BMW

BMW 1 SERIES HATCHBACK 118i [136] M Sport 5dr Step Auto [LCP]

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.8s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2134 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.

  • 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
  • Automatic windscreen wipers and automatic headlight
  • Integrated front windscreen with washer jets

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

  • Floor mats in anthracite velour with contrasting colour seam to match contrast stitching on instrument panel

  • Twin tube gas filled shock absorbers with degressive characteristic curve
  • Drive Performance Control
  • Anti roll bar front and rear
  • M sport suspension

  • Bluetooth / WiFi interface for wireless connection of mobile terminal devices and audio streaming

  • Speed limit Info including no-overtaking indicator
  • Front axle single joint with specific axle kinematics to minimise drive influences on steering + provide increased rigidity agile driving behaviour
  • Active guard plus
  • Attentiveness assist

  • Eco pro mode
  • Pull away assistant

  • Integrated owners handbook
  • BMW ConnectedDrive online services
  • Rigidly mounted rear subframe - Multi link construction with separate spring / damper configuration and excellent driving characteristics
  • BMW emergency call
  • BMW Teleservices
  • Check Control warning system for monitoring of lights and door/luggage compartment open warning
  • Optimum shift indicator
  • Oil sensor for level and grade
  • On board computer
  • Personal Profile

  • Body colour mirror caps
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Folding side mirrors with auto dimming/folding wing mirrors with auto dimming
  • Heated, electrically adjustable exterior mirror aspheric on driver side, convex on passenger side

  • Contrast stitching on instrument panel

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

  • 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
  • DAB Digital radio

  • Body colour door handles
  • Lightweight engineering
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Front and rear bumper system with replaceable deformation elements
  • High gloss shadowline window frame, Recess cover mirror frames and B/C pillar embelisher trim
  • Front door sill finishers in black plastic with M designation in metallic look
  • Chrome kidney grille frame with Satin Aluminium struts
  • Model designation on electric bootlid
  • Fading support
  • Matt black air guide grilles
  • Body colour roof trims
  • Chrome 'M' logo side designation
  • Chrome exhaust twin tailpipes round 90mm in left
  • Matt black wheel arch trim

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

  • Two zone automatic air conditioning

  • Front and rear door pockets with bottle holders
  • Conditioned based service
  • Multi-function controls for steering wheel
  • Glove compartment
  • Front armrest
  • Folding rear clothes hook
  • Storage compartment in centre console
  • Manual adjust steering wheel
  • Anthracite headlining
  • 12V power socket in front centre console with blanking plug
  • Four grab handles integrated in roof lining
  • Front and rear side armrest integrated into door trim
  • Luggage compartment for bag hooks on left and right, foldable luggage compartment liner and two lashing eyelets
  • 3 spoke sports leather steering wheel with black leather and stitching, pearl chrome decorative finish, specific M Badge
  • Two front centre console cupholders

  • BMW live cockpit professional pack- 1 Series
  • Additional storage compartment pack with code 493 -1 series
  • M Sport exterior styling aerodynamics pack - 1 Series
  • Connected pack professional - 1 Series
  • Additional interior lighting pack - 1 Series
  • Interior lights pack - 1 Series

  • Side impact protection
  • Seatbelt warning
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats, front pyrotechnic belt tensioners, stopper and belt force limiters, rear coded belt buckles
  • Child proof locking system in rear door
  • 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/passenger, front and rear curtain head protection, front side, manual deactivation of front passenger airbag

  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment for two outer rear seats and front passenger seat with anchorage points
  • Driver and front passenger seat heating
  • 3 rear seat head restraints
  • Front sports seats
  • Height adjustable front head restraints

  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Central locking switch for all doors, fuel filler cap and luggage compartment
  • Thatcham Cat.1 alarm and immobiliser
  • Deadlocking function system to all doors
  • Remote control with integrated key with High-gloss Black inlay and M designation and 1 button for open/ close lock, window, open luggage compartment
  • Drive away locking system on all doors and luggage compartment with de-activated in iDrive settings
  • Wheel slip limitation close to the actuator (ARB)
  • Start/stop button illuminated in centre console with keyless engine start and auto start stop deactivation button

  • Trailer stabilisation logic

  • 7 speed automatic transmission with double clutch technology
  • Electronic differential lock

  • Sun visors with vanity mirrors and insert tab

  • Electrically powered 12V compressor
  • Reduced rolling resistance tyres

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 187
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 113
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 145
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 134

  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • 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: 8.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6.4
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 34.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 56.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 44.1

  • Coin Series: M Sport [LCP]
  • Coin Description: i [136]
  • 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: 136
  • 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: 20E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.4
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 162
  • Engine Torque - NM: 220
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.8
  • Top Speed: 132

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • 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

  • Electric power steering with Servotronic steering optimised at all speed ranges: Included
  • Park assist including reversing assistant, lateral parking aid and reversing assist camera: £350
  • Lane departure warning system: Included
  • Cruise control with brake assist: Included
  • Front and rear parking sensors: Included
  • M Sports steering: £150

  • BMW gesture control: £300
  • Electric bootlid: £500

  • Head up Display: £750

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

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

  • Individual metallic paint: £595
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £595
  • Electric panoramic glass sunroof: £1,000

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

  • Trigon cloth/Sensatec leather upholstery: Included
  • Luggage compartment separating nets: £150
  • Dakota leather upholstery with perforation and contrast stitching: £1,150
  • Heated steering wheel: £150

  • Comfort pack 2 - 1 Series: £1,430
  • Driving assistant pack - 1 Series: £1,000

  • Metallic - Black sapphire: £595
  • Metallic - Mineral grey: £595
  • Metallic - Misano blue: £595
  • Metallic - Melbourne red: £595

  • Solid - Alpine white: £0

  • Individual metallic paint - Storm Bay: £595

  • Driver + front passenger electric lumbar support: £150
  • Split folding rear seats: £150
  • Electric front seat adjustment - drivers with memory: £750
  • Manual adjust driver/passenger seats: Included
  • Rear seat backrest with manual 60:40 split folding with 3 top tether clips integrated on rear of seat panels: Included

  • Comfort access system: £430

  • Towbar with detachable ball: £750

  • Dakota leather - Mocha: £1,150
  • Dakota leather - Black with blue highlight: £1,150
  • Dakota leather - Black with grey highlight: £1,150
  • Dakota leather - Magma red with grey highlight: £1,150

  • Trigon cloth/Sensatec leather - Black sensatec with contrast blue stitch + centre back/base panels in Trigon cloth with blue detail: £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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