It all starts in the front, where we get an all-new 1.6-liter engine that, despite its size, is an alpha male, telling you all about its direct injection, twin-scroll turbo, Valvetronic variable valve timing and double Vanos variable Valve lift.
How does all this engineerding language translate into the real world? The engine, wish is also used for the 116i entry-level model, but in a detuned version, seems beefier than its 170 hp and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) suggest.
The obvious comparison with the 1.6-liter turbo previously developed by BMW in collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroen reveals that we are dealing with a unit that's a bit more frugal and has a considerably wider power band with.
However, BMW didn't choose an extremely aggressive setup (not even for the 118i), so, even though you can hit 100 km/h almost as fast as in a hot hatch, you don't feel like in one. Thus, compared to the aforementioned engine, this feels softer, even though, from the tech point of view, it has more potential (do you hear that tuners?).
All in all, this car is more about power reserve than brutality, a proper setup for the mainstream part of the market it is destined for.
The optional Servotronic steering is brilliant, being able to be submissive during parking maneuvers and dominant through the bends, while also being communicative.
If you also choose the adaptive suspension (you don't actually to need to), you can use the controls next to the gear shifter, which allow you to choose between comfortable and sport modes, to alter the characteristics of the throttle response, steering and suspension.
As for the iPhone integration, this is also useful, better than in other cases but still limited.Continue reading
BMW 1-Series technical data summary
Engine: L4 cc 1598 cm3 Petrol
Dimensions: 170.2 in (4323 mm) length / 78.1 in (1984 mm) width / 56.7 in (1440 mm) height
Get full technical data for BMW 1-Series →