BMW 1 Series Review (2005)
At launch the BMW 1 Series was available with a choice of four engine: 1.6 litre - 116i and 2.0 litre - 120i petrol engines and a 2.0 litre diesel engine with two power outputs the 122 bhp - 118d and the 163 bhp - 120d.22 March 2005
How It Drove - Performance
At launch the BMW 1 Series was available with a choice of four engine: 1.6 litre - 116i and 2.0 litre - 120i petrol engines and a 2.0 litre diesel engine with two power outputs the 122 bhp - 118d and the 163 bhp - 120d.
We tested the higher output 120d, which is equipped with a 2.0 litre turbo-charged common rail diesel engine mated to a standard 6-speed manual gearbox. Should you wish the 120d can also be specified with a 6-speed automatic gearbox (£1485 option) featuring the Adaptive Gearbox System with Steptronic manual gear selection.
From the moment you press the starter button you know you are going to experience something special. The engine produces 163 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and 340Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm enabling the 120d to accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 7.9 seconds and continue to a terminal speed of 137 mph. Just as impressive is the 50-75 mph acceleration figure in fourth gear of just 6.6 seconds. The precise, short throw gearshift makes for quick and effortless changes.
Until recently, like many people, we were not really diesel fans, considering them to be smelly, slow and noisy but how things have changed - the 1 Series 120d is testament to this. Here we have a diesel sports hatchback that can reach 62 mph in 7.9 seconds. One of our team used to own a Porsche 944 that quoted a comparable figure and would also reach a similar top speed. To top this off BMW quote a combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6 miles to the gallon. Of course you can tell that the car is powered by a diesel engine, the power delivery is different to that of a petrol car and the engine chatters at idle but no longer do you have to put up with a slow noisy engine. In practice you do forget that you are driving a diesel and it is only at the fuel pump that it really affects you and only for the better.
We found the 120d to be powerful, flexible, fugal and smooth - what more could you want?
BMW have recently announced the introduction of the BMW 130i - a car powered by the world’s lightest 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine which powers the BMW 130i from zero to 62mph in 6.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. For more information [ click here ]
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
While most car manufacturers decree that their hatchbacks should be front wheel drive, BMW have decided to do something different and the 1 Series is rear wheel drive.
The petrol heads amongst you will already know the advantages of driving the rear wheels over the front. For those of you who are bewildered we will try to explain, most manufacturers opt for front wheel drive because it is the cheapest and easiest option. Some might argue that it is also safer as front wheel drive cars tend to have more predicable and easier to control handling characteristics. The problem is that when you power and steer the car using the front wheels, it leads to all sorts of problems, especially for more powerful cars. The most noticeable problem is torque steer, accelerate hard, especially into a bend or out of a road junction and you will end up fighting with the steering to maintain control and ultimately you are losing grip. This is why you will find that many front wheel drive cars are equipped with Traction Control. With rear wheel drive the steering and driving wheels are at opposite ends of the car - this results in leaving the front of the car to do the steering (which it does best) and the rear to deliver the power (which it does the best). Couple this to BMW’s legendary 50:50 weight distribution and you have the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, well so they say.
BMW 1 Series Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||BMW 120d Sport|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Quartz Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year unlimited mileage dealer warranty|
12-Year unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty
3-Year paintwork warranty
|Price (when tested on the 22/03/05)||£ 21,260|