Driven Web Series 2015 #6: new premium crossovers – F48 BMW X1 vs Mercedes-Benz GLA vs Audi Q3

Another week, another new Driven Web Series 2015 episode, powered by Petronas Primax 95 with Advanced Energy Formula. This time, we’re looking at the three latest premium crossovers in the market – the F48 BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the facelifted Audi Q3.

The rejuvenated X1 is BMW’s second stab at this market, this time based on a front-wheel drive platform and angled more towards young families rather than driving enthusiast. It’s now bigger and more comfortable than ever, but can the new Munich SUV beat its rivals from Stuttgart and Ingolstadt?

In Mercedes-Benz’s corner stands the GLA 250 4Matic, available here in Malaysia in AMG Line guise. This one is perhaps the direct opposite of the X1, directing its focus on dynamism over comfort. In the middle sits the Audi Q3, in its latest facelifted form. So, which German crossover is best? Find out our verdict in the video above.

Driven Web Series 2015 will come to an end next week, but fret not, as we will be ending the season with a big bang. Curious to find out how the RM1.2 million BMW i8 would fare against the similarly-priced Mercedes-AMG GT S and the Jaguar F-Type R, right here in Malaysia? Stay tuned for our explosive season finale on December 9!

F48 BMW X1 sDrive20i
Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4Matic AMG Line
Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI quattro

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Hafriz Shah

Preferring to drive cars rather than desks, Hafriz Shah ditched his suit and tie to join the ranks of Malaysia’s motoring hacks. A car’s technical brilliance is completely lost on him, appreciating character-making quirks more. When not writing this ego trip of a bio, he’s usually off driving about aimlessly, preferably in a car with the right combination of three foot pedals and six gears.



  • Richard Johnathan Lim on Dec 02, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Who’s house is that at the end? Beautiful house.Anyway,thumbs up for this episode of Driven.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4
    • Enjoy watching … Thumbs up for the great shooting!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Harmee on Dec 03, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Keep it up PT! U guys as good as TopGear trio dude!!
      Unfortunately or maybe very luckily, i guess a top-specced & much cheaper Mazda CX-5 2.5 4WD will bettered these 3 CONTIs

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
  • tokmoh. on Dec 02, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Hey BMW, remember these?

    Personally, I’ll just top up a little more and get a Volvo XC60 T5. Safest, most comfortable, solid interior quality, more powerful, fuel efficient, 5+5+5 after sales. With discounts, it’ll be even more value for money. Unrivaled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8
    • Jimmy on Dec 02, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Wouldn’t you be interested at the new coming GLC? You just need to top up a bit from X1.

      Obviously none of the 3 are interested in putting in sunroofs to lure the buyers. Sporty vehicles, man.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • nomoney on Dec 02, 2015 at 11:38 pm

        Sunroof is important, even Toyotaik got problematic power windows nowadays!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • Gargantia on Dec 02, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Good review guys the best so far… but its really unaffordable for current economic. Anyway keep up the good work !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2
    • Jimmy on Dec 02, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Spend thriftily in this kind of economy here.
      If your household income is not 30k and above, don’t even think about luxury marques, not even a 1-series. You better buy a Camry Hybrid or Accord.
      Remember, many people who earn 6 figure per month drive E-class or equivalents only.
      Don’t jump hastily into an E-class with a salary of 30 888 per month.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12
      • common bro on Dec 03, 2015 at 8:55 am

        6 figures driving an eclass….you must be dreaming brother…30k household income…I don’t think these ppl are driving an accord or Toyota….

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4
      • dodgeviper88 on Dec 03, 2015 at 10:50 am

        You must be very financially conservative. I know people 4-figure income driving new E-Class, where petrol expenses costs more than his meal. In contrast I know people 6-figure income drive CRV only, although he bought it in cash cause he finds it too troublesome to pay monthly installments.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
      • holofanboi on Dec 03, 2015 at 3:49 pm

        While Jimmy’s comment may seem a wee bit extreme, he isn’t wrong on how many sub 20 year olds these days are spending a disproportionate amount of their money on luxury cars.

        Hell, im witnessing my own age group buying 3 series and cla even though they are only earning sub 6-7k. Unbelievable…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • milo man on Dec 03, 2015 at 4:14 pm

          While you are right to witness those people.
          I don’t think there are many 20 year olds earning 6 figure salary.What he meant was a person with 6 figure salary driving a camry/accord,I think hardly. Well they do own those cars for just market/grocery shopping,most 6 figure salary people would have already been given a company vehicle.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
          • holofanboi on Dec 03, 2015 at 7:54 pm

            Huh…true. i completely forgot about company cars these days. Whoops!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Josh Ling on Dec 03, 2015 at 2:10 am

    will pick BMW X1 over those two anytime. it looks the most decent for me, and it’s the biggest inside. forget the GLA, the space behind is simply pathetic, not to mention it’s probably the hardest to get into and get out from the rear seats among the three. tried before, and it’s a big no no for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4
  • Wow.. Benz is the worst in fuel consumption.
    where is blueEfficiency?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  • Bravo guys. This is by far the best Driven episode. I liked the new shooting technique as well as the smoothness in the flow. Keep it up!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  • heybadigol (Member) on Dec 03, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I kinda prefer the old X1 over this new one. The old one is a bit cramped in the legroom department (though head and shoulder room is quite good), but not as bad as one might think. But one thing’s for sure, the old X1 was far better to drive, seeing that it was based on the E90 3 Series chassis. Wished they’d base the new X1 on the F30, but no, they decided to play safe and borrowed the chassis from Mini. RWD BMWs are getting rarer these days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
  • gla looks more like a hatchback rather than suv

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Raymond Lee on Dec 03, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    It’s just a entry level for SUV segment with cheaper price tag to let people join conti feel club -_- Somehow, beside tall hatchback alike, I don’t know what’s the purpose of this segment beside marketing strategy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • seancorr (Member) on Dec 03, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Paultan team has spoken, BMW Malaysia, you need to add the powered tailgate to the spec sheet when the CKD assembly commences to cement its position as THE SUV to get.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • good job keep it up guys

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Sam Loo Ori on Dec 07, 2015 at 1:54 am

    All 3 are crap with low RV. Wise men will buy harrier or even Toyota Rush. Way better fuel economy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5
  • Dominickson Peter on Dec 07, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Gonna be a close call between the Merc & BMW. I’d go with the BMW. Jag, though you sound and look glorious, you still fall short of the other two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • BMW Indonesia will launch X1 F48 in April 2016, hoping that the automatic tailgate is available at all models. with the price tag close enough with the current F25 X3, will see how’s the driving impression comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • oraphim on Jul 26, 2018 at 1:14 am

    nice .i need it!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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