BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > 2012 BMW 1-Series Sporthatch (F20) Discussion > My F20 review (118i, Turbo 4, 170 hp)
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      10-27-2011, 03:17 AM   #1
Just_me
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My F20 review (118i, Turbo 4, 170 hp)

Weight.
E87 (118i) including fuel, driver and luggage – 1375 kg
F20 (118i) including fuel, driver and luggage – 1390 kg
Source: BMW

The new 118i has gained 15 kg compare to previous 118i. It’s nothing. BMW did a very good job with the weight considering the car has grown in size. Trust me, those 15 kg isn’t noticeable when driving. Unlike the new 5-series compare to previous the weight difference is much much more, thank god the new 1er didn’t gain 100 kg in weight because that’s would be very noticeable and bad.


Here is my personal view on the new 1-series after driving the car for a few hours.

The car I’ve been driving is the new 118i with 170 hp. White, 16” feels, Urban line.



Exterior:
The car is color and wheel sensitive. With the wrong color and small wheels the exterior isn’t very flattering. Regarding the rear, its not ugly but its unhappy its resembles of VW Polo. But choose the right color/wheels and the car starts to get attractive. My dealer had a Sportline, 17” wheels and a grey color. Looks so much better than white. I also seen a couple of red, black and silver and in my opinion, the new 1-series need a dark color to look good. Lighter colors doesn’t seem to fit the design. It also got the be the sportline. Urban version with the silver kidneys doesn’t suit the car. I think a 1-series with M-package and Estorilblue is going to be a looker.

Interior:
The interior is superior to the old 1-series. No more hard plastics. The interior quality is much better. Feels more modern and upscale. Also the interior have more focus to the driver. Everything feels so close and like its directed towards the driver. There are more standard equipment than before. But as always the stuff you want, you need to pay to get it. The backseat has grown in size but its far from being the best in class. A third person won’t sit comfortable because there are no place for your feet because of that ‘thing in the middle’ that’s attached to the floor (I don’t know what to call it in english).

Engine:
The new 1.6 cylinder turbocharged engine is superior to the 2.0 liter N/A engine (120i). So much more torque down the revs. You don’t have to rev the engine very much to gain speed. 4500 rpm is where all the power is. If you want to play there is no drop in power when you go all the way to the 7000 rpm redline. But you rarely need to reev the car like that because the power for daily use is good between 1500-4500 rpm. I’m really looking forward to drive the new 4-cylinders, 2.0 liters turbo that’s replacing the old 120i. Should be even better than this 1.6 cylinder engine I’ve been driving. Get your windows down and you can hear the typical ‘woosh’ turbo sound when the engine breaths. It’s not loud though but you can here it’s there. Also I think the engine sound is not as good as the engine in 120i.

Drive:
Okey, the car I’ve been driving is the Urban line with 16” wheels so handling isn’t exactly a priority on this car. Too soft for my taste and shaky when you turn the steering wheel quickly to the left and right. Bigger wheels and M-package, should take care of the handling. I will try a 1-series with M-package when it’s available. Altough the Urban version I drove had the sportseats (by mistake my dealer had ordered the wrong seats for his Urban version) I find the seats to be very comfortable.

The new 1-series feels as nimble as previous version despite 15 kg more weight. It’s still a fun car to fool around with. Throttle response might not be as good as my car but its damn close. In ECO mode the throttle response is no good and the engine doesn’t want to reev as much as it does in sportmode. But ECO mode isn’t about driving, its about saving fuel.

The gearbox is just as good as my car. It’s slick and with tight gear changes. The gearbox offer a good feeling when you change gear. I think BMW kept the same gearbox you find in previous version. Golf doesn’t have the same wonderful manual gearbox like BMW.

The steering is very good. I’m so happy BMW seem to find their way back. Its not even comparable to the one you find in the new 5-series. The steering in the new 1-series is just excellent and on another level. Good job BMW. Steering feedback is great. Response quickly and immediately to my reactions. Again, Golf is behind BMW in this area too.

Price:
Not much to say other than I think the car costs way too much. Add the equipment you want and the price gets to steep. I think a Golf GTI 35 Edition is a better value than a 118i when I add the equipment I want.

Conclusion:
The new 1-series has grown in size with little more interior space. The interior and engine is superior to the old car. Gearbox is still as good as the old car, same goes for the steering. New 1-series is just as nimble and playful as the old car. Regarding the handling, I’m sure bigger wheels and M-package is going to improve a lot. My only criticism is the price. But I’m sure BMW won’t have any problems selling them. For the price you get a better car than the old 1-series so I can imagine many current 1-series owners will be replacing their car with the new one.

Note: I haven’t been driving on a track but for street/roads the new 1-series is just as fun as the old car.
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Last edited by Just_me; 10-27-2011 at 03:23 AM.
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      10-27-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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Well written. This pretty much reflects my own impression of the car, except that I hate the color Estorilblau....
I also had the chance to drive the 184 hp 120d, which had a very impressing torque and all the sportiness you want from a 4-door car
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      10-27-2011, 11:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_Petroff View Post
The 1.6 still has lag AND it makes the gearbox vibrate.
Not something I noticed and I've driven two different versions of 118i. I think the engine is great and powerful enough for daily use and the gearbox is wonderful too.
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      10-27-2011, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_Petroff View Post
I sure as hell want more sportiness from a 4 door car than that :-)
The comment was written in a hurry. What I meant is that a family car like this is sporty enough for everyday driving and ahead of its competitors in that sense. A die hard enthusiast would of course go for a petrol version, like the future 128, 135 or even a possible 1M.
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      10-28-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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thanks for this detailed feedback.
i own one since early october and pretty much in line with your analysis. Exterior is quite blend though, would say the sport line is less controversial. interior is upscale but there are hard plastics, below the top dashboard and doors. besides, AC and radio switches are not soft touch. Overall quality is good for a compact but not outstanding, however do not expect a premium feel, this is a compact not a luxury car. Leather is somewhat cheap,pitty. I also have two rattles in the door, and one due a loose part for which i need to go back to the dealer. this is my fourth bimmer, and this is the fourth time i suffer quality glitches when getting the car... Cockpit design is somewhat disappointing, very classic, VW type.

Its strength is the way it handles, the precision of the steering, its agility, and the expetionnal level of comfort for a series 1. good job indeed, and even with 16 inches wheels, you can enjoy the drive. 118d is plenty of torque, not intruding in the cabin for a diesel, and no vibration. Automatic gear is also outstanding, smooth, quick.
This car rocks for driving and comfort but is deserved by a poor packaging as for design, inside and outside. pitty.
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      11-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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Nice write up, thanks.
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