BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > 2012 BMW 1-Series Sporthatch (F20) Discussion > F20 118i 1.5 shadowline M sport 2019 (my review)
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      08-30-2019, 07:27 AM   #1
Lewis_F20
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I thought I would drop a post on here now I have had my new car for a for months now to help anyone potentially wanting to buy one of these before they all go.

I feel as though after doing a lot of reading on this forum that the 1.5 3 cylinder engine is pointless so I wanted to give my views on it.

My history of BMWs is Z4 2.2i 6 cylinder, 1 series coupe 120D, F20 116i M sport 2013.
So I have experienced a few different engines of what BMW have produced over the past few years so I think I am in a good position to critique my new one.

To start with I'll review the driving side of things.

- Engine
So being a 1.5 3 cylinder engine I was a little concerned how it would perform on the road due to BMW reducing the capacity down 3cyl rather than the usual 4, and I have to say this is a really good engine and here is why.
So start with it is quiet and so smooth to drive, there are rarely any annoying vibrations that you can feel. The performance I have found so far to be good enough for everyday driving, a lot of my driving is in and around the city so having more power could have ended up being power wasted. I tend to do a lot of my driving in comfort mode around town and again this fine and feels quick enough for when you may need to start off at a junction quickly.
However putting the car into sport mode transforms this car from a reasonable daily driver into a car (considering this is powered by 3cylinders) into something that is incredibly fun an nippy to drive. The throttle response in sport is all you really need to have some fun, and the car really does feel a lot quicker on the country roads. BMW seem to have done a gone job on the turbos as I haven't noticed any turbo lag and the torque is delivered pretty evenly across the Rev range and it feels consistent from around 2500 RPM.

- Handling
As mentioned above, when the car is in sport mode this car really does feel like a go cart and compared to my previous 116i I can fault the handling, the steering feels so precise and due to the lighter front end the steering doesn't feel heavy at all. The car holds the corners really well without any roll that's particularly noticeable

- MPG
So far around town I'm achieving 30-35 mpg which is slightly disappointing I must admit however it's a marginal improvement from my previous 116i which came in around 27-30 mpg. On the motorway this car hits around the 45-50mpg. Going on a longer trip I could have easily got it to 55-60 mpg however I am haven't done any very long trips yet. So even though it's not what BMW quote I have been quite happy to see some improvements based on it predecessor.

- Interior and equipment
It is the best I have had yet in a 1 series, the Dakota leather is great and the idrive has the latest version in that offers plenty of features including Spotify etc. Overall the build feels better than my 116i and looks smarter throughout, yes BMW haven't upgraded it too much but I love the simple design in most cars pre 2019, I don't want too many screens and buttons about the place that takes my concentration away from driving.

- looks
I have to say the LCI model is the best looking yet and the upgrades that come with the Shadow edition make it look even better than the standard M sport. I now have the M sport callipers and black 18" alloys with a slighter larger exhaust than the normal M sport. Overall I love the way it looks and it really is noticeable coming down the road.

Overall I am happy with my purchase as I have got a lot of upgrades for a really good price. I could have gone with the 120i or 125i however for what I use the car for I feel as though it could have been money wasted for what I need.
The 1.5 engine has enough power to be fun & interesting (sure it's not 140i fast).
Looking what else is about in the same class it appears a lot of manufacturers are reducing engine sizes and increasing the turbo power including VW, Audi and Mercedes. Now owning this version of the 1 series and comparing it to others the 0-62mph of 8.5 seconds BMW say it is, in reality I think it feels slighter quicker than that.
My advice if you are considering buying a 118i is to get one as it's certainly not slow, and the price you can get them now with upgrades on the equipment they come with it makes it hard to not go for one.
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      08-30-2019, 08:33 AM   #2
ovekvam
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I have a similar story, having owned various BMWs from 1998 until now. I also went from an N13 powered 2012 116i M-Sport to a B38 powered 2016 LCI 118i M-Sport.

Both engines are rated at 136 hp, and both have more power (over 140) when measuring at a dyno. Same performance, but the B38 sounds better. It also vibrates more under 1500 RPM then the four cylinder N13. The difference in how thirsty the engines are, is negligible.

I think the weight of the two engines is pretty much the same too.

Both my F20s came with a manual gearbox, and the newer car does automatic rev matching, which makes quite a difference when driving.

The pre LCI M-Sport front bumper had cooling ducts for the brakes. The new one does not, but I agree the new one looks better. Best looking one series ever, maybe except 1M.

I also prefer the newer DAB+ radio with better bluetooth Spotify integration.

I hear the newest F20 cars have improved turn indicator stalks, like the old BMWs had. I really miss that. I would wish for 4 improvements in our F20:

1) Improved turn indicator stalks.
2) Fake engine sound module. It is not loud enough now.
3) Rev matching for first gear too.
4) Heated steering wheel.

Otherwise it is a very capable car.
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      09-01-2019, 06:13 AM   #3
eray
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I owned two N13 F20 118i M-Sport cars. My friend has B38 118i and the exhaust note is amazing compared to N13, also dump valve makes a bit different noise than the N13 which I really like. I really consider getting one. The only thing bothers me is that will I miss the 170 hp the pre-lci produces
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      09-01-2019, 09:43 AM   #4
Lewis_F20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eray View Post
I owned two N13 F20 118i M-Sport cars. My friend has B38 118i and the exhaust note is amazing compared to N13, also dump valve makes a bit different noise than the N13 which I really like. I really consider getting one. The only thing bothers me is that will I miss the 170 hp the pre-lci produces
Yes I agree, the engine and exhaust note sound better!
In regards to the power, I suppose it depends what your used to.
It's would be like someone with an M140i dropping to a 125i, once you get something faster you are always going to miss that torque 🤣.
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