BMW 1 Series 120d M Sport 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - February 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £24,725
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 26
MPG: 60.1
CO2: 125
0-62 Mph: 7.5 secs
BHP: 177 BHP
Range: 674 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.5/5
The 120d M Sport has a great engine and handles well, particularly around corners and on country roads. It also benefits from BMW’s ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology which equates to low carbon emissions and excellent fuel consumption.

The downside is the lack of space in the rear seats and the price is high for such a small hatchback. The firm suspension in the M Sport is also a little uncomfortable and this means those after a powerful and comfortable drive could find a better, and cheaper, model elsewhere.

PROS:  A powerful hatchback with great handling and suspension. It has a refined diesel engine which offers low carbon emissions and excellent fuel economy.

CONS:  The 120d is very expensive for a small hatchback and offers limited practicality.

Behind the Wheel

Although many will find the firm 120d M Sport's suspension a little uncomfortable, the handling is excellent on twisting back roads where the front engine and the rear-wheel drive chassis provides bucketloads of grip, poise and finesse.

The M Sport model lives up to its name and has the power and handling that you would expect from a car of this class. The engine is smooth and quiet with road and suspension noise hushed as well. This makes the car comfortable and quiet to drive although wind noise is audible at motorway speeds.

You get 177 bhp and 62 mph arrives in just 7.5 seconds. A top speed of 142 mph is more than adequate for a small hatchback.

Looks & Equipment

Overall, the M Sport model comes with an average level of in-car kit which includes alloy wheels, an advanced stereo with MP3 connectivity, climate control and rear parking sensors as standard fittings. Optional extras are also available with leather seats costing £1,010, Bluetooth priced at £250 and satellite navigation setting drivers back an extra £1,550.

The 1 Series is certainly better looking than its predecessor but it's still the ugly duckling in the BMW range, looking awkward from most angles.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The 1 Series should prove to be very reliable as BMW have a fearsome reputation for reliability and the car feels well screwed together.

There are a number of great safety features fitted as standard to ensure drivers feel safe behind the wheel. These include an alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking, deadlocks as well as driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags.

The old 1 Series was criticised heavily for its lack of room within the cabin and unfortunately, despite improvements, this is still a problem in this model. The rear seats in particular suffer from limited space and this means they are not suitable for adult passengers during long journeys.

Value for Money

The 120d M Sport is an expensive hatchback at £24,725 but the benefits it offers could still make it an attractive option. The 'Efficient Dynamics' technology helps to keep running costs low and helps the car to achieve an impressive fuel efficiency of 60.1mpg whilst CO2 emissions are also kept low at 125g/km putting the car under road tax band D.

This hatchback is therefore a fairly decent investment, benefiting from the reputation of the BMW brand and strong resale values. However, the cramped rear seating and high purchase price may be enough to put you off altogether.

BMW 1 Series 120d M Sport 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - by 
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