BMW

BMW 1 SERIES HATCHBACK 118i M Sport 5dr Step Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.5s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2144 g/km

BMW is a company that always used to try and do things differently, a refreshing trait in a sea of automotive sameness. The Bavarian brand's reputation as the purveyor of 'The Ultimate Driving Machine' was once fundamentally built around rear wheel drive but this third generation 1 Series is defiantly front-driven. A package that's claimed to be optimum in the base petrol 118i guise we test here.

ONE TO WATCH?

The third generation 1 Series is at its best in base three cylinder 118i petrol form, reckons Jonathan Crouch.

Ten Second Review

BMW is a company that always used to try and do things differently, a refreshing trait in a sea of automotive sameness. The Bavarian brand's reputation as the purveyor of 'The Ultimate Driving Machine' was once fundamentally built around rear wheel drive but this third generation 1 Series is defiantly front-driven. A package that's claimed to be optimum in the base petrol 118i guise we test here.

Background

Why the change away from front wheel drive here? Well, lots of reasons really. BMW wanted more return for its investment in front-wheel drive architecture. And at the same time, the brand was uncomfortably aware of just how much the packaging limitations of rear wheel drive - cramped space for luggage and back seat passengers - were hobbling the 1 Series in comparison to its more conventional Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class rivals. All of which seemed a bit pointless given BMW's own research showing 80% of 1 Series owners not knowing what end their cars were driven from - and not caring either. The deal was sealed when the Bavarian maker's engineers assured the board that new technology could allow for a switch to front-wheel drive for this car without any real dilution in driving pleasure; we'll see. What's certainly true is that the change in drivetrain format has, as intended, freed up significantly more interior space than the previous 'F20' version of this car could offer, despite the fact that this 'F40'-series design's roadway footprint is much the same. Sounds promising. Time to put this car to the test in volume 118i form.

Driving Experience

The switch from rear-driven to a front-driven powertrain might be the headline story here but there's plenty else that's new with the engineering of this third generation 1 series design. The Bavarian maker's aim was to repackage this model to a more conventional formula but deliver that in a very BMW kind of way - and that's essentially how this car has turned out. On the move, you get a grippy, confident sense of purpose that rivals can't quite match, with precise, accurate steering and an agile willingness to change direction. All of it aided by near-perfect weight distribution, a clever new 'ARB' traction control system that more precisely meters out torque and a new 'FAAR' chassis that saves around 25kgs of weight. The ride is somewhat firm, but BMW fans won't mind that, particularly as there's now the option of adaptive suspension on top-spec models. It's quite likely that you'll opt for the base 1.5-litre petrol model we tried, the 140hp 118i variant we're trying here - not least because there aren't any other options if you want a reasonably affordable version of this car that fuels from the green pump. Just as well then, that it's a decent all-round package which offers as much performance as most buyers will probably need, the 62mph sprint occupying 8.5s en route to 132mph. To be frank, we've heard more charismatic three cylinder units, but at least this one's decently refined, bettering a comparable Mercedes A-Class in this regard at highway speeds.

Design and Build

We always wondered what kind of 1 Series BMW's stylists would have come up with if they hadn't been constrained by the need to package around rear-driven mechanicals. In this MK3 model, we have our answer, a hatch that offers a similar roadway footprint to its 'F20' predecessor (it's a mere 5mm shorter), but one delivered to an otherwise very different dimensional formula. Up-front, you're served up a premium slice of cabin architecture borrowed from the current 'G20' 3 Series model, which means it's very nice indeed. Soft-touch surfaces and the solid feel of all the fixtures and fittings is matched on plusher models by things like contrast stitching and intricate 'Extended lighting' door panel strips. There's plenty of luxury segment technology too, particularly if you pay more for the 'Live Cockpit Professional' package, which matches a 10.25-inch virtual instrument binnacle screen with a classy centre-dash iDrive monitor of the same size. There's some clever stuff incorporated into this extra-cost set-up, including what BMW calls an 'Intelligent Personal Assistant', which is there to answer questions you can voice to the car as you drive it. Out back, there's reasonable rear seat space (for two anyway) and a decent 380-litre boot.

Market and Model

Prices open at just under £25,000 for this 118i and you'll choose between the brand's familiar 'SE', 'Sport' and 'M Sport' designations. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, or you can pay £1,350 more to get a dual-clutch 7-speed auto. Even the thriftiest 'SE' trim level gives you plenty; to be specific, 16-inch Star-Spoke alloy wheels, LED headlamps, LED front fog lights, Park Distance Control front and rear parking sensors, heated power mirrors, an alarm and auto headlamps and wipers. There's also a package of 'Active Guard Plus' camera-safety features. Inside, there's automatic air conditioning, cruise control with a braking function, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a 'Sport' multifunction leather-trimmed steering wheel. In addition, there's the 'Drive Performance Control' system that, via 'ECO PRO', 'Comfort' and 'Sport' modes, allows you to alter throttle response, steering feel and, on an auto model, gearchange timing, all of it better suiting the way you want to drive. You'll want to know about infotainment and media stuff too - there's lots of it. Let's start with the fact that all mainstream 1 Series models come as standard with the brand's 'BMW Live Cockpit Plus' package, which gives you an 8.8-inch centre-dash display, your access point for a navigation system, Bluetooth with audio streaming, 4G LTE connectivity, an on-board computer and a decent quality six-speaker 100-watt DAB stereo. There's also a 5.1-inch display in the instrument cluster and an Intelligent Voice Assistant.

Cost of Ownership

The engine range on offer across this third generation 1 Series line-up may not look very different to what was on offer before, but BMW is keen to point out that every single TwinPower Turbo unit has been subjected to significant efficiency fettling - as was necessary to match a class standard vastly improved since the days of the previous 'F20'-generation model. The three cylinder petrol unit we're trying here in this 118i variant for instance, is 5kgs lighter than it was previously. It all explains why the fuel and CO2 stats delivered by mainstream 1 Series models are now virtually identical to those of directly equivalent Mercedes A-Class variants - we know, we checked. Which is another way of saying that the stats of this BMW are difficult to better in the segment - which wasn't previously the case with this model line. Let's get specific with figures, all of which, as usual, are based around the WLTP readings for fuel and NEDC readings for CO2 that at the time of this test, the industry was working to. The 118i derivative in manual form manages up to 47.1mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and up to 122g/km of NEDC-rated CO2. Get it as an auto and the fuel figure is marginally different (up to 45.6mpg), but the CO2 reading is substantially better (113g/km).

Summary

We can't help being impressed by the way that the Munich maker has managed to retain so much of this car's eager, dynamic character, despite the fundamental engineering changes visited upon it. This model will still beat most of its rivals for driver appeal. Just not by such a significant margin as before. But we'll take that, given that this is the first 1 Series with reasonably sleek looks, proper rear passenger space and a decent boot. The cabin's far smarter than it was. And this model is certainly far better prepared than its predecessor in terms of media connectivity and camera-driven safety provision. Now, you'd be able to down-size into it far more easily if it was necessary to do so from a larger BMW model. In summary, 'der Einzer' has become a whole lot more competitive, especially in this 118i guise. About to choose a Mercedes A-Class, an Audi A3 or even a plusher VW Golf? You really ought to try one of these too. You might be surprised just how much you like it.

  • Rain sensor including auto headlights activation
  • Rear window wiper
  • Green tinted heat protection glazing
  • Front and rear electric windows with open and close fingertip control, anti trap facility and comfort closing
  • Windscreen wipers with integrated washing jets

  • Electrically operated hand brake
  • Dynamic stability control + (DSC+)
  • Anti lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist
  • Braking readiness
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Brake drying
  • Dynamic Traction Control - DTC

  • Anthracite Velour floor mats

  • Anti roll bar front and rear
  • M sports suspension + self levelling
  • Drive Performance Control

  • Speed limiter
  • Attentiveness assist
  • Active guard plus
  • Servotronic steering optimised at all speed ranges

  • Pull away assistant
  • Eco pro mode

  • Integrated owners handbook
  • Check Control warning system for monitoring of lights and door/luggage compartment open warning
  • Optimum shift indicator
  • Oil sensor for level and grade
  • BMW emergency call
  • BMW Teleservices
  • Connected eDrive Services
  • Personal Profile
  • BMW Online services
  • On board computer

  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body colour mirror caps
  • Heated, electrically adjustable exterior mirror aspheric on driver side, convex on passenger side
  • Electric folding and anti dazzle exterior mirrors

  • Contrast stitching on instrument panel

  • Double VANOS
  • Balancer shaft
  • VALVETRONIC engine management
  • Aluminium lightweight construction
  • Petrol Particulate Filter
  • High precision injection

  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • DAB Digital radio

  • Visible VIN plate
  • Body colour door handles
  • High gloss shadowline window frame, mirror frames and B/C pillar embelisher trim
  • Fading support
  • Matt black air guide grilles
  • Front door sill finishers in black plastic with BMW designation
  • Chrome kidney grille frame with Satin Aluminium struts
  • High gloss shadow line exterior trim
  • Chrome 'M' logo side designation
  • Chrome exhaust tailpipe in single, round (Exhaust tailpipe, stainless steel - single, round)
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Lightweight engineering
  • Model designation on right side of tailgate

  • Direction indicator side lights in exterior mirrors
  • Nearside reverse light in rear light cluster
  • LED eyebrow turn indicators
  • Preparation for high beam assistant
  • High level third brake light
  • Follow me home headlights
  • Automatic headlight beam throw control
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rear fog lights
  • LED front fog lights

  • Two zone automatic air conditioning

  • Dakota leather upholstery with perforation and contrast stitching
  • Driver side folding compartment in instrument panel
  • Four grab handles integrated in roof lining
  • Front and rear side armrest integrated into door trim
  • 3 spoke M sports design leather steering wheel finished in nappa leather with specific M badge
  • Front Armrest foldable with integrated storage compartment
  • Storage compartment in centre console
  • Conditioned based service
  • 12V power socket in centre console
  • Folding rear clothes hook
  • Multi-function controls for steering wheel
  • Glove compartment
  • 2 cupholders in front centre console
  • Manual adjust steering wheel
  • Anthracite headlining
  • Front and rear door pockets

  • Welcome lighting

  • Interior lights pack - 1 Series
  • Extended storage pack - 1 Series
  • M Sport aerodynamics pack - 1 Series
  • Luggage compartment pack - 1 Series
  • Extended lighting pack - 1 Series
  • Connected pack professional - 1 Series

  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats, front pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters, rear coded belt buckles
  • Crash sensor activating central locking release, hazard warning lights, fuel cut off, interior lighting + activation of safety battery terminal clamp
  • 2 tone horn
  • Driver and front passenger seat belt security check
  • Airbags - Front driver and passenger, front and rear head, front side, curtain head protection
  • Front passenger manual airbag deactivation
  • Seatbelt warning
  • Side impact protection
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Rear child proof door locks
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

  • 3 rear seat head restraints
  • Height adjustable front head restraints
  • Front sports seats with electric side bolster adjustment
  • Driver and front passenger seat heating
  • Folding rear seats
  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment for two outer rear seats and front passenger seat with anchorage points
  • Rear seat backrest with manual 60:40 split folding with 3 top tether clips integrated on rear of seat panels

  • Remote control with integrated key with High-gloss Black inlay and M designation
  • Deadlocking function system to all doors
  • Thatcham Cat.1 alarm with remote control and immobiliser
  • Start/stop button with comfort go keyless engine start and auto start stop deactivation button
  • Central locking switch for all doors, fuel filler cap and luggage compartment
  • Automatic drive away locking facility
  • Locking wheel bolts

  • Electronic differential lock

  • Sun visors with vanity mirrors and insert tab

  • Reduced rolling resistance tyres

  • CO2 (g/km): 113
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 203
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 142
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 122
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 145
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 203
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 212
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 142
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 151
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 122
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 132
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 159
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 156
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 144

  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • CC: 1499
  • Engine Code: B38A15M1

  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 8.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 9.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 5.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6.9
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 44.1
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 67.3
  • EC Combined (mpg): 56.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 31.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 31.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 30.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 42.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 48.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 40.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 40.9

  • Coin Series: M Sport
  • Coin Description: i
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 83
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 76
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 72
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 140
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 22E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.4
  • Engine Power - KW: 103
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4600
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 162
  • Engine Torque - NM: 220
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1480
  • Engine Power - BHP: 140
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.5
  • Top Speed: 132

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: M DOUBLE SPOKE STYLE 819M
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/40 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/40 R18

  • Width (including mirrors): 2081
  • Height: 1434
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4319
  • Width: 1799
  • Wheelbase: 2670

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1320
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1870
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 42
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 380
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1300
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 695
  • Max. Loading Weight: 550
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1200
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4

  • Sun protection glass: £300

  • City braking function: Included

  • Enhanced bluetooth with wireless charging: £350
  • Bluetooth hands free facility with USB audio interface: Included

  • Lane departure warning system: Included
  • Cruise control with brake function: Included
  • Active cruise control with stop and go: £0
  • Front/rear Parking distance control: Included
  • Park assist including reversing assistant, lateral parking aid and reversing assist camera: £350

  • Automatic tailgate operation: £500

  • Head up Display: £750
  • BMW Live Cockpit Plus with 8.8" central information display + nav function: Included
  • BMW Live Cockpit Professional sat nav system including 10.25" high resolution display and Intelligent Voice Assistant: £1,000

  • Illuminated Berlin interior trim: £0
  • Illuminated Boston interior trim: Included

  • Larger fuel tank capacity (50 litres): £50
  • 42 Litre fuel tank: Included

  • Stereo speaker system with 2 mid range speakers in the front door trims and rear parcel shelf + 2 central bass speakers underneath the front seats: Included
  • BMW gesture control: £300
  • Harman/Kardon loudspeaker system: £0

  • Individual metallic paint: £560
  • Electric panoramic glass sunroof: £1,000
  • Metallic paint: £560
  • Solid paint: Included

  • BMW icon adaptive LED headlights: £500
  • LED Headlights: Included

  • Luggage compartment separating nets: £150
  • Heated steering wheel: £150
  • Through load system: £150

  • Driving assistant pack - 1 Series: £1,000
  • Comfort pack 2 - 1 Series: £1,500
  • Tech pack 2 - 1 Series: £1,300

  • Metallic - Mineral grey: £560
  • Metallic - Black sapphire: £560
  • Metallic - Misano blue: £560
  • Metallic - Melbourne red: £560

  • Solid - Alpine white: £0

  • Individual metallic paint - Storm Bay: £560

  • Driver + front passenger electric lumbar support: £150
  • Manual adjust driver/passenger seats: Included
  • Electric front seat adjustment - drivers with memory: £750

  • Comfort access system: £500

  • Towbar with detachable ball: £750

  • Dakota leather - Mocha: £0
  • Dakota leather - Black with blue highlight: £0
  • Dakota leather - Black with grey highlight: £0
  • Dakota leather - Magma red with grey highlight: £0

  • 18" Burnished M double spoke alloy wheels finished in orbit grey - style 819M: Included
  • 19" Burnished M double spoke Bi-colour alloy wheels finished in Jet black - style 552M: £595

  • BMW mobility system: Included
  • Space saver spare wheel: £150

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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