BMW has addressed many of the issues of the first 1-Series, but it seems to have run out of gas when it came to doing something about the fact that the 1-Series doesn't offer too much driver involvement. While this is almost invisible in the city, here on the open road, the car leaves certain things to be desired when you start throwing it at corners.
It much safer to drive that many would think. but the problem is that this comes at the expense of driving pleasure. At the limit the car is biased towards understeer and it's extremely difficult to get the tail out. We're talking about maneuvers withing the limits of the DSC here, things that normal enthusiastic drivers would do.
In a straight line, the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine manages to be muscular enough to allow you to choose the car for longer trips, with another argument being the strong brakes.
It's now time to move up and backward into the cabin, where, with the exception of the front sport seats, the car is able to cater for long-distance transportation needs. The sound proofing, the suspension, the toys, everything is good enough to allow you to relax on longer journeys.
But then you see the BMW badge again, and you want to enjoy putting the hammer down inside a corner and you can't. To become a "ultimate driving machine: the 1er needs to be taken on surfaces such as gravel, where, after you send the DSC to sleep, the car starts to show its tail happy orientation. Once you get sideways, the car proves to be extremely predictable and obedient, but you probably won't buy a 118i if you're into this kind of stuff, you'll go for something that can also do this in more normal conditions.
The new optional Servotronic steering is like connecting the steering wheel to a sheep while traveling at low speeds and to a wolf while on the move and all this without having to trade feedback in, it's pretty impressive.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
Didn't anybody tell BMW that the 1-Series is ugly? This is even uglier than the last one I saw. What's with this face? Yes, any BMW is a nice car, and red is a sweet color, but this doesn't mean that I have to stand these styling cues. This is a car that I want to crash just to change its face!
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →