Smallest petrol engine
From 27 450 €
For car enthusiasts, BMW is a brand symbol of sportiness. Values illustrated in particular by the presence under the hood of many models of 6 cylinders in line but also of sedans propulsion. Criteria that speak to some, far from being the majority. And it is on the basis of this last assumption that the manufacturer decided to transform its Series 1, the only compact propulsion in traction. A sacrilege for some, which may well, however, go unnoticed for the majority of customers.
Technically, BMW therefore chose the same platform as the minivan 2 Series Active Tourer but also the Mini in order to save money. This decision also has visible repercussions, particularly in terms of design. The 1 Series, vintage 2019, leaves aside its sedan lines to get closer to a minivan. We have known the propeller brand designers who are more inspired, especially since the front side inherits XXL beans, not necessarily the most aesthetic.
Inside, you would have thought that this architecture would benefit passengers. Unfortunately the gain for the occupants is minimal. BMW has only managed to improve rear seat space, including the legs and head, by a few millimeters. To put it simply, the Series 1 is just back in the segment average. The same goes for its trunk volume, which gains only 20 liters, the equivalent of a handbag to now reach 380 liters. Note that this overall volume takes into account the compartment located under the boot floor (approximately 60 l), which it is impossible to adjust. In the end, the 320 liters cube hold + 60 liters under floor. However, it should be noted that this Series 1 measures 4.32 m or 10 cm less than the Class A.
Up front, very few surprises since we discover a dashboard almost identical to that of the last 3 Series. The compact propeller can therefore benefit from 100% digital instrumentation and a very pleasant design and traditional with a slight orientation of information towards the driver. Even if we can welcome the upgrade of BMW on this subject, it turns out to be relatively sad and above all clearly less impressive than the double digital panel of the Mercedes Class A. So certainly, the very techno atmosphere of the compact to the star will not please everyone but the organization of BMW is still ultra-classic. The area in which we cannot attack Series 1 is that of quality which is simply excellent and up to what one would expect from a premium manufacturer.
Our test model was in a high-end “Luxury” finish. Its equipment notably includes 17-inch alloy wheels, digital instrumentation, leather upholstery, navigation, aluminum grille as well as satin-finished front and rear bumpers and dashboard with contrasting stitching. It is unfortunate, however, that a lot of equipment is still optional, despite the high selling price.
A single petrol engine if you put aside the sporty M235i
Under the hood of this 118i takes place a three cylinder, which develops 140 hp and a torque of 220 Nm. Very common characteristics are since they are also found in the majority of general manufacturers. It is however surprising that BMW did not equip its compact with a more complete range of engines with more modest blocks but also coming to be inserted below the M235i. However, as you would expect, the three-cylinder shows a good liveliness as evidenced by the 0 to 100 km / h shot in 8.5 s. A dynamism that could have been even better if the gearbox reports had not been so long. His temperament is pleasant and BMW has managed to partially overcome the disadvantages of this type of architecture such as vibrations. Finally, it became a habit, it will be necessary to pay special attention to consumption. On our test, we found an average of 7.2 l / 100 km, but it can quickly fly away with a sportier driving.
In terms of behavior, BMW once again gives us a very convincing copy as an agile model, pleasant to handle and endowed with an always precise direction and with exemplary consistency. However, one cannot help but compare this new generation with the previous one and that is where the rub is. The previous Series 1 was shown to be more playful, more fun to drive with the possibility of sliding the rear axle. Something totally impossible with traction, which tends to under-turn naturally. Finally, the main progress perhaps comes where it was not expected, namely the comfort which improves enormously. Whatever the conditions, the Series 1 manages to satisfy its occupants thanks to very good comfort, despite the 18-inch rims of our test model.