The two-liter four-cylinder under the hood is typically BMW. There's no low end grunt whatsoever, so driving it in the city might seem like it's a much less powerful engine. Above 3-4.000 rpm on the other hand, the engine springs to life, it's like 100 more horsepower are added just by going above that rpm threshold. Of course, this is pretty much useless when dealing with busy stop and go traffic, so the occasional "How much horsepower was this Bimmer having again?" question is bound to be asked more than once when driving with the needle in the lower part of the tachometer.
The fuel consumption on the other hand, despite not being exactly a featherweight at over a tonne and a half (3307+ pounds), is pretty good. After a pretty abnormal session of city driving, and by abnormal we mean a lot of acceleration followed by braking in a short time, we managed to achieve around 12.5 liters per 100 kilometers (US 18.8 mpg). The real surprise came when we observed those figures dropping to a relatively low 10.7 liters per 100 kilometers (US 22 mpg), which isn't half bad for a 170 horsepower vehicle that runs on petrol.
The start/stop system, part of the BMW EfficientDynamics program is mush less intrusive that others we've tested and, even though it also has an "off" button, we kept it on almost the whole time. Together with direct injection, electric power steering, brake regeneration and radiator blinds that open for airflow only when required, this means that fuel consumption should be lower than an equivalent car without these technologies. Considering the high number of cars on the road and traffic lights we usually experience in our test drives, that might just well be plausible.
Sure, when compared to the official 8.9 liters per 100 kilometers (US 26.4 mpg), our test car's figures are a bit on the high side. Given the fact we didn't quite test it in the best conditions possible, and petrol-engined cars are usually known to surpass official estimations by a great deal, it's not exactly the end of the world. The overall visibility is obviously close to perfect when the roof is down and not that great when it's up. If you don't feel like taking the roof down everytime you want to parallel-park the front and rear parking sensors do come in handy and can help you keep the other car's bumper paint off of yours.
Other than that, the car's small(ish) size can keep you out of a lot of trouble in heavy traffic, and you can squeeze in and out from a lot of packed intersections without too much trouble. The only minor problem with a 1-Series Cabriolet in the city might be the increased noise pollution you are subjected to in the case you're driving it with the roof down, but that can be a problem for any Convertible out there.Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
I can't believe you guys almost had me fooled. When I first saw the test car that was parked outside my house and - since I live in an area where public illumination is pretty much non-existent – I couldn't see the fact that it was a convertible. So, I started doing what I do best, I used my magic knuckles and I knocked every part of the car to see what the fuss is about. Sort of like a virtual test drive before the actual test drive, just to see what I was supposed to expect.
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