THE BMW 1 series is the smallest, most affordable model available from the Bavarian automaker.
Though the BMW i3 may be the smallest in terms of length as it is 325mm shorter than the 1 series. It is 10mm wider and 157mm taller than the 1 series.
The second generation of the 1 series will be the last model running on the rear-wheel drive train system. For the third generation onwards, BMW has opted to switch to the Mini Countryman’s front-wheel-drive system and chassis.
We had a go on the facelifted BMW 118i M Sport variant, which was introduced earlier this year and was impressed with its performance.
The BMW 118i M Sport is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It churns out 136hp at 4,400rpm and 220Nm of torque from 1,250 to 4,300rpm.
BMW claims that the 118i M Sport can dash to 100kph from standstill in 8.7 seconds with a top speed of 210kph. The premium hatchback has a combined fuel consumption rated at 5.1 litres per 100 km.
The car comes with the M Sport kit and the M Sport trim. It includes the M Aerodynamics bodykit, M Sport suspension package, 18-inch M Sport allow wheels, and M Sport multifunction leather-steering wheel, as well as M emblems around the premium hatchback and sport leather seats with driver’s seat memory function.
Standard equipment includes keyless entry, push to start button, cruise control, 6.5-inch iDrive display, navigation system, LED headlights, LED fog lights, dual-zone air-conditioning, auto lights, auto wipers, front and rear parking sensors, as well as the Isofix child seat anchor points.
In terms of safety, the BMW 118i M Sport comes with six airbags, dynamic stability control, anti-lock braking system, automatic stability control and cornering brake control.
The BMW 118i M Sport is priced at RM188,800, without insurance. It comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty and free scheduled servicing, as well as the BMW Tyre Warranty Programme.
We find the BMW 118i M Sport is a great upgrade for those wishing to venture to a German premium hatchback that is sporty, powerful and comfortable.
On the front, the BMW is aggressive and sporty with slim headlights as well as the angular front bumper. Its rear looks modern and premium with simple and stylish rear tail lights.
In terms of interior, the dashboard shares the same design as the BMW 3 Series, which is outdated compared with its competitors, but is still luxurious and sporty. However, the blue stripe, which runs across the dashboard gives a cool and elegant feeling.
The front leather seats are comfortable, but not too soft, or firm. It has thigh support as well. Its well weighted multi-function leather steering wheel is comfortable to hold and it is accurate in turning.
At high speed corners, the BMW 118i M Sport is planted firmly on the tarmac. It is able to exit the corners faster without losing its rear end grip. Its suspension is well-tuned and provides a good balance between handling and cushioning. Rough and damaged road conditions are well absorbed.
Although the the car comes with a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder BWM TwinPower Turbo engine, it is able to keep up and outperform most cars that has a higher engine capacity on the highway. It sips fuel in city driving. The close-ratio 8-speed steptronic automatic transmission switches gear smoothly.
Just like the other BMWs, the 118i M Sport comes with different drive modes, such as Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes that gives the driver the capability to adjust the car’s driving characteristics. Eco Pro provides fuel-saving low revs that is useful during traffic jams or even cruising on the highway with no intentions of overtaking. Meanwhile, the Sport and Sport+ gives sets the car for aggressive and fun driving.
The rear passengers gets a cooling vent. There is enough legroom to fit in passengers above 180cm. Despite its lack of headroom, taller passengers can still fit in, but they won’t be able to sit comfortably.
The BMW 118i M Sport has 360 litres of boot capacity. It is enough to fit in three cabin size hand luggage easily. The rear of the hatchback comes with a rear-view camera.
Its iDrive infotainment system is easily accessible with the BMW iDrive control knob and its multi-function steering wheel.
We managed to clock about 650 km in the BMW 118i M Sport. On an average daily mixture of highway and city driving, the instrument cluster showed that the hatchback was able to travel 12.3 to 14.8km per litre of petrol. While we were cruising on the highway within the speed limit, it recorded about 20.8 to 23.4km per litre.
After hard acceleration, it registered that the 118i M Sport could get achieve a mileage between 8.7 and 10.9km per litre.
Although the BMW 118i M Sport is an excellent hatchback that is elegant and sporty, but there is still room for improvements. It should have more headroom for the rear passengers and a more modern dashboard.