First DriveAdaptive four-wheel drive adds winter safety and dynamic interest to the BMW 1-series’ solid base at a potentially attractive premium
First DriveSlip through the six-speed manual gearbox and progress feels swift and incredibly smooth
What is it?
This is the new BMW 116d, the cleanest and most economical vehicle in BMW’s range. The 116d has a CO2 output of 118g/km and a combined figure of 64.2mpg.
The BMW 116d is significant, because BMW doesn’t dress up a couple of models with a catchy name like EcoMagic and sell them at a premium. Under its Efficient Dynamics programme, BMW has a range of technologies that can be used where best appropriate.
For example the BMW 116d is fitted with an electric water pump, but not automatic grille vanes because closing off air to the intercooler is counterproductive; whereas being able to control the flow rate of the water pump is helpful.
The 116d is also fitted with electric power steering, stop-start, and low rolling resistance front tyres.
What’s it like?
I managed 47.8mpg driving as one normally would on empty and impressive country roads, which is some way short of BMW’s claimed combined figure, but perfectly respectable for everyday-brisk driving.
You don’t feel like you’re driving an eco special, either; the 1-series feels balanced and refined. All the launch cars were in Sport trim, which adds £1315 to the base price of £17,605.
Should I buy one?
As always with the 1 Series, it’s a question of how much you want the badge and the rear-wheel drive. The new BMW 116d is a sensible and sound new option that’s cheaper to tax and run than any other BMW.