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