Insurance Group: 25
0-62 Mph: 9.6 secs
BHP: 143 BHP
Range: 577 miles
PROS: A good driving experience and a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy open top motoring with an automatic gearbox to allow you to focus on enjoying the drive.
CONS: Doesn't offer as much of a sporty driving experience as you might expect with the M Sport badge attached especially with the automatic gearbox, and space in the rear seats is particularly cramped.
Behind the Wheel
Perhaps the biggest issue for those who are considering this M Sport Auto version of the 1 series convertible will be the automatic gearbox itself. The gearbox seems just a little too eager to move down when you're thinking about doing it yourself, and this can make driving a little bit jerky, especially on the country roads which would normally require frequent changes. The ride quality is also quite firm, and may prove to be a little bit too uncomfortable for some drivers.
The driving position is comfortable, but those looking for a little extra luxury will have to shell out another thousand pounds in order to have leather seats installed. On the whole the car is a perfectly competent premium cabriolet which falls short of the spectacular, and is reliable rather than spectacular to drive. There won't be any unpleasant surprises, but with a 0-60mph of only 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 129mph you may not get the thrill of some racier vehicles.
Looks & Equipment
This is very much an impressive looking cabriolet from BMW, and the big benefit of the M Sport is that the ride height is lower making the car a sleeker and improved look on the road. The alloy wheels complement the look well and this means that the overall image portrayed by the exterior of the 1 Series cabriolet is sleek and smart.
Even with the M Sport logo and pack that comes with this edition of the car, there is still an extensive list of optional extras that would have been nice to see in the car itself. Leather seats are likely to be the most popular upgrade for those looking for the most comfortable and attractive version of the car, and cruise control would also be a pleasant addition.
Practicality, Safety & Reliability
Practicality is always going to be relative when considering a cabriolet, as nobody will expect it to tick all of the boxes that the hatchback does. However, the load space is reasonable and the folding roof doesn't take too much away from the boot space, but the rear seats are a little bit too small for regular use. The fabric roof is not as practical as the folding metal roofs that are to be seen on some cars, but it does take up less space.
The 1 series as a whole does achieve 91% adult safety and 83% child safety in the Euro NCAP tests, but this was carried out on the hatchback version. In terms of security there are the usual alarm and immobiliser fitted as standard, which certainly gives people a little more peace of mind if they want to park the car up for a few hours. German reliability has been personified by BMW over recent years, and the three year unlimited warranty is accompanied by a three year roadside breakdown policy.
Value for Money
The costs of cabriolets are usually a fair level above that which can be expected from the standard hatchback, and with the automatic transmission this is listed at a hefty £29,580. Those who do want to choose a few of the optional extras will need even deeper pockets too. However, the really impressive aspect of the car's performance comes when we see the superb fuel performance with and average 58.9mpg.
When this is combined with a good resale value and a fairly reasonable insurance group, and once the price for the car has been paid then it is not as expensive as it might first appear. Those who really want the best of what the sporty engine has to offer might want to consider forgoing the automatic gearbox.
All BMW 1 Series Reviews
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