Insurance Group: 29
0-62 Mph: 8.1 secs
BHP: 177 BHP
Range: 634 miles
PROS: The 120d M Sport has a wonderfully economical diesel engine, which keeps the running costs and CO2 emissions very low. The 120d M Sport trim comes with loads of features and the drive is smooth and controlled, with great handling.
CONS: The price is high and the suspension can make the ride uncomfortable. The rear seats do not have much leg room either.
The 120d M Sport has Sport suspension fitted as standard which can make for an uncomfortable ride, however BMW do offer the option to switch back to the regular suspension. The 120d M Sport offers a great driving experience thanks to a well sorted chassis and a smooth manual gearbox.
The 177bhp engine delivers 258lb-ft of torque at 1750-3000 rpm, reaching 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed of 138mph. These credentials are fairly strong for car of this class and the engine is also well refined, meaning noise disruption is kept to a minimum. Wind noise only becomes audible at motorway speeds.
The 1 Series has a great driving position with a lot of adjustment available. BMW have also improved the space in the boot and rear seats after much criticism of previous versions but unfortunately it is still less than roomy, with rear leg room remaining particularly restrictive.
The interior of the 120d M Sport is quite bland; while the cabin is well put together and tastefully styled, it's a bit sober and drab. The M Sport trim comes with alloy wheels, climate control, rear parking sensors, MP3 connectivity and a stereo system as standard with a number of optional extras also available. Leather seats cost an extra £1,010 with Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation priced at £400 and £1,550.
The iDrive control system will take some getting used to, but can eventually be operated without too much fuss and BMW’s 'Efficient Dynamics' technology is also offered to help improve fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
The 120d M Sport comes with a 3 year/unlimited mileage warranty as standard and rated well in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey so reliability should not be an issue.
Safety levels are high in the model with driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are all fitted as standard, with traction and dynamic stability control also helping the driver to avoid a crash altogether. An alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking are also fitted as standard to keep the car secure when you're not in it.
In terms of practicality, the 1 Series is short on leg space in the rear and the boot, whilst bigger than on older models, is still on the small side.
The 120d M Sport convertible is priced at £29,630 which is fairly steep for a 1 Series. Running costs are much lower than average due to the 'Efficient Dynamics' technology and the efficient diesel engine, and this helps to counterbalance the high purchase price. Fuel economy is an impressive 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 132g/km are amongst the best in the class and put the 120d M Sport into VED band E, incurring £115 of tax a year.
This means that although the initial cost of the 120d M Sport is quite high, future costs are manageable and those looking for long term ownership may be tempted by the strong resale values and reliability of the BMW brand.
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