BMW 1 Series Convertible 123d M Sport Auto 2dr Car Review - February 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £33,660
Tax Band: F
Insurance Group: 32
MPG: 49.6
CO2: 149
0-62 Mph: 7.6 secs
BHP: 204 BHP
Range: 556 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.5/5
This is much too expensive for a 1 Series, even when the efficient engine is taken into consideration. The performance is great and the engine is powerful but the M Sport convertible is not the sleekest or most glamorous car. The suspension is very firm making for an uncomfortable ride. Ultimately, there are better cars on the market for less money.

PROS:  A powerful car which offers great handling and driveability alongside excellent fuel efficiency, the 123d M Sport Auto comes with loads of equipment and sporty suspension.

CONS:  This car is a very expensive model and the performance does not quite live up to the price. The suspension is too firm.

Behind the Wheel

The 123d M Sport Auto has very firm suspension. This is unfortunate as otherwise the handling is good and the automatic gearbox is crisp and efficient. The car comes into its own on twisting back roads where the front engine and the rear-wheel drive offer fantastic body control and good grip and balance on the road.

In terms of performance, the powerful twin-turbocharged engine is smooth and quiet. There is little road and suspension noise although wind noise does become apparent at motorway speeds. The 204bhp engine delivers 295 lb-ft of torque at 2000-2250 rpm, reaching 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph.

Looks & Equipment

The car comes with great features to improve the quality of the drive although the iDrive control system takes some getting used to. BMW’s 'Efficient Dynamics' technology utilises braking, electric power steering and an automatic stop-start function to reduce wasted energy and is a great asset.

The M Sport trim comes with alloy wheels, climate control, rear parking sensors, MP3 connectivity and an advanced stereo system as standard features whilst the optional extras of leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation are available for £1,010, £400 and £1,550 respectively.

The 1 Series' looks are likely to divide opinion as it is not the most conventionally-styled car. The interior is a little drab but is well styled and beautifully put together, as you would expect from a BMW.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The 1 Series has a great driving position with a lot of adjustment available. It should also be reliable, having scored well in the 2011 JD Power survey.

Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are all fitted as standard, with traction and dynamic stability control also standard features. An alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking and deadlocks are all part of the car's security kit and help to protect it from theft.

In terms of practicality, the 1 Series is short on rear leg space and boot space - rear passengers will need to be short and will need to travel light.

Value for Money

The 123d M Sport Auto convertible is expensively priced at £32,900 but running costs are much lower than average due to the ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology and an efficient diesel engine. Fuel economy is 49.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km are reasonable considering the class and calibre of the car.

However, despite the efficiency and affordable running costs the price tag is just too high for a 1 Series and the money would be better spent on a superior 3 Series model. The 123d M Sport doesn't offer the best value for money and there are better cars on the market for less in this sector.

BMW 1 Series Convertible 123d M Sport Auto 2dr Car Review - by 
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