The 118d is likely to be the fleet choice of the new re-engineered and re-styled 1-Series

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 Series has sold more than two million units globally since it was launched in 2004

Measures up on comfort and space, but it’s still boring to drive

  • First Drive

    BMW 120d xDrive

    Adaptive four-wheel drive adds winter safety and dynamic interest to the BMW 1-series’ solid base at a potentially attractive premium
  • First Drive

    BMW 125i M Sport

    Slip through the six-speed manual gearbox and progress feels swift and incredibly smooth
18 October 2011

What is it?

Early next year an Efficient Dynamics version of the BMW 118d will hit the showrooms, but until then the main attraction in the new range is the straight BMW 1-Series 118d. It’s likely to be the big seller in the fleet market.

Like all three diesel engines available in the new 1-Series the 118d’s motor is a 2.0-litre common rail diesel. Underneath it in the range is the 116d with 115bhp and above, which we’ve already tested on the continent, the 181bhp 120d.

If you’ve always been lukewarm about the 1-Series, there’s little about the new model that’s really going to swing your opinion. Yes, it offers more room inside but still is beaten by the Golf and other hatches in this area. The track is wider and the car rolls less than it used to, but still the BMW marketing department’s flagging of the dynamic advantages of rear-wheel drive fall flat when the car is compared to more than a few top front-drivers.

What’s it like?

Like with the 120d, however, it’s the 1-Series diesels’ combination of performance and economy that’s most impressive. The 143bhp 118d takes 8.9sec to go from 0-62mph whereas the 120d manages it in 7.2sec. Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that the most powerful version of the engine emits only 2g/km more than the 118d’s 118g/km and is quoted as having the same 62.8mpg combined fuel consumption as the lower powered car.

The choice between 118d and its more powerful brother is going to come down to money because in the real world the difference in performance is not wide enough to count.

Should I buy one?

The 118d will sell well because it costs almost £1,500 less than the 120d. Besides, anyone looking for a really rewarding driving experience will be wanting to look away from the 1-Series anyway.

BMW 1 Series 118d

Price: £22,030; Top speed: 132mph; 0-62mph: 8.9sec; Economy: 62.8mpg; Co2: 118g/km; Kerbweight: 1420kg; Engine type, cc: 4cyls, 1995cc, turbo, diesel; Power: 143bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 236lb ft at 1750-2750rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
19

26 October 2011

Forgetting the outside looks, the thing I dont understand is the interior. I sat in one the other week. I was utterly unimpressed with the interior quality. Seemed a little shoddy for the money to me.

26 October 2011

I'm sure that I'll be in the minority, but in black, that 1-Series doesn't look ugly at all to me.

Anyway, I'd have the much quicker 120d over this 118d. It's just as economical, but the straight line performance would win me over.

26 October 2011

Aside from the badge, there is very little point for the enthusiast to go for one of these. If you said that about a BMW only a few years, you'd have been laughed at.

A sad day and a sign of the times.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

26 October 2011

[quote Autocar]Besides, anyone looking for a really rewarding driving experience will be wanting to look away from the 1-Series anyway[/quote]

I do wish Autocar would make up its mind. In one review it is a rewarding driver's car wtihout equal in its class, and in this it's an also-ran.

Is a little consistency too much to ask?

26 October 2011

[quote Fidji]I'm sure that I'll be in the minority, but in black, that 1-Series doesn't look ugly at all to me.[/quote] i'll join you there then! saw my first one this morning, in white, not black, but i thought it looked pretty good!

26 October 2011

[quote il sole]

[quote Fidji]I'm sure that I'll be in the minority, but in black, that 1-Series doesn't look ugly at all to me.[/quote] i'll join you there then! saw my first one this morning, in white, not black, but i thought it looked pretty good!
[/quote]
I said a few weeks ago I like the looks. It's a big improvement in my eyes. Seemed I was the only one at the time. Glad there's a few more admirers. Solidarity brothers!

DKW

26 October 2011

[quote evanstim]

[quote Autocar]Besides, anyone looking for a really rewarding driving experience will be wanting to look away from the 1-Series anyway[/quote]

I do wish Autocar would make up its mind. In one review it is a rewarding driver's car wtihout equal in its class, and in this it's an also-ran.

Is a little consistency too much to ask?

[/quote] From their review of the 118d Sport : 'The 118d emphasises these attributes ... without losing the rewarding handling traits of the rear-wheel drive setup'. From this review : 'the BMW marketing department’s flagging of the dynamic advantages of rear-wheel drive fall flat'. I can't imagine the Sport option makes such a difference. So yes please, a little consistency would be less confusing. Still, I guess it shows us is how subjective it all is.

26 October 2011

[quote Fidji]I'm sure that I'll be in the minority, but in black, that 1-Series doesn't look ugly at all to me.[/quote] You aren't the only one, personally for me it is specifically black but it definitely isn't ugly in black!

26 October 2011

[quote DKW]From their review of the 118d Sport : 'The 118d emphasises these attributes ... without losing the rewarding handling traits of the rear-wheel drive setup'. From this review : 'the BMW marketing department’s flagging of the dynamic advantages of rear-wheel drive fall flat'. I can't imagine the Sport option makes such a difference. So yes please, a little consistency would be less confusing. Still, I guess it shows us is how subjective it all is.[/quote] +1

26 October 2011

Yes I guess it is very subjective but Autocar do puzzle me with their reviews. If you read their original roadtests of the old car they used to be fairly praiseworthy of the way it drove. Now all of a sudden it actually drives like a dog with this latest car only slightly better.

This is interesting as it seems to put them at odds with just about every other review which has commended the way new 1 series drives. In their first test of the new car they stated that at least a dozen front drive hatches drove better. Please Autocar publish this list so I can get out to my local showrooms for a testdrive.

The Focus and Golf might have a better ride/handling balance for our roads but for me neither has the seat comfort, driving position or steering precision of the 1 series. Also unlike any Golf I ever owned my 1 series doesn't creak and rattle from the dash/doors/seats!

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