The rear suspension benefits from BMW's pioneering five-link rear suspension which has been designed to improve ride quality.
The rear suspension benefits from BMW's pioneering five-link rear suspension which has been designed to improve ride quality. By replacing the traditional double wishbone arrangement with a version of the five-link set-up employed on the 5 and 6 Series, engineers have been able to subtly alter the toe-in, toe-out and camber angles for increased cornering ability.
Sport models are equipped with sports suspension as standard which lowers the suspension by 15mm which not only gives the 1 Series a more aggressive stance but enhances performance by giving a more agile ride.
The proof is in the driving and the 1 Series does not disappoint - the steering is very well weighted and reacts well to driver input. The steering isn’t over assisted, so some drivers might find it on the heavy side. The ride is hard but it does reward you with incredible feedback with grip on the high side of limpet. Cornering always remains safe and fun. You would have to be doing something pretty daft in the dry to get the end to break away. If you do manage to get into trouble the car is protected by Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control, which for the more enthusiastic driver can be switched off - but we wouldn't recommend this on the public highway.
Our test car was equipped with 180 Star Spoke 18" alloy wheels (£1895 option) which were prone to tram lining but overall they enhanced grip and handling.
Ease of Use
The dashboard is ergonomically laid out, simple and uncluttered. All the controls are tactile and stylish and the centre console is inclined towards the driver establishing a feeling of control.
The 1 Series features a starter button, you simply slot the key into the dashboard and press the button with your foot on the clutch - and off you drive. Is it a gimmick? - well yes and no, turning the key is a pain and it would be far easier to just press a button.
The boot is opened via the BMW logo on the boot, a design touch which we enjoyed. The 1 Series features 60:40 split rear folding seats with a ski hatch, with the rear seats up the boot capacity is 330 litres and with the seats laid flat this increases to 1,150 litres.
The 1 Series is an easy vehicle to park with excellent visibility all round. Our test car was equipped with optional parking sensors making the BMW 1 Series even easier to manoeuvre.
We found the main beam mechanism very easy and quick to operate.
On a more practical level the BMW features a digital clock, headlamp height adjustment, on-board computer including the following functionality: external temperature display, average fuel consumption, fuel range, average speed and current consumption, 4 large door bins, mesh seat back pockets and an armrest with storage box.
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|