08 March 2014
It was a toss-up between the original 1-series shape in the coupĆ© and the new 1-series hatch. After driving a hatch for years, I decided to go for the 120d coupĆ© with the M sports package, and boy, talk about a guilt-free locked-and-loaded little drive. I thought that I got decent mileage out of my old 1300cc hatch, but now I am getting almost twice the economy. On the big highways here in Korea, the car is cruising at good speed and only going through 5 litres of juice every 100 clicks! Unreal. On the practical side of things, you have to ask yourself this: How many people are in your car each day on average? I thought about it, and in the end if you plus another person maximum are in it for 95% of the time, don’t listen to the folks and be selfish for a minute; buy the car that puts a smile on your dial each morning. If you think you are loving life now, buy one of these. Fun, frugal and fast!
Submitted: 2013-05-25 | ID: 10456
Remarkable power for a 1.8d. At 40K miles, feels like it is becoming more powerful, as if it has just been run in. 48mpg is usual. In the snow, take the bus. Put on winter tyres and, though pricey, drives as well as any FWD car. With all the ’extras’, it cost over £24K. Took it in at 3 years old and was offered £7800 to trade to the same model. Do not believe all the 50% retention of value rubbish. Every winter, at least he first big freeze, at least one electric window motor burns out (this because remotely unlocking the doors causes the windows to try and open slightly). So when this happened at year 4, I expected that BMW would recognise their embarrassing failure to fix something this simple. Not a chance. "Out of warranty", they say. They would not even pay a fraction of the cost, in recognition of their failure. £250 per window. Note that I later discovered that eBay has the motors for £24 and many others have suffered similarly. This is the last Botched Maker of Windows I’ll buy. Not worth enough to sell and costs too much to pay for their ineptitude.
Submitted: 2013-02-01 | ID: 10107
A subjective review is relative to your expectations. I expected a premium product, technically advanced and a capable driving machine. What I have far exceeds my expectations, it’s so refined, it’s quick (No kidding), economic enough at 55 to 62 mpg by calculation. Audio quality is exemplary for the money, Bluetooth is great, the spec list for a lower end of the range car is way more than I would traditionally expect from BMW. I did add the comfort pack and auto lights and wipers (total of £590), this was a good investment. My concerns about rear wheel drive in the cold and wet were unfounded, it’s glued to the road and confidence inspiring. Negatives are the rear window gets constantly dirty in wet driving and the dashboard has an annoying squeak. I will buy this car at the end of the company car lease without hesitation.
Submitted: 2012-12-26 | ID: 10021
I got this car after owning a Golf Mk6 TDI GT 140ps and I must say I was very disappointed, if i could swap it back for the golf i would. The engine is noisy and not very refined, first gear and reverse are very close and not very defined, and the car does not come with a cup holder as trivial as this sounds; how can you not have a cup holder on standard spec? The business sound system is weak at best and sounds very tinny. Not impressed and I wouldn’t have another. I suppose the badge makes up for the poor qaulity in comparison with the golf.. NOT!
Submitted: 2012-09-28 | ID: 9775
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Great car to drive 2.0 engine is smooth and powerful considering its relatively low power output. It may not get the fuel consumption that is advertised by manufacturer, but I have never owned a car that has. I still get better mpg, around 44, than my previous car which had a 1.4 engine, and on a recent long trip returned into the 50’s. It’s also a lower tax band than my previous car, only the interior and boot space and the cost of run flat tyres prevent it getting 5*. I’ve owned Fords and Vauxhalls in the past (never again) and latterly Japanese. I would buy a BMW again, but perhaps a 3 series for interior space, as nothing I have owned has driven as well.
Submitted: 2012-07-08 | ID: 9533
A premium quality car, easy to drive, with ample power, good economy (52 mpg) and a taut and precise feel. The ride is undeniably firm, but the excellent build quality means rattles and suspension noises are minimal. The diesel engine is quietly audible at idle, but becomes almost indistinguishable from the petrol variant once on the move. Access to the interior can be awkward front or back because door apertures are on the small side, however, this improves with familiarity. Controls have a quality feel and operate with precision. The standard radio offers poor sound quality which seems to be at odds with the rest of the car. Space might seem tight by modern standards, but compared to family cars of the seventies and eighties there is plenty enough space for a family of four with luggage.
Submitted: 2012-02-13 | ID: 9009
A fantastic car that I love, however, I had to go for the M Sport because other trim levels felt a bit cheap (not what you would expect from BMW). I have had no problems in 20000 miles. Points to note: 18" Alloys plus sports suspension equals a bumpy ride, especially in the back! Although it’s economical it does not do the quoted 65mpg. Run flat tyres cannot be repaired when you get a puncture and cost £220 each. With regards to snow driving, you need to turn the traction control fully to off (hold button in), this allows the wheels to spin and improves progress no end.
Submitted: 2011-12-06 | ID: 8672
I’ve wanted one of these for years and it was well worth waiting for. A great driver’s car,I love it! I’m getting 40mpg around town not 50mpg like BMW say, but who cares?? Get one now!
Submitted: 2011-10-10 | ID: 8407
I bought my 118d 2 years ago with 39k miles, and it now has 67k on the clock. I’ve had no major mechanical issues and I’m very pleased with mpg which averages out at 56! I’m 6’3 and it’s a bit of a squeeze getting in and out; I find that its easy to catch the door rubber, with the result that it has come off on a number of occasions and has had to be secured with a small screw fixing. Otherwise I can’t fault the car.
Submitted: 2011-09-23 | ID: 8344
Excellent car. I’ve had from new on lease and looking to replace it with a new 1 Series - yes, it is that good. I have the 5 door and it is excellent as second family car. The acceleration is great and handles like it is on rails. Great for overtaking, superb smooth ride and with 17" rims, it looks great. I’m looking forward to the next one :-)
Submitted: 2011-07-11 | ID: 7963
Have had my 123D M Sport for just over a year and now added a total of 17,000 miles in it, bringing it to some 35,000 in total. Mine’s a two door and I love the looks. Engine; brilliant, economical, powerful and grunt available at anything above 1,200 rpm. Handling; brilliant, v precise except maybe a bit more feel back thro the steering would be nice. Ride; good, quiet, would be better with the new variable suspension to deal with bumpy roads, although I understand getting off the runflats makes things better, trouble is you are strongly advised not to mix tyre types which can make changing all four expensive. Driving Position; only BMW get it this right. Luggage Space; good but not huge. Faults; folding of front seats seem to stick and is standard. Tyres are expensive, runflats about £200 each. Don’t go to the dealer as they rip you off. Overall I totally love my 123D, it’s the best car I’ve ever had.
Submitted: 2011-05-29 | ID: 7801
Great car, only draw back for me is the boot space as a salesman I found it too small, apart from that the car is a cracker, has the wow factor and handles like a car should.
Submitted: 2011-05-19 | ID: 7750
I am not please with the car. It struggles to climb small inclines. The 1st catalytic converter went on it, which is unheard of in a four year old vehicle. This car drives rough and I would seriously consider going back to an Audi.
Submitted: 2011-05-16 | ID: 7719
I had a 2005 116i, which was a great car so decided to upgrade a 2008 118i 3dr m sport, which looked fantastic and went well. Unfortunately a week later I was back at the dealership due to a warning light regarding engine power and car stuttering in 2nd or 3rd gear sometimes. Did a bit of research and found possible problem was ignition coils, which turned out to be correct. After three hours wait they replaced the coil and fuel injectors and car seemed more responsive and quieter. Now two weeks later the same thing is happening except car feels much worse sometimes and feels under pressure when accelerating in 2nd and 3rd gear. Called the dealership again to get it fixed again - a replacement car was not arranged (they said they’d pick it up and replace it) so told them I’ll call to them and they have a replacement car ready there and then while they fix my car. Judging by the previous reviews, it borders on the bizarre how BMW have left a known problem in their engines and then wait until unhappy car owners come back. Originally looked at a Mk VI Golf 2.0 TDI and now regretting choosing the 118i.
Responses to this review
Mark, I agree with your comments. See mine logged in the response below...finger trouble. BMW must have known about this latent deficiency. My dealer did not express any surprise! Regards - John Edwards from Hampshire
Submitted: 2011-04-07 | ID: 7514
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This has dood handling, suitable for city use as well as out of town road trips sometimes. Perfect for carrying four people rather five, BMW high performance and power are never doubted.
Responses to this review
My 118i is now also in for coil replacement on cylinder number three. This is the second coil to be replaced, number four went late last year. The dealer was not prepared to replace the other two coils, and I am just going out of warranty! The work could not be done immediately because they were out of stock! I know about supply logistics and this looks like unplanned demand is pulling down stock levels of a simple component. Thanks for your information - John Edwards from Hampshire
Submitted: 2011-03-25 | ID: 7427
I bought a 116i new in May 2010 from Cooper Thames Ditton. It is actually a "59" plate, but was a dealer demonstrator with 40 miles on the clock. From 15,000 miles the engine developed a mis-fire which became worse over time. I took it to the dealer at 18,000 for a service and warranty repair regarding the problem. After the diagnostic test, the deal replaced both injectors 2 and 4 and the related coil packs. The car was superb for 10 days and then the problem returned. I called BMW Emergency Services and they took care of the problem immediately. The mechanic replaced the coil pack on cylinder no 1 and the car was fine again. Two days later, the problem returned, and BMW Emergency Services returned to my home. The diagnostic test showed a fault with coil pack no 3 and it was replaced. I am happy to say that the car is now fine and the fuel economy, which had been somewhat disappointing, has returned to about 44-48 mpg (highway). This was a huge inconvenience to me obviously, but I cannot fault BMW’s attention and willingness to correct this ongoing problem. I would also like to add that while this may be a widespread issue with this engine model, the part in question is not manufactured by BMW, but by Bosch Electronics, and it is that company that is ultimately responsible. Perhaps BMW should simply issue a recall for all owners of this engine model (that was supplied with the defective coil-type)?
Submitted: 2011-03-13 | ID: 7352
Good at driving car.
Responses to this review
I find this comment rather bizarre. If the car is so good to drive, why doesn’t it get five stars? If it isn’t worth five stars and only deserves three, what is the reason for this? Phil Suddaby from Yorkshire
Perhaps Zara is "good at driving (the) car" and the rating is not for the car :-) - Nick from Kent
Submitted: 2011-02-23 | ID: 7165
What a vehicle. I have had this car for three and half years and cannot find a bad word to say about it. I have read the reviews of other users complaining about the fuel and tyre ware it is no different to other vehicles of its size and weight. Test drove a Q5 as a replacement, no thanks, just ordered an other Q7 fantastic.
Submitted: 2011-01-26 | ID: 6952
I smile every day when I go out, the car is excellent and so far I have only seen 3 on the road in 4 months! I have the white model and would strongly recommend it.
Submitted: 2011-01-20 | ID: 6918
118d m-sport automatic. Does even less mpg than the 200bhp automatic petrol scirocco we owned previously. Very lucky with the 1 series to get over 44mpg. Managed 48mpg on a motorway run. Often drops as low as 38mpg.
Responses to this review
What are you doing with it? You must be flooring the thing!! David Navin from Surrey
Submitted: 2010-11-30 | ID: 6588
I am somewhat disappointed with this car. Apart from the fact it does 49 mpg instead of the 65 advertised, I find the ride quite hard and notchy. My greatest disappointment came today, when we had about 3 inches of snow. I felt it was downright dangerous, more so than any other car I have driven in snow, (and I have driven many) slipping and sliding constantly, in spite of the so-called electronic aids! Then, it would not climb a slight incline, so I had the embarrassment of leaving my car 150 yards from home!
Responses to this review
I drove about in an inch of snow and could not get up minor inclines and the car felt very unstable - Gary Barker from Sussex
I totally agree with you, the same thing happened with my 330d 60 plate - Kay Sharif from Aberdeenshire
Agree with you both. With the car being rear wheel drive it is poor in the snow. My gf’s 1.1 pug 106 is better in the snow due to being front wheel drive. The 1 series dash keeps flashing with the DTC logo every minute in bad weather, and I ended up having to leave the 1 series around the corner from my house due to getting stuck. In the dry 1 series handle corners well, very responsive indeed but bring them out in the snow you may as well throw away the keys! Rick Massey from Lancashire
I struggled this year in the snow in a front wheel drive car. I would rather have had my old BMW 3 - much better, never had a problem in the snow - perhaps its too heavy a right foot? Ian from Worcestershire
Submitted: 2010-11-27 | ID: 6568
Hire car from Avis - so cannot comment on the long term nature of the car but for the 3 days I had it I have to say it impressed me, but its not without fault. Bad points, which I have read about on the 1 Series before is the lack of space in the cabin. And yes it is pokey. Front seats are fine, there’s enough space to get comfortable but the rear is pretty cramped and the boot isn’t massive either. Another petty problem but one which is annoying is the lack of cupholders. I’m so used to driving in cars with them that its highly frustrating when you don’t get them! The plus points is numerous - its obviously been well put together and deserves its "seal of approval" the BMW badge. The auto gearbox was excellent, very smooth and responsive. There was bags of grunt in the 2.0 diesel engine. Nice and responsive steering, with a slight gokart feel. And fuel economy was also good. Would I buy one? No, not unless it was a bargain. I feel there are better value cars in the same category.
Submitted: 2010-11-03 | ID: 6430
I had my Series one for 12 months from brand new and now I’ve sold it as in that time I had two sets of front door seals on my 5 door. On the last facelift BMW changed them to inferior ones from the original. Apart from that it really was a great drive, didn’t like that I had no spare tyre and it proved to be a real problem once. Mechanically it was just great, didn’t like that there was just primer in the engine bay as it looked unfinished, also the blanket underneath the bonnet was removed; also cost cutting I guess. Best get a 2 door as it’s not great to get two adults in the back. Summary: Fuel consumption in real life didn’t come anywhere near what BMW say, shame about the cost cutting. That said it was an excellent drive and £30 road tax, however, I sold it and got a Mercedes C Class, the quality of which is way above the BMW.
Responses to this review
What idiot would trade a BMW for a Mercedes? - Andy Scfield from Scotland
Submitted: 2010-10-24 | ID: 6366
This is not a bad car, nice engine, excellent brakes, drives smoothly, and accelerates well. However I wouldn’t buy it again as it takes a quite while to get used to and BMW doesn’t offer a particularly good customer service. It has got a stiff gear box and one needs to be careful that one doesn’t change into the wrong gear and has the engine cut out. Also its very poor visibility to the rear and big blind spots are of great disadvantage, makes the car a bit awkward to reverse and park despite of having parking sensors. The rear seats don’t offer much room, certainly not a family car but absolutely fine for one to two not too tall people.
Submitted: 2010-10-15 | ID: 6323
Had this car from new (one of the last before the Efficient Dynamics - so no start/stop). Has been practical, reliable and economical throughout - no issues to date at 3.8 yrs old. Yes the ride is ’hard’, but there again I have always preferred this to cars that are too sloppy (they make driver and passangers sea-sick after a while). Although I prefer my wife’s car (Peugeot 207 HDi) around town (v light on Clutch and steering) - for anything over 10 miles or so give me the BMW every time. Rear space is cramped, but we manage with 16 yr old (6ft +) teenager (and friends) without major problems, though will admit I miss my 320d Tourer when we have luggage to carry! - but for 355 days of the year it’s more than acceptable. Economy (on this pre-Edynamics model) is good, not outstanding - averaging at the 35K miles point around 44mpg (I’m quite heavy with the right foot). Performance and driving pleasure - what can I say? Sure its not a pocket rocket away from lights - but on the open road, the mid range and top end pull away is delightful; always feel there is more than enough to put the car where I want to when I need to!
Submitted: 2010-09-17 | ID: 6138
Purchased this 2008 special edition 14000 miles in May, nice looking car, superb to drive good acceleration nice interior lots of extras, ride can be a bit bumpy due to run flats, also like stop/start function. Not yet been able to match the 60+mpg as BMW states, best so far is about 55mpg which is still good. Insurance costs good and road tax only £30. My wife though does find reverse gear very hard to engage sort of spring loaded and cannot engage gear with one hand, i must admit i have had many cars over the years and this must be one of the hardest gears i have come across. Overall very pleased with car and as there are only the two of us space is not an issue.
Submitted: 2010-08-07 | ID: 5856
Purchased my BMW 118i in March 2008. Handles very well except in icy and snowy conditions. I believe that most European countries insist on having winter tyres by law from November onwards! Have had problems with the steering lock from new....rectified after three visits to dealers. Am very happy with petrol consumption...47 MPG or so on longish journeys. However, have had two fuel injector failures (at mileage of 19000) within 1700 of each other and am concerned about this occuring again. Am considering trading it in for a Mini Cooper as front wheel drive should be an improvement on rear wheel drive on icy snowy conditions.
Responses to this review
Richard, are you Richard Rees who used to live in Windhoek, Namibia. I knew Richard and Jean Rees in the 80s, they stayed in windhoek and I am trying to make contact with Jean. Perhaps they returned to the UK after Richard’s retirement. He worked for Alfa Romeo. I will appreciate if you know someone who fits the description and let me know. Kind regards Adri Mey, Johannesburg, South Africa 082 822 0686 - Adri Mey from South Africa
Submitted: 2010-07-19 | ID: 5709
This happenend to me on Friday evening after collecting a brand new BMW 1 Series Coupe just less than 48 hours earlier in March 2010 having only driven 57 miles! I could’nt get out of the car, it filled with black smoke and an acrid smell. The car then decided to totally shut down after several attempts the door decided to open. Once out I called the Fire Brigade who then disconneted the battery due to possible electrical fault? I had to wait in the pouring rain for over an hour for a recovery vehicle to collect the car because it would not lock! Eventually the car was put on a low loader and the car is now back at the dealership in the workshop.
Submitted: 2010-07-11 | ID: 5634
Having waited sometime I have recently purchased my 118Diesel Sport and what a drive this car is. Cheap Tax with a favourable Insurance Group and a great MPG return. Quick,responsive and great handling this baby Beamer is a must in it’s category.
Submitted: 2010-06-05 | ID: 5372
The worst car I ever bought. A lot of things have gone wrong in the space of 1 year. It went back to the main dealer (Joe Duffy, Dublin) at least 10 times. The main faults were ABS unit packed up; ignition coils gave up; DTC traction gave up; run flats kept saying faults. Run flats - what a joke. Pollen filter air con packed up - BMW should stand for Buy More Worries. You pay for the badge - never again and the main dealers talk through their a***s, they haven’t a clue. NEVER AGAIN!
Submitted: 2010-05-24 | ID: 5286
Purchased my BMW 116i Sport last October, has now covered 7500 miles. Loverly car to drive but fuel consumption is a big let down, has only managed to achieve an average of 40 mpg despite manufacturers combined figure being 46 mpg, most of my motoring is at a steady pace alopng an A road for a 30 mile journey. My previous vehicles have always achieved 2/3 mpg above manufacturers combined figure on this journey. On a long journey the car managed 42 mpg, a long way from the quoted 55 mpg extra urban figure. I have complained to the dealer who say that nothing is wrong with the car. I have complained to BMW, took to long to get a response and was told that the quoted figures are obtained under controlled conditions and that I should not expect to achieve these figures in normal day to day motoring. BMW buyers beware.
Responses to this review
We have exactly the same issue with a 116i sport bought last September. It seems impossible to get anywhere near the quoted mpg figures. We also took the car back to the dealer who sold it to us based on the fantastic fuel economy and were told it was normal. We are now on 11,000 miles and still the car struggles to get an average of 40mpg. Interesting to see that they have actually reduced the quoted figures in the 2010 brochure for the same model car. This stop/start efficient dynamics rubbish they sell you is all a gimic! You will never find a review from anyone with a 116i that is pleasantly suprised with the economy, infact you would be lucky to find anyone that is satisfied in my opinion - Tim McV from Swansea
Having had an AudI A3 FSI, I was quite happy to see 38/40mpg on the 116i. Anyone daft enough to believe the ’sales’ figures without a pinch of salt is, well, daft! - Paul from Scotland
Submitted: 2010-04-17 | ID: 5043
65mpg official?????? er, try 47mpg tops.
Submitted: 2010-03-31 | ID: 4906
I’ve just bought the BMW 116i se model, it looks great from the outside and inside, it drives and handles brilliantly. A few cons are you can’t see out of the rear window very well although you do get a rear parking sensor, which is useful; I find the steering is really heavy and not very powerful for a 1.6 and trying to engage reverse gear is very hard and stiff.
Submitted: 2010-01-16 | ID: 4324
Just purchased mine, I love the drive and think the mpg and road tax is great!!!!!
Responses to this review
At £1.20 per litre, this is pretty poor. = 45 mpg! - James Donlevy from Hampshire
I get more than 45mpg on mine but then I’m not an ***e that floors it! John Hartill from Renfrewshire
Submitted: 2010-01-13 | ID: 4293
Clutch judder, £20 fuel every 150 miles if lucky!
Responses to this review
Blimey I’d love to pay £20 for every 150 miles! - Adam Fisher from Herefordshire
Hi, has your dealer managed to fix the judder? My 118d Sport from Oct 2009 suffers from clutch judder when it’s cold and when there is an incline. I brought it to Sytner who advised that I need to authorise payment for £1000 for them to strip the gear box and if found to be wear and tear, I am responsible for all costs! The car has only done 7800 and is approaching 18mths. Surely it cannot be wear and tear right? Please advise me on what should be done. Thanks - John Lowe from England
Submitted: 2009-12-31 | ID: 4189
I had a BMW 320d SE Auto (2007 model) for 2 years but found the boot impractical, didn’t need the rear seat space, and dropped from doing 20,000+ miles to 6,000 mile/year. So we changed to a 118i SE Auto (I just love auto’s). The 118i is far better suited to us. Great access to the more useable boot, and although far less room for rear passenger, that’s not a problem. Ride and handling - very similar to the 3 series to be totally honest. Same runflat tyres, so hard ride and feels most bumps, but that’s a characteristic of most BMWs and German cars generally. The 1 series does feel more sporty. I’ve found it more of a joy to drive than the 3 series, possibly also down to it being petrol rather than diesel - Oh the joy of not hearing that clatter when you start up. Internally very little difference to the 3 series. Same climate control, similar sound system, similar trim, although the doors don’t feel as solid as the 3 series. We went for a 5 door (just incase we do put someone in the back), and glad we did. Although the front doors are rather small, it’s much easier getting out in tight spaces (and less likely to damage the doors) than the large doors on the 3 door. I had a MK 5 2.0L golf for 3 years, and although I loved the golf, I test drove a new golf and 1 series before settling on the BMW for it’s handling (rear wheel drive makes a big difference), better quality and of course that badge! The Golf did offer more room inside though. So overall very pleased with the 1 series. Only gripe is fuel consumption. Official figures show little difference between the 118i (we have the Efficient Dynamics version) and 320d. I don’t know where these figures come from but around town the 118i is delviering 12 mpg less than the 320d.
Responses to this review
Hi, I am buying this as my first car i have added the following options 18 inh alloys, leather seats in terra and white body. any other options you would recommend? - Rizwan Ahmed from England
Submitted: 2009-12-12 | ID: 4080
A very good car. I’ve had it from new ;on it’s first service I had to have a new clutch fitted at only 15000 thousand miles which I wasn’t impressed with.
Responses to this review
Yes I fitted a new clutch plate, still after few months clutch haxs gone to hard from soft & gear not smooth specialy in cold weather, very tight - Nirmala Asokar from England
Submitted: 2009-11-30 | ID: 3984
This is my first BMW and I absolutely love it. I had a Corolla, which is a great car but this is a class apart. Just like they say in their advert, it really is a joy to drive this car. People say it has less space and is impractical etc... but then you will love it for all the wrong reasons. You step inside it and it becomes your world and then when you drive this it engages you with the road and the car always communicates with you. The Efficient Dynamics is a real cool function. The car stops and starts with the touch of the pedal (it freaked me out at first though). 116i 2009 is still a 2 Ltr engine with less horse power compared to other variants but still is a good drive and won’t let you down. After all this is a serious BMW machine, highly recommended.
Submitted: 2009-10-16 | ID: 3721
After coming from a choppy VW Golf Mk5 I consider the series 1 very smooth and comfortable, a great cruiser but my car doesn’t have run flats like the earlier models so the ride is just fine. Really enjoy driving it and 55mpg, £35 road tax and 130mph what more is there? It’s not a family car as the back is a tad tight but I’ve had three adults in the back but only for short journeys. The power band is very smooth and its a pleasure to drive, the rear wheel drive makes a huge difference from my Golf, it has also got a chain cambelt so 100,000 miles against 40,000 for the Golf. Although I hate marketing blurb, it does put a smile on ones face... recommended depite what Jeremy Clarkson says.
Submitted: 2009-10-12 | ID: 3704
Excellent engine - smooth, quiet, powerful. Good economy - 50 mpg overall, best trip 56mpg. Fairly good build quality, though paint is lumpy. Go-kart handling. But very hard ride. Not bad on cats’ eyes but poor over uneven roads, so I blame hard springs rather than the run-flat tyres. I have standard wheels/tyres. Hard seats. Not comfortable. My car has the ’comfort pack’. Heaven knows what it’s like without. Controls, especially the clutch, are heavy. Nowhere to rest your right foot when cruise engaged (and for some reason, very few 1 series have cruise control). ’Engine Stop’ part of Efficient Dynamics is a waste of time. It cannot know how long the halt will be, so it stops each time the car comes to rest. On 99% of occasions, the road is clear to move off within 5 seconds so it isn’t worthwhile. I disable it - but this has to be done each journey. RDS function on the radio is poor. It suddenly ’loses’ the station. Press the stored button and it comes back OK. Irritating. And you need the extra tweeters in the doors for OK sound.
Submitted: 2008-12-08 | ID: 2236
The 1 series is ridiculously impractical. It’s awkward to get in and out of, the boot is just another glove box and there is very little other space to put things. So, if it’s a practical car your after buy a Ford Focus. What this car does have in abundance is quality - everything feels great, the handling is superb and it’s simply a pleasure to drive. I drive 40K a year on average and was a bit unsure this was a good choice but my heart won over my head and I’m glad it did. I’m 37 and I feel 18 again; absolutely love this car even though it cost a little over £25K I actually think it’s worth every penny. This is my first BMW and I always wondered what all the fuss was about. Now I know!!
Submitted: 2008-11-25 | ID: 2187
I’ve owned my 118d M Sport from new. Although It did cost a few bob but after getting over that issue there are just two little issues... and that is on the road you do feel every bump and there is not a great amount of room if you was to have a family. As for driving, handling, fuel and insurance you cannot fault it. In fact I’m going to part exchange it next year for the same model; just for the cheaper insurance.
Submitted: 2008-11-12 | ID: 2134
The first thing that attracted me to this car were the looks. It is very distinctive and if you’re tired of bland hatches then this is the one for you... to my eyes it looks sporty and classy. Step inside and the driving experience lives up to the looks. This is a real drivers car, with direct handling and superb grip. I have the 116i engine, and whilst it’s not the fastest thing on the road I find it perfectly fine for everyday driving, and can get up to motorway speeds without fuss. Space in the back is a little tight, although I have had two adults there on a long journey and they never complained. The interior design is as sporty as the exterior, and it all feels very well made. Overall I am delighted with the car. If you want something distinctive, with a quality badge, then you must take a look. Friends and family are equally impressed with it - it’s the centre of attention wherever I go!
Submitted: 2008-10-08 | ID: 1977
First off, this is a car better suited to a couple than a family, there is not enough room in the back and boot space is too limited to be ideal for a small family. The car is used mainly by myself for work and by myself and my girlfriend when we go on holiday. The driving experience is refined and provides a comfortable and relaxing environment that helps to keep me calm when traffic congestion is at its worst. I spent 4k on options to ensure this comfort, this is fully recommended if the price is not prohibitive. Fuel economy is as good as you would expect from a diesel and the 120d SE’s low CO2 emissions will leave me well placed following the 2008 budget. Reliability, handling and safety are all top class.
Submitted: 2008-05-02 | ID: 1405
This is a real drivers car. Excellent body control and balance make driving in rural settings breath-taking. This was the most expensive of all the cars I looked at but the high resale values swayed me. Head and leg room are ample. I really like this car but the ride is just a little too hard when on long motorway journeys, that’s why I can only award it 4 stars.
Submitted: 2008-04-29 | ID: 1375
Bought this car new in December 2007. Lovely car to drive, really comfortable and great handling (although not as good as a mini!). Good to have front and rear parking sensors and cruise control and got 5 years (60k miles) free servicing. Lacks acceleration and as for fuel consumption, what can I say? Bought this car believing combined fuel consumption of the 1.6 petrol, was 39 mpg, I’ve been lucky if I get 27 mpg out of it. Took it back to the dealer and they told me I’ve been getting 42 mpg out of it!?! However, I know how much petrol I’ve been putting in!
Submitted: 2008-04-11 | ID: 1264
I’ve now had this for a month / 2800 miles, and have achieved 44mpg overall, but this is with highly spirited driving (read "ragging it everywhere") - it’s fully maintained and I have a fuel card so the economy and reduced service interval is of no concern to me. I’ve just come back from a trip to the garden centre, and squeezed quite a lot in with the seats down - although the Volvo days of strapping fence panels to the roof are over. I can’t help comparing this to my V70 - on the motorway the idiots in bmw’s would get out of the way in case I was plod, but now _I_ am the idiot in the bmw and progress is somewhat slowed which is exceedingly frustrating. People seem genuinely surprised when I let them out! If I could buy this car all over again, I would remove the M package as the sports seats which are a little too sporty, the side supports hug a little too closely. I would also fit the 6 speed auto box as 1st and 2nd are very short; leaving the lights most petrol hot hatches will win up to around 30-40 (unfortunately the auto was not available to order 5 months ago). The pedals are very close together, it is all too easy to stab the brake pedal with my left foot when changing gear. An auto box would have disabled the damn auto stop-start which is a pain (eventually I’ll work out which fuse I have to ad or remove to disable permanently). I also wish I’d fitted front pdc, as with the high bonnet it is surprisingly hard to judge, and comfort access as the hole-instead-of-a-key is near the centre console, every time I get in the car I go to put the dongle in the ignition which isn’t there! It does sound like a plumbers escort van for the first few miles until it’s warm, but I think that’s true of all diesels. I’m still very happy with the car overall, the niggles are all relatively trivial. The handling is precise, there is plenty of power to get both in and out of trouble, and at the very least it is a conversation piece - as there aren’t many about and I had the model inscription deleted most people have no idea what it is. I genuinely haven’t come across another one in a month. Still only 4-stars as it’s not the 535d touring I really want!
Submitted: 2008-04-11 | ID: 1262
I’ve owned my 120d for nearly 3 years and 42k miles and it continues to be an extremely impressive car. Outstanding performance coupled with sharp & predictable handling means that few cars can stay with me on a twisty road - or a straight one for that matter! The firm ride assists in this respect but I would not sacrifice existing comfort levels and go for the M Sport version or larger wheels to make it even firmer still. I’ve noticed that most negative magazine road tests test the Sport - perhaps to ensure they can find fault! It has been reliable, comfortable, economical (average 43 mpg on a semi-urban cycle) and great fun - even when commuting! I also really like the shape and styling but this is a matter of personal taste - something which most motoring journalists seem to ignore! The only criticism I would make is that rear leg room is limited - but I did change from a 5 series. All in all it has been the best car I have ever owned. Overall, it has been a very positive ownership experience and - so much so that I have just placed an order to replace it with a 123d 5 door hatch.
Submitted: 2008-02-25 | ID: 1064
The 1 series with the full sports kit looks good. It also has a comfortable driving position and good interior features. However the car has pretty poor acceleration and for the money you could definitely get something a lot more sexy and speedy.
Submitted: 2008-01-28 | ID: 975
This car is the entry model dressed to kill with 17" alloys bigger than the SE 16" alloys front and rear muscular bumpers ,half leather ,interior climate control ,and the usual BMW features that give it the edge over the others in its class. Dont think for one minute BMW have cut corners with this being the entry series it is every bit a BMW in all ways.
Submitted: 2008-01-02 | ID: 887
The 1 series diesel is a real drivers car. When I first saw it, it looked a bit like a beached whale!!!...but the M sport variant looks superb. The boot and rear legroom are very restricted but the car makes up for it with supreme and effortless pulling power throughout the rev range. In addition, I averaged 57 mpg from Wales to Leicestershire!!!!!!! When I first bought it, my friend couldn’t tell it was a diesel till he opened the door....its that refined. Handling is sharp but lacks ’feel’ that my older ’95 Bmw had. The ride is hard but I would gladly compromise this for the safety of runflat tyres..( my dealer said you could drive 150 miles on punctured tyre!!!- hence no spare tyre). Its a great all rounder, being easy to park in town and cruising superbly on the motorways. Worth every (costly) penny!
Submitted: 2007-11-19 | ID: 640
The performance of the 1 Series is second to none. The 118d ES is a simply magnificent car. Price, fuel economy, max speed are all spot on. The mpg of 60 is almost unbelievable. This is not a family car and is better suited to young professionals. This make going to and coming home from work a joy ... almost!
Submitted: 2007-11-09 | ID: 552
The 120 d M Sport works out the better car in the series, be it a little costlier to run. I just purchased one, and I must say the performance is superb...overtaking on a large hill in 6 th gear ( any gear for that matter ) is a doddle. And having just upgraded from a VW polo, I was pleased that the BMW is just as easy to park and manouvre! The ride is a bit firm with the M suspension and it does have large blind spots......but with parking sensors this is negated. Inside BMW have given the ’ big car feel’ although a little more room in the rear would have helped. For all those interested in buying....try and get a demo car ( save on cost and running in time) and note that all the diesel models give around the same MPG!! So you could mainly save on road tax, the car price and insurance depending on the model you chose.
Responses to this review
I did not get your point, are you recommending to buy this car? - Prabaharan Srinivasan from England
Submitted: 2007-11-05 | ID: 519
In my opinion this is the best amongst the 1-series. A smooth ride with excellent economy and suspension make this an all-round perfect car.
Submitted: 2007-10-04 | ID: 274
I have only just taken delivery of my new BMW Series 1 and so far I have only good things to say about it. My daughter loves it too and loves being able to ride in the front as ISOFIX and front passenger airbag deactivation is available as standard. Thoroughly recommend.
Submitted: 2007-08-13 | ID: 64
I recently bought the 118d and have found the drive extremely smooth. The suspension isn’t the best and that is why I’m only awarding this BMW 4-stars. Good economy and the 5th door really makes a difference.
Responses to this review
In September 2010, I bought my BMW 120d 3 door, normal tyres, Xenon lights and leather seats. When test driving various cars for long periods, I found some uncomfortable for my back. In the end I tracked it down to the leather seats versus cloth seats. The leather seats suited my back much better. I love the car, and having done 20,000 miles there have been no problems (except a speeding ticket!!). Wish I had opted for cruise control as an option. The variable servicing is incredible, still have 2,000 miles to go until the first service. Fuel consumption for the period has been 50 mpg. Not sure about the 3 door, it does look better, but the 5 door is probably more practicle for loading the back up. Plentry of boot space when the back seats are down. Only down side is handling when icy. The back is simply not heavy enough. Loaded the boot up with 300 Kg of ceramic tiles, and handling did improve - Peter Brooks from England
Submitted: 2007-07-30 | ID: 17
The BMW 1 Series is now into its second generation and BMW says it has been busy addressing all of the faults of the previous model. This means more rear seat space, a bigger boot and a more compliant ride. As an added bonus, the engines are more powerful, cleaner and more frugal, but the looks of t [...]
118d Efficient Dynamics - The luxury end of the market is going green and the first car we have on test is the BMW 1-Series 118d EfficientDynamics variant. The five door car looks like a normal 118d as it doesnt have any special badging on the car. We had the SE trim level on test and this variant starts at £18,880. [...]
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