BMW 1 Series 116i SE Auto 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - February 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £20,785
Tax Band: G
Insurance Group: 19
MPG: 42.8
CO2: 154
0-62 Mph: 10.7 secs
BHP: 122 BHP
Range: 499 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.75/5
The 116i SE Auto is pricey but offers good driveability and controlled handling. The fuel economy and low CO2 emissions also make it an inexpensive car to run and the BMW badge endows the car with a premium image.

PROS:  The 116i SE Auto is great to drive with responsive steering and good body control. It should also be cheap to run with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

CONS:  The 116i SE Auto is pricey and not as practical as some of its rivals thanks to limited rear legroom.

Behind the Wheel

The 122 bhp engine propels the 116i SE Auto from 0-62 mph in 10.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 126 mph. The engine is smooth and quiet and road and suspension noise are well insulated, making the cabin both comfortable and quiet. The only noise disturbance likely to be encountered is wind noise and this is only really audible on motorways.

Although the suspension is too firm - a common criticism of BMWs - the six-gear automatic drive of this car is smooth and the car copes well on twisting back roads where the front engine and the rear-wheel drive chassis offer fantastic body control.

The 1 Series has a great driving position with plenty of adjustment allowing the driver to find the optimum position. Unfortunately the adjustment can be a little tricky and drivers may find it takes some time to adjust the seat to their needs.

Looks & Equipment

The 116i SE Auto's interior doesn't offer the elegance found in pricier BMWs but it is well made and has a quality feel. The 1 Series still isn't the prettiest car in the world but it has a certain charm about its proportions. However, new BMWs always get a bad press in the looks department and tend to get better looking with familiarity.

In terms of equipment, the SE model comes with alloy wheels, climate control, MP3 connectivity, a stereo system fitted as standard whilst optional extras such as Bluetooth connectivity and a built in satellite navigation system cost £250 and £1,550 respectively.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

In terms of practicality, the 1 Series SE is short on leg space for the back seats and this is a real disadvantage, especially considering BMW increased the space on offer from previous models which received heavy criticism for their lack of room.

This disadvantage aside, the 1 Series should prove to be reliable; it feels well made and BMW have an excellent reputation for the solidity of their cars. The old 1 Series also performed admirably in the JD Power Survey.

Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are all fitted as standard, with traction and dynamic stability control also featured, so the 1 Series should be a paragon of safety. To protect the car from theft there is also an alarm and immobiliser fitted alongside remote central locking and deadlocks.

Value for Money

Although the 1 Series is quite expensive at £20,785, running costs are lower than average due to BMW's ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology which utilises braking, electric power steering and an automatic Start/Stop function to reduce wasted energy.

Fuel economy is also fairly good at 42.8 mpg on the combined cycle whilst carbon emissions of 154g/km make it one of the cheapest cars to tax in its class under group G.

Residual values should be rock solid thanks to the desirability of the BMW roundle and the Munich firm's reputation for providing reliable cars.

BMW 1 Series 116i SE Auto 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - by 
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BMW 1 Series 116i SE Auto 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
The 116i SE Auto is pricey but offers good driveability and controlled handling. The fuel economy and low CO2 emissions also make it an inexpensive car to run and the BMW badge endows the car with ...
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Medium Family Alternatives

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