Since the 1960s, BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” aesthetics has been authentic by rear-wheel drive. It’s still the blueprint acclimated in best pointy-end achievement accouterments today.
In approach (and, if it’s any good, in practice), a rear-wheel drive car is inherently bigger counterbalanced than a nose-heavy front-wheel drive, so it’s added active and controllable through corners.
Sending agent torque through the advanced auto accordingly corrupts council feel and precision, while anchor beneath ability is additionally compromised.
None of these characteristics is decidedly accordant or axiomatic in circadian pootling about the ’burbs, area front-wheel drive has become the ascendant layout, alike in SUVs.
That’s because front-drivers are cheaper to accomplish and added calmly adapted to aftermath several altered models from the aforementioned basal structure.
BMW’s antecedent 1 Series (2011-19) was the aftermost rear-drive auto on the market. The new 118i, which we’re testing today, uses the aforementioned anatomy architectonics and front-drive accoutrement as the five-door Mini (a cast endemic by BMW) and the X1/X2 baby SUVs.
The 1 Series was conceived as the cheapest admission to the BMW club but at $42,990 for the new 118i, that admission now costs $4000 added than previously.
Mid-forties is big money for a 1.5-litre auto with a bald 103kW. A Toyota Corolla, with 125kW, can be had for about $25,000. The Mini Cooper five-door — aforementioned car, altered box, bethink — costs $34,000.
BMW knows how to accomplish this box irresistible. A tight, categorical little hatch, the 1 Series looks a accomplished lot faster and tougher than it absolutely is, abnormally with its 18-inch admixture wheels, advanced tailpipe and the gaping, bloodthirsty grille that comes with the car’s accepted M Sport package.
Climb in and your money additionally appears able-bodied spent — there’s no aroma of abjection backpack about the 118i.
The cabin’s elegant, minimalist dash, agenda dials, quality, bendable blow materials, brownish trim and affection lighting accord the aforementioned ultra-modern, haute couture chichi as BMW’s exceptional models.
M Sport accessory includes bolt upholstered, sports advanced seats that accord all-day abundance and support, additional the fattest-rimmed council caster in the business — an affectation this car could able-bodied do without.
BMW’s latest infotainment accoutrement is glossy and graphically stunning, if added circuitous and beneath automatic than antecedent versions.
Voice control, usually able in BMWs, was hit and absence in our analysis car. Apple CarPlay, already an added amount option, is accessible but Android Auto isn’t.
BMW fits M Sport suspension, which in concert with run-flat tyres makes the ride too close and unforgiving. It’s casuistic that the car rides like a hot bear yet performs like a arcade trolley. Front-drive architectonics yields greater amplitude in the rear, area adults now adore accessible admission and appropriate legroom. Boot aggregate increases marginally.
People who can’t esplanade will adulation the 118i. Automatic about-face and alongside parking are accepted and Reversing Assistant automatically takes the car aback up to 50 metres, council forth the aforementioned band you acclimated to drive it advanced into the space.
Autonomous emergency braking operates alone up to 80km/h. ANCAP tests rated the 1 Series lane-keep abetment capability as bordering due to its abortion to arbitrate in analytical scenarios.
BMW’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo is a absorbing little slugger, acquainted for tractability, clarification and frugality. It gets the 1 Series off the band smartly and pulls the college apparatus with antic affluence at tick-over revs.
This delivers outstanding ammunition efficiency: 4L-5L/100km on the artery and 6L-8L in town, area auto stop-start helps the cause. Restarting, though, is apathetic and bulky — I angry it off afterwards the aboriginal bisected dozen or so.
On the move, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission’s accouterment are quick, bland and timely. Sport approach goes attractive for high mid-range and top-end ability that isn’t there. No paddle-shifters are provided.
In Eco and Abundance modes, the steering, admitting sharp, is over-assisted, asleep on centre at freeway speeds and imprecise. Very un-BMW. Sport approach adds weight and accurateness but the caster charcoal numb.
The 118i darts agilely into a corner, is able-bodied counterbalanced aback alteration administration and buried on poor surfaces.
That said, it’s annihilation special, aloof addition competent, tidy, front-wheel drive auto with adventurous pretensions. I’d aback a VW Golf, Mazda3, Corolla or Ford Focus to break with it on a tight, ambagious road. Easily.
I’ve consistently capital a BMW but the big ones are out of my amount range. I was awash on this as anon as I hit the driver’s seat. It feels abundant added big-ticket than it is.
I appetite a baddest German cast baby bear with abundant ammunition economy, refined, acquiescent achievement and a luxurious, hi-tech cabin.
BMW spent several decades blame the band that a rear-wheel drive is the “Ultimate Driving Machine” and the 118i is affidavit they were cogent the truth.
Mercedes-Benz A180, from $42,900
The abutting battling for the 1 Series uses a 100kW/200Nm 1.3-litre turbo four/seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The berth is a admirable techno-wow zone, with articulation ascendancy a highlight. The BMW handles better.
Volkswagen Golf Comfortline, from $29,990 drive-away
Still the criterion hatch. Analysis drive it afore you accomplish to a added big-ticket rival. Class-leading 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo/seven-speed dual-clutch manual and a superb ride/handling accommodation for bounded roads.
BMW 1 Series vitals
Warranty/servicing: 3 years, $1550 for 5 years/80,000km
Engine: 1.5-litre 3-cyl turbo, 103kW/220Nm
Safety: 5 stars, 6 airbags, low acceleration AEB, dark atom monitor, head-up display, lane-keeping, rear cross-traffic alert
Bmw New 1 Series 2020 Specs And Review – bmw new 1 series 2020