Colin Goodwin
29 April 2009

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.

Join the debate

Comments
195

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:
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 intercooler is not behind the grille - 'the kidneys' - but behind the bottom of the front valance.

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

You are awesome Horse......Horse-um.

SDR

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

Ugh. I can only imagine what a miserable little car this is. I test-drove a 118d for a couple of days a few months ago fully expecting to love it, but in fact I can honestly say it was one of the most unappealing cars I've ever driven.

It was grossly over-geared, felt horribly lethargic, did about 5 mpg less than my car at the time (a 2.0 Golf GT TDi), and was absurdly cramped (I wasn't expecting much, but the ability to use the rear doors without first removing my feet would have been nice), had unpleasantly offset pedals, nasty small flat seats, and... oh it was just awful!

I'm sure a 130i would put a smile on my face despite all the design shortcomings, however these small diesel 1-series' are without any redeeming features to my knowledge.

My current 2.0 TDi A3 does 58 mpg without difficulty (when it's not in the garage as it is now), and the automatic 3.0 TDi A6 I have as a loan car is doing 40. BMW can poke their not so efficient dynamics as far as I'm concerned!

Ah, I feel better for that...... :o)

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

I've been running a 118d sportshatch for more than 2 months and have only praise for it. The design may not be to everyone's taste, that's for sure but it's got road presence and looks pretty well in Montego blue. The engine likes to rev, is full of oomph and the 6 speed box is well suited to it. As far as I'm concerned the balance of the car is fantastic, its road manners well suited to an enthusiast and that derv drinker engine is not an "on off" boomy affait that are TDIs engines. In comparison these are pretty rough and the A3 test I took before choosing the BMW was bland and soulless. A competent machine the Audi is, sure, but to me it doesn't come close to the 118d.

Mine's fitted with sportseats, has a proper opening sunroof (unlike so many other cars like the Scirocco which I turned down on that point only), returns more than 50 mpg without really caring for it and being on my own most of the time I just don't care about rear space. If you're looking for that sort of thing, you need an MPV then!

And that's not mentioning BMW's legendary customer care, leagues ahead of anything VW and related brands can muster.

In conclusion, the new 116d is a car that doesn't trade driving pleasure for greenness or economy. Enthusiasts still can have their cake and eat it.

SDR

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

Each to their own Mr D.... :o)

While my post was just my personal opinion and yours is just yours, the one point I'll come back on is customer care.

BMW were a pain in the bum when I needed my test drive - I had to wait an age, fax a copy of my licence to them (who has a fax these days?!), then fill out some other form... whereas Audi just turned up with a car and smiled politely. While I'm a little disappointed that my A3 is currently residing at the garage's pleasure awaiting a part, the dealer could not be more helpful, communicative and accommodating - and by allowing me to bowl around in a rather lovely 3.0 A6 they are keeping me perfectly happy while I wait! Other members of my family also run Audis and have similar experience of Audi customer service - in contrast the VW dealers my previous Golf compelled me to encounter were hopeless, incompetent and often rude.

So... I'll buy your customer care criticisms of VW dealers, but my prior knowledge of Audi customer service was one of the key reasons for opting for the A3 over the new Golf, and thus far I'm very happy with my decision. Aside from that, I'm happy you like your car and happy I like mine!

S.

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

BMW isn't the only one not charging a premium for its eco models - Audi's entry deisel are all automatically the TDIe models - there isn't an alternative, as with Volvo, its 1.6 Diesels are automatically the DRIVe models.

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

Only M Sport models do without the active areo dynamics as said above intercooler is in the lower valance as it has always been???

As for Audi I have had the reverse appaling dealers with no interest of a sale BM dealer bent overbackwards gave me a car for the day no issues with driving licence then and even better deal. All Audi offered was a drive round the block. As always you get good and bad dealers for me BM went the extra mile Audi did not and were arragant to boot too. As for the product the A3 was very well put together and an excellent product but so very dull to drive. Found the pump duse derv gave a good shoven of torque but died BM lump felt less powerful but was more down to perception as was very progressive with a linear torque and powerband. RFT tyres are still bad and ride suffers but thankfully BM has dropped them on the lower powered petrol and derv's from March build this year.

VAG products are good but don't really get the pulse racing BMW are different and some say ugly but do stand out and dynamicaly are good they suit different driving styles to be honest compared with Audi and VW and the post's above are brand loyalty.

Me I go for a car that suits me and happy to drive both Audi and BM have plus and negative points you take your pick and.................

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

I am not sure how this ever got of the drawing board. Presumably a strong personality evangelised about it in a meeting and 10 others all sat round the table thinking this is virtually indistinguishable from the 118d's green credentials. Specifically;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
  • C02 - 118 v 119g
  • MPG - 64.2 v 62.8
So when it says BMW's cleanest and most economical car, you could measure the difference with a cigarette paper! What this car is really about is;
  1. Save a grand on the buy price
  2. Power down from 143 to 116
  3. Acceleration down from 8.9 to 10.2

To summarise, save a bit of money, go a bit slower, have the same green credentials as a 118d driver.

Let me know if I have missed the point.

JP

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

It REALLY pisses me off that they put a 2 ltre engine in it and call it a 116.

Why not call it a 120dE ( and offer hydraulic power steering as an extra-cost option for the few buyers who want the ultimate driving machine )

Re: BMW 116d

5 years 26 weeks ago

How about calling it a 120 Art Deco ( wouldn't have to pay Picasso any royalties)

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Our Verdict

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

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