With manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo ramping up the pressure in this segment of luxury hatchbacks, BMW has responded with a modernised and up to date version of their 1 Series. Since its entry into this niche market just over 2 years ago, the BMW 1 Series has gained acclaim for its sporty demeanour. We tell you what to expect from its latest avatar.
This new BMW 1 Series comes only in a single variant, the 118d. The only engine available at the moment for this car is a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, twin turbocharged (referred to by BMW as TwinPower Turbo) diesel motor that delivers a peak power output of 147 bhp and a maximum torque output of 320 Nm between the rev range of 1500 and 3000 RPM. The drive is channeled to the 17 inch wheels via an 8 speed, Steptronic automatic transmission. This enables this car to finish the 0-100 kph dash in 8.1 seconds and go on to hit a top speed of 212 kph. Despite this performance, thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics, fuel efficiency is not compromised and the 1 Series manages to return a very respectable 23.26 kpl.
The driver can also toggle between Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro driving modes. Each of these modes affects aspects like throttle response and others. Other ways in which the 1 Series conserves fuel include an automatic engine start/stop function, brake energy recuperation which recovers energy that would otherwise be lost as heat while coasting or braking and uses it to charge the battery, an optimum gear change indicator and so on.
A long bonnet with restyled headlamps, the trademark BMW kidney grille with chrome frame and distinctively designed alloy wheels are just few of the identities in the 1 Series that make it immediately recognizable as a BMW. The roof-line is long as well and slopes down slightly towards the rear of this luxury hatchback. The rear of the car bulges out to add on to the sporty personality of the automobile and give it a solidly planted look. From the front the car looks more like a sedan because of its long nose. BMW has centered its design expertise in the cabin of 1 Series where the richness of materials used and equipment levels are very high.
The power adjustable front seats are comfortable and provide masses of support so that you do not slide about during hard cornering. Features in this car include equipment such as leather seat upholstery, leather wrapped steering wheel with red contrast stitching, orange or white ambient interior lighting, instrument binnacle accents and interior trim finishers in red, an all black interior colour theme, a dual zone automatic AC and more. Tailoring multiple gadgets into one concept is the BMW ConnectedDrive which lets passengers use the handsfree system, bluetooth connectivity, Park Distance Control and the sound system. The cabin is kitted out with multiple airbags and the Dynamic Stability Control ensures that traction is available at all times. Brake Assist, Cornering Braking Control, Dynamic Traction Control and a brake drying function are also included for increased safety.
With this update, the 1 Series has got what it takes to keep BMW in the game. We feel that the car should have improved more in the looks department but once you look past that, what you are left with is a car that run rings around all of its competition; and that is more than sufficient for most people to head to a BMW showroom and buy one.