The F48 BMW X1 LCI range in Malaysia currently consists of two variants – the entry-level sDrive18i and the sDrive20i M Sport. In terms of pricing, the two are not too far apart, with a difference of about RM17,000 separating the two. But if you really want the X1, the sDrive20i M Sport, at RM225k (with sales tax waived) is the one to spring for.

First off, it’s powered by the larger B48 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, delivering 192 PS and 280 Nm of torque. This is clearly a step above the sDrive18i’s B38 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine, which puts a mere 140 PS and 220 Nm. Both cars get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends drive to the front wheels, but the 2.0L is much quicker, requiring just 7.6 seconds to do the 0-100 km/h sprint compared to the 1.5L’s time of 9.6 seconds.

Performance aside, the sDrive20i also gets the nicer M Sport treatment, featuring blacked out window surrounds, roof rails, grille slats, and anthracite headliner as well. The M Sport suspension lowers the car and offers slightly better handling characteristics, and the dual-tone 18-inch wheels and twin exhaust exits help round things off nicely.

Niceties include the 8.8-inch touchscreen head unit with BMW iDrive Operating System 6.0, dual-zone automatic climate control, passive cruise control, handsfree powered tailgate, Parking Assistant, and a reverse camera. At the time of review, the sDrive20i doesn’t feature autonomous emergency braking (AEB), but BMW Malaysia said AEB will gradually become a standard feature across its model range.