes to crests and obstacles you have never done, again, this is not something I would do without people who could guide me, pull me out and laugh at me.

I had a go at the oval, which was a fail, I wont even upload the video, I think I made the guys on their BMW bikes ashamed when an attempted drift turned into a "oh ****" moment when the car point blank ignored my attempts at being Chris Harris's spirit animal and veered back towards some tyres and a log of wood.

Then we went to the gat that previously was a mud-bath (and I very sadly declined entering). I walked about figured a route for the X1 and then attempted it - All went well, the bumper requiring some reversing, some adjustments in route - My better half, Tiaan, took the wheel at this point mostly because I couldn't get back up the slope to climb back into the car after a photo-op. Super chuffed with his driving!

We did a few more serious obstacles getting the BMW beached a few more times (requiring it be pulled out, again) but with some minor changes to the approach and some brute force and again, "crest bravery" all went well and the car was totally excellent.

The most fun was the quad trail, just having some fun and slides and kicking up some dust after we had officially decided there was nobody else on the track with us. Did plenty axle twisters which the car handled fine.

Lots of entertainment was had when Wayne got the Fortuner properly beached. It was interesting to note that the Fortuner has locking rears but not front. In comparison to the Xdrive setup in my car which "locks" the diffs using its brakes, I cant help but think if the same concept was applied up front the obstacle would have been a non-event for the Fortuner .

That said I am deeply envious of the way the Fortuner just goes everywhere you point it, and the 4.0 V6 sounds excellent! With the X1 you have to accept the limitations, this used to get me down but I am slowly learning that those limitations can be overcome with a bit of planning, a bit of bravery and some power - Steeeeek Hom!

Dont get me started on the damage I did to this car on the last trail, something we only realised a few days after on the lift....