BMW 1 Series 116d Urban 5dr Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £22,360
Tax Band: C
Insurance Group: 16
MPG: 65.7
CO2: 114
0-62 Mph: 10.3 secs
BHP: 116 BHP
Range: 752 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
The 1 Series 116d Urban 5dr is a good car which uses BMW's ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology to ensure the vehicle is extremely energy efficient, keeping running costs low. The lack of rear seat space might be a problem if the car is bought as a family vehicle and the boot fails to offer sufficient space as well. BMW are known for their mean levels of standard equipment, but the Urban trim offers a few luxuries. The exterior styling of the 1 Series is divisive - some consider it a good looking car while others are put off by its aesthetics.

PROS:  The 116d is a highly efficient car with great fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions making it cheap to run. The 1 Series range offers smooth handling, a slick gear change and a rewarding driving experience.

CONS:  The size of the 1 Series will concern those who want to use it as a family car as the rear seats are cramped and the boot is not massive. The 116d is expensive too, especially considering the vast amount of competition on the market.

Behind the Wheel

The 1 Series 116d Urban 5dr's ride is often a little too firm but the manual gearbox is smooth and the car really comes into its own on twisting back roads where the front engine/rear-wheel drive chassis offers fantastic body control, good grip and balance.

The engine has a maximum power output of 116bhp at 4000 rpm which is fairly good for a car of this class. A top speed of 124mph can be achieved and acceleration is fairly rapid with the car reaching 0-62 mph in just 10.3 seconds.

On top of these decent performance credentials, the engine is also fairly refined, offering a smooth and quiet drive. Noises from the suspension and road are also hushed and this means that wind noise on motorways is the only sound likely to penetrate the cabin.

Looks & Equipment

The Urban is a new trim option for the 1 Series which features chrome detailing and other styling tweaks to create a unique style.

Comfort levels should be fairly high with the seats offering plenty of adjustment to allow the driver to find the perfect driving position. The only downside is the mechanism for this adjustment can be tricky to operate and this means finding the perfect position can take time.

The 1 Series’ interior does not match up to the elegance of the more expensive models and the materials and features all concentrate on functionality rather than style.

The Urban model comes with leather/cloth seats as standard, a leather steering wheel with an acrylic glass interior trim in black or white with Oxide Silver accents. 17 inch V-spoke alloy wheels, MP3 connectivity for the stereo, Bluetooth connectivity and climate control are also standard features whilst optional extras such as rear parking sensors and a built-in satellite navigation system are available for an additional £345 and £1,550 respectively.

The car also comes with the iDrive control system which takes a while to adjust to. This is provided in addition to BMW’s ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology which utilises braking, electric power steering and an automatic stop-start function to reduce the amount of energy wasted, making the car more economical and environmentally friendly.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The 1 Series 116d Urban 5dr is a well crafted car which offers long-term reliability for buyers. This gives them peace of mind over their purchase and the car also benefits from a three year warranty with unlimited mileage to provide additional reassurance. The car also rated well in the 2011 JD Power survey.

For safety, driver, passenger and front side airbags are all fitted as standard with traction control and dynamic stability control also offered. An alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking and deadlocks are also fitted to protect the car from theft.

BMW have improved the space in the boot and rear seats after previous versions received much criticism. However, it is still less than roomy, with limited leg room between the front and rear seats making long journeys uncomfortable for adults sat in the rear of the car. With all of the seats in place the car offers just 360 litres of storage space which is considerably less than some of its rivals. Folding the rear seats down will expand this capacity to 1,200 litres.

Value for Money

The 1 Series 116d is a fairly pricey hatchback at £22,125 but running costs are kept low due to the ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology. Fuel economy is 62.8 mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 117g/km are amongst the best in the class.

Insurance should be fairly reasonable with the 1 Series 116d Urban 5dr falling under insurance group 17 and road tax should also be relatively cheap with the car falling under VED band C.

BMW 1 Series 116d Urban 5dr Car Review - by 
All BMW 1 Series Reviews
BMW 1 Series 116i ES 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
This 1 series 116i ES 3-door hatch is a great starting point as a BMW owner. Offering plenty of driving enjoyment and with a superb driving position - this car is great fun to drive. It offers a ta...
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 ...
BMW 1 Series 118i SE 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
With inexpensive running costs thanks to decent fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions, the BMW 1 series 118i SE is an ideal car for those who can get past its high price tag. This model is more ...
BMW 1 Series 116d ES 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
The 116d is the cheapest diesel option in the 1 Series range with very low running costs, but if performance is important to you then it may offer a false economy. The engine may lack power but sti...
BMW 1 Series 118d ES 3dr - February 2012
The second generation BMW hatchback is a great improvement from its predecessor in terms of its profile and looks. The engine is more powerful yet economical. It’s a comfortable ride and quite eng...
Medium Family Alternatives

You might want to read reviews for other Medium Family cars that you can then compare to the BMW 1 Series. Here are some popular BMW 1 Series alternatives:

Advanced Search
DVLA Personalised Reg sale expected to spark a bidding war amongst Dr Who fans this evening.
A rugged new version of the Vauxhall Viva has gone on sale priced from £11,530 on-the-road.
A manual gearbox option has been added to the Volkswagen Amarok pick-up range.
Kia have sealed a hat-trick of victories at the Car Dealer Magazine Used Car Awards.
A new range-topping model has been added to the Vauxhall Grandland X SUV line up.
Car clocking is on the rise, prompting a leading vehicle check organisation to issue a warning.