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Old 8th December 2011, 16:34   #1
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Default The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Though 28th July 2011 may have dawned like any other, it was, nevertheless, a very special day for our family. And that was because we had decided to stretch & make a dream come true. Right from morning, there was an air of heightened expectancy & underlying excitement in the house. The excitement continued to build up till 4 pm, when we left home & made our way to a showroom in Sector 14, Gurgaon. Only to return a couple of hours later with our very own BMW, FINALLY!! Ladies & Gentlemen, may I present The Devil in Deep Sea Blue -
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02427.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02426.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02430.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02433.jpg
For those wanting to know how & why the X1 happened, please refer to this thread -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sedans...it-its-x1.html (Suman's Final Dilemma : 320d or X1? EDIT : It's the X1)

Four months plus & close to 7k kms later, I thought it was time to put my thoughts & observations on paper (Viddy, for one, will heave a sigh of satisfaction!). I hope this thread serves as a handy referencer for the X1 - while I may not post everything under the sun as far as my ownership experience is concerned, I would encourage readers to ask questions & I will try & answer them to the best of my knowledge. These Chronicles may not be the most structured ones out there & I may not necessarily follow a fixed pattern, hence please bear with me.

Before I elaborate further on Life with the X1, I would like to thank a couple of people who were instrumental in my taking the final insane plunge - Akshay (Flyingspur) & Abishek (Abishek2222). Thanks a ton guys, for answering my innumerable questions & providing the final impetus - Abishek for sharing his experiences every step of the way & Akshay for giving me one hell of a good reason why I should go for the X1 over the 320d!

A quick summary of my Likes & Dislikes about the X1, there are a lot more likes but just summarizing a few -

Likes
  • 177 bhp of pure driving nirvana, as my signature says, put it on an open road &...................
  • Awesome stability & handling
  • Very decent ground clearance
  • Excellent brakes
  • Superbly comfortable front seats
Dislikes
  • The absence of the Corona rings, come on BMW, why the stepmotherly treatment on this one!
  • The Runflat tyres - sheesh, enough said! Just can't figure why BMW India are not offering the tubeless options, when BMW Singapore apparently are. Its probably more to do with space for the fifth wheel & tyre
  • The horn button - surprisingly hard & takes a while getting used to
  • Absence of Rain sensing wipers, Auto headlamps & DRLs on this version - just cannot understand why. If our desi Arias & XUV500s can offer this, I think it should be made COMPULSORY on all vehicles in the 15+ lacs category. Its not a dealbreaker but an annoyance. And the brochure that had been given to me by BMW shows rain sensing wipers as standard on this version!
When I took this crazy decision to buy a vehicle at more than double my original budget, the biggest question in our minds was - How on earth would this fancy vehicle be able to replace the Safari? My daily commute is around 120 kms through a mix of largely good & some absolutely HORRIBLE road surfaces (those familiar with Gurgaon's cratered moonscape will know what I'm talking about). Would I be able to make the two most radical changes required to my driving style -
  1. No more driving flat out over bad surfaces. Forget about flat-out, I'd have to really slow down to a crawl the minute a rough patch appeared. In the process, all & sundry would zoom past me - the autos, the altos, maybe even an enterprising cycle rickshaw puller or two!
  2. No more "in your face" driving as far as call center cabs, DTC buses, trucks & MUVs were concerned & no more of trying to push them off the road if they misbehaved. In fact, I'd have to patiently put up with all that these vehicles threw my way, be it black smoke or lane cutting or whatever!
Most importantly, would it be fair to a Bimmer to treat it like a daily drive & take it everywhere I took the Safari to? Well, considering that insanity had made an appearance big time, I really had no choice but to say "Yes" to all of the above! And thus, our journey began.........


So, how has life with the X1 been so far?

The (in)famous tyres? Well, the first thing my wife & I agreed was that July is the worst month to buy a car in, particularly if you live in Gurgaon - the monsoons had played havoc this year & there were patches where you just couldn't avoid the craters or the slush. Imagine tackling these on 17 inchers with low profile Runflats. Ooouuucchhhh - you get the drift, right? I must admit that I was scared as hell for the better part of the first couple of months about the possibility of damage to the Runflats. Even though I had BMW Secure (which replaces upto 4 tyres in a year on account of cuts, bursts or punctures), I was wondering if 4 were going to be enough! Considering that the Yoko Geos on the Safari had their first puncture after close to 50k kms, I now think that I may have been over-reacting. But that was simply because of the horror stories I had heard about the sidewalls of the Runflats being prone to damage etc etc. But then, I gradually realized that the much maligned Runflats were not that much of a nightmare if you were careful. And I have been as CAREFUL as I had probably been when I held our first born daughter in my arms, 18 years ago! LOL! I now realize that I have become a tad careless over the past month but not to the point where I fly over potholes. Nope. But I probably don't slow down to as much of a crawl over bad patches as I used to. Net result was that even with close to 7k kms on the odo, the tread depth remained 8mm for the front & 7mm for the rear - not bad at all!
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011332.jpg
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011333.jpg
In this context, I must share how our daughter would regale a gathering of friends with her version of how our average commute would be at the beginning - flat out on the expressway whereby we would fly past everyone and then back to a crawl when we got off the expressway whereby all of them would have overtaken us again. Siggghhh! I will share more details about the tyres in the section on workshop visits but just a quick mention here - as of 9th December, The Devil is shod with Bridgestone Potenzas, the Pirellis have been replaced under warranty!

Road Presence? One thing I can say after 4 months is that except for the first couple of weeks when I was (obviously) on tenterhooks, life with the X1 has been pretty easy. I have ventured to all corners of the NCR that I have taken the Safari to, including the far reaches of North Campus & Tis Hazari, through a mix of broken & cratered concrete roads as well as smooth tarmac. It has held up well in the midst of crazy traffic consisting of cycle rickshaws, handcarts, DTC Monsters, Santros, i10s with mirrors closed - everything! The good thing is - I found that most people respect the vehicle & make way when it shows up in their RVMs, including call center cabs or buses or autos giving way when I've flashed lights a couple of times - pleasant surprise! However, I do miss the Safari whenever there is a bad or broken stretch to be covered. Or when there is a jam & I can see that I could go off the road on the extreme left lane & go over some loose earth or grass or cobbled stones - but dare not take a chance ruining the RFTs! And, of course, I have adopted my driving style for the occasion. That doesn't mean that I cower in a corner - I do zip through the openings but I don't carve my way through as had been the practice in the past.

Driveability & Performance? I'll make this quick & painless - IMHO the X1 is a real hoot to drive. I do own the Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXI which, in its segment, is a real FTD car but it doesn't come anywhere close. The sheer thrill of putting your foot down on the expressway & then suddenly realizing that that the needle has hit 160 in no time & that you need to back off - matchless! It takes curves effortlessly & not once do you feel that you are not in control - it is so stable & planted to the tarmac. The ride is a tad stiff for the rear seat passengers but its really not as bad as it is made out to be - unless you go flat out over undulating surfaces, in which case they will do the jig! The ride quality is also dependant on the tyre pressure & one needs to find one's sweet spot. BMW recommends 31 psi (F) & 38 psi (R), I had been told by the dealer that 33 all round would be the optimum, I have now settled for 32 all round. This has done wonders as far as the bouncy ride is concerned! The other thing I simply love about the X1 is the ability to zip through the gaps in traffic. That used to take a major amount of planning in the Safari, heck, even the Fiesta is not that quick. With this one, you know that you have enough juice to make that gap without cutting anyone off or having to slow down. That really helps make up places & time during the daily commute. The lane changing indication (you can set it to three blinks) also helps to let the person you are overtaking know your intentions. And, of course, there's always the Sports Mode, should you want to just disappear off the competition's radar altogether

Fuel Efficiency? I had been pretty skeptical about their claims - ARAI rated FE is 15.24 kmpl, I had expected around 9-9.5. The Sales guy told us that their TD vehicle would constantly give around 11 & that's what I should expect. I didn't believe him but I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised at these numbers . Done 12 refills post the first tank filling so far &, as you can see, its been climbing, tending towards the 11 kmpl mark now -
  • 3rd August - 9.31
  • 16th August - 9.89
  • 24th August - 9.55
  • 1st September - 9.51
  • 13th September - 9.73
  • 27th September - 9.56
  • 3rd October - 9.63
  • 12th October - 9.54
  • 24th October - 10.08
  • 4th November - 10.59
  • 23rd November - 10.44
  • 5th December - 10.56
These numbers (based on the tank fulls) come close to the fuel consumption shown by the on-board computer though not exact. I feel that one of the reasons for the difference is the tendency to fill past the cut-off (and to round off the amount to the nearest ten rupees!) - what I'm planning is to stop at the cut-off for the next four or five tankfuls to see if it ties up exactly with the no-board calculation. The above FE was achieved with a (daily) mix of expressway ripping (but not in Sports mode) in the mornings (55kms round trip), a not too congested commute to work in the morning (32kms) and a ride back in the evening in heavy (and sometimes bumper to bumper) traffic (32kms). Looking at the real time fuel consumption indicator (in liters per 100 km) below the tachometer I have realized that I would get phenomenal results if I was to just hold on to the 90-100 kmph band on the expressway. Even in heavy traffic, it coasts along without burning too much fuel. The worst consumption is during prolonged stop-start situations & if I really continue accelerating on the expressway. All in all, I'm more than happy with its fuel efficiency. Its at par, maybe a tad lower than what the Safari used to deliver but do keep in mind that the Safari would not be accelerated or ripped like this, in fact, my self-imposed limit for the Safari used to be 120!

Brakes? Superb, awesome! However, considering the fact that it is a RWD & the speeds from which we come to a halt on a frequent basis, it does take its toll as I can see that the life expectancy has come down (as shown by the current suggested service indicator). I've had ABS kick in on a couple of occasions but no unnecessary dramas whatsoever. My daughter tried her hand on the X1 last Sunday & she was saying Brakes are awesome or are the Fiesta's brakes on their last legs?!! That kinda sums it up for me.

Rear Legroom & Ride Comfort? Its a no-brainer that this is where the Safari wallops it clean - no vehicle would come close to the Safari as far as Cabin space & middle row ride are concerned. However, despite a lot of brickbats thrown the X1's way in respect to rear legroom, I find that its not too bad (and, more importantly, we were well aware of this deficiency when we made our choice). I was doing an idle comparison with the Fiesta (which is what the family spend a lot of their time in) and the X1 didn't come off too badly -
  • Fiesta - Rear Legroom approx 6 inches, rear seat depth approx 19 inches
  • X1 - Rear Legroom approx 6.5 inches, rear seat depth approx 17 inches
Here are a couple of views of the rear legroom in the X1 with both the front seats pushed all the way back (driver's seat in my memory setting) -
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-10092011305.jpg
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-10092011306.jpg
Now, as mentioned earlier, the ride is stiff but its not to the extent that the rear seat occupants would be thrown up to the ceiling all through the journey (as we had heard earlier). Mind you, it is strictly a four seater but we've had five on board on a couple of occasions and (I'm told by the rear seat occupants) it was bearable. It is obvious though that this would not be the ideal vehicle for a family road trip but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it! With my daughter now in college & my son in Class IX, family road trips will become increasingly scarce, if you know what I mean. And when we do our daily or weekend rides together, everyone just enjoys the BMW experience, trust me when I say - No one cribs!

NVH Levels? This is something that would depend on individual perception, but I can tell you this - we love the silent cabin. Compared to our earlier cars, the X1 comes across as a refreshingly noiseless vehicle, heck, even the Fiesta appears noisy! Apart from tyre noise at high speeds (yet to check out if the Bridgestones are noisier than the Pirellis) & the hum of the engine, there's not much else in the X1. I remember, on the way to drop my daughter to college one morning, I thought I heard a rattle from the rear number plate. When I expressed my annoyance, my daughter told me Dunno what you're cribbing about, I can't hear a thing, in fact, compared to the Safari, this thing is NOISELESS! Very true, when you're cruising on the expressway or inching forward in traffic, its a pleasure being in a vehicle which has good NVH.

(Coming up next.........some random pics)

Last edited by bblost : 17th December 2011 at 11:29. Reason: As req
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Old 13th December 2011, 10:50   #2
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Default A few pics along the way......

Thought I'll devote one post to some of the pics taken over the past four months. We cannot get enough of this color, ain't it just drop-dead gorgeous!

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02449.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02441.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02445.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02446.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02442.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-dsc02447.jpg

And now, a couple of pics of the weekend cleaning exercise as I understand that it is mandatory to post these "car being washed" pics on an ownership thread these days . I didn't want to bore you with a detailed commentary though!

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-10092011308.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-10092011304.jpg

Some more angles -
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011334.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011339.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011340.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011336.jpg

The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-03122011341.jpg

(Coming up next........The Workshop Visits - Issues & Fixes)

Last edited by suman : 13th December 2011 at 10:58.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:18   #3
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Mods note: thread moved to Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:34   #4
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Congratulations Suman on owning such a wonderful machine. The excellent color is quintessentially BMW.

I know some of the missing features can be annoying, but having a BMW must supercede everything.

Hope this German dame keeps you satisfied always.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:42   #5
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Lovely write up Suman and pretty detailed too! Waiting for the day when I will bump up myself into one of the big German Trio. Blue on X1 looks awesome. Congrats a ton.

Time for some questions:

- Would like to hear your comments about ride quality comparision of Safari/X1/320d. (I have this feeling why no one is cribbing, after all they are being driven around in a beemer, right?)
- Tyres are replaced? How come?
- I am sure you are aware of relatively expensive upkeep (but still, just the hack of it), how has been your experience on that front? Would like to see and read between the line details as your chronicles pile up.

Wish you plenty of happy and satisfactory miles on your new German.

PS: Your son's Top Gun tee reminds of childhood me! I had a similer tee in my teen years. Sighhhhh.... time flies.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:44   #6
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Congrats suman on an e-X1-cellent ownership

The colour is my favourite and I wonder how on earth have you managed to keep it so gleamy all through.

Wish you many many more happy miles and drive safe.
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Old 13th December 2011, 11:58   #7
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Congratulations Suman!

The X1 is a great choice, looks very nice in this shade of blue.

Cars like these make long drives a pleasure, hope to see some threads in the travelogues section with your new beauty

Cheers!
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Old 13th December 2011, 12:10   #8
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

lovely thread, very detailed - market 5*

but bad pictures. most of the front pictures drown out the beautiful blue color - you've not been careful with your pics!!

but seriously, what a BLUE!
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Old 13th December 2011, 12:53   #9
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Congrats Sumantra da. Wish you happy times with the Blue X1.

Please upload better pictures from a distance. Close-up snaps will not reveal its true beauty. Take care and drive safe.
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Old 13th December 2011, 13:41   #10
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Ladies & Gentlemen, may I present The Devil in Deep Sea Blue
Wow, love that shade of blue! Even though it looks so good, it's quite surprising why very few people choose this shade when they buy a car - I don't see many dark blue Ritz's on the roads either.

Many congratulations and wish you a million miles of safe & happy ownership!

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 13th December 2011, 13:54   #11
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Nice one Suman. How is its maintenance costs so far?
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Old 13th December 2011, 14:19   #12
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

What a co-incidence!!! I was standing behind a white couloured X1 at a traffic light yesterday and thought: "When will Suman post his detailed write-up on his X1? I'll PM him tomorrow to hurry it up"

And here it is! Congrats again. And good to see that you've not had to make compromises in terms of usage and driving style compared to the Safari. WIshing you happy miles ahead!
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Old 13th December 2011, 15:07   #13
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Before I elaborate further on Life with the X1, I would like to thank a couple of people who were instrumental in my taking the final insane plunge - Akshay (Flyingspur) & Abishek (Abishek2222). Thanks a ton guys, for answering my innumerable questions & providing the final impetus - Abishek for sharing his experiences every step of the way & Akshay for giving me one hell of a good reason why I should go for the X1 over the 320d!
You are most welcome, Suman. When I tell others the same 3 points I told you, they remain hung up on the SUV looks bit of it. Get past that and it's a great option.

The colour is fantastic, this or the maroon would be my pick if I was buying one now (with beige interiors) or white (with black interiors). You seem to be very happy so far with the vehicle, and I'm happy for you. I don't know about how much your daughter cares about cars, but I'm sure your son must have been the happiest guy in the house if he is anything like us. I know I was living a landmark moment in my life when I went with my dad to take delivery. And that moment is still very clear in my mind.

I missed the part on whether you've taken BSI or not. If you haven't, let me know (over PM is fine) what kinda costs you're incurring to keep this one going. And, more importantly, your experience with After Sales if you've had any yet. Because mine is starting to deteriorate a bit.

Your FE figures are very impressive. You must probably drive medium to long distance with medium to sparse traffic. My car refuses to return more than 8.5 kmpl because it is either ticking away impatiently in traffic, or gunning for the horizon when it has clear roads ahead.
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Old 13th December 2011, 18:37   #14
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
- Would like to hear your comments about ride quality comparision of Safari/X1/320d. (I have this feeling why no one is cribbing, after all they are being driven around in a beemer, right?)
The X1 front seats (both driver & passenger) are the best that I can remember out of all that I've driven/ridden. As far as the rear seat of the X1 vs the middle row of the Safari is concerned, no comparison, the Safari's ride is unmatchable. And you do have a point, they are riding a Beemer after all . But the point is, its not that bad else they would be cribbing by now.

Between the X1 & the 320d rear seat ride quality, I found them to be similar with the 320's being perhaps a tad better. Though I actually thought the rear AC vents in the 320d messed up the rear space big time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
- Tyres are replaced? How come?
More on that later but they are having issues with the Pirellis, the vehicle pulls to the left. .Anshuman had reported a similar issue with his friend's X1 and Abishek2222 had the same experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
but bad pictures. most of the front pictures drown out the beautiful blue color - you've not been careful with your pics!!
Agreed, most of them have been shot with my Nokia 5MP phone camera, whaddya expect

When I get the time to lug the DSLR around, expect some better ones!
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Nice one Suman. How is its maintenance costs so far?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
- I am sure you are aware of relatively expensive upkeep (but still, just the hack of it), how has been your experience on that front? Would like to see and read between the line details as your chronicles pile up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
I missed the part on whether you've taken BSI or not. If you haven't, let me know (over PM is fine) what kinda costs you're incurring to keep this one going.
I have taken the BSI Ultimate package - for the benefit of those who are wondering, that stands for BMW Service Inclusive where you pay upfront for the maintenance & you are covered for all consumables etc, be it an Oil change or an Oil filter or whatever else that constitutes regular maintenance. There are different options available & I've opted for the 3years/60k kms coverage. Thus, no costs so far other than the Diesel I've filled!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
I don't know about how much your daughter cares about cars, but I'm sure your son must have been the happiest guy in the house if he is anything like us.
Oh she's an enthusiast too, so both of them were happy, more so since it was a BMW! Sorry to hear that your After Sales service quality has been unsatisfactory, that's worrisome. Mine hasn't been too bad though it has only been a couple of occasions so far, will need to see if they can sustain it long term.

Last edited by suman : 13th December 2011 at 18:45.
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Old 13th December 2011, 18:47   #15
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Default re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

Great report. I guess you must be missing "slamming" into the potholes as you did with the Safari.
I have heard that if you do not run the runflats, and change to normal tires(even if same size) your suspension warranty goes for a toss? Is it true?
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