The 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in all three X55 derivatives was co-developed with Meta in Germany and delivers 130kW and 305Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheel through a supersmooth seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (with four driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Smart) but the smallish engine, while lively, does exhibit some turbo-lag on take-off.
The X55 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a brisk 7.8 seconds, and the X55’s fuel consumption is stated as 7.2 litres/100km, although on a short test drive in and around Gauteng, our recorded figures were in the 8-9 litre/100km bracket.
Nevertheless, with a well-tuned suspension consisting of independent MacPherson struts in the front and a rear multilink setup with hydraulic dampers, the X55’s ride and handling were exemplary, also on rougher, potholed roads. The steering feel was slightly artificial and light, but the attractive SUV felt poised in the corners.