BMW 1 Series 118i SE 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £21,285
Tax Band: F
Insurance Group: 22
MPG: 46.3
CO2: 143
0-62 Mph: 8.7 secs
BHP: 143 BHP
Range: 540 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
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 efficient than the 116i SE automatic, making it a wiser investment for motorists.

PROS:  An economical car with low carbon emissions and good fuel economy, the handling of the 1 Series SE is controlled and firm, making driving a pleasure.

CONS:  This is an expensive hatchback considering the power of the engine and the lack of room for rear seat passengers is a major disappointment.

Behind the Wheel

Although the 1 Series is sometimes a touch too firm, the manual drive is smooth and the car really comes into its own on twisty back roads, where the front engine and rear-wheel drive chassis combine to deliver fantastic body control, good grip and superior balance to provide a great driving experience.

The engine is smooth and quiet and the road and suspension noise are hushed although there is a little wind noise on motorways.

The 143 bhp engine reaches 0-62mph in 8.7mph and has a top speed of 130 mph - 4 mph higher than the 116i SE version.

Looks & Equipment

The 1 Series has a great driving position with a lot of adjustment available although this system can be a little fiddly.

BMW have improved the space in the boot and rear seats after much criticism over previous versions, enhancing it to match the capacity offered in rival models. However, it is still less than roomy with leg room remaining limited between the front and rear seats.

The 1 Series’ interior also fails to match up to the elegance of the more expensive models and the materials and features are all functional rather than ornamental, and although it has been given a make-over after negative comments about previous models, there is room for improvement.

The SE model comes with alloy wheels, climate control, MP3 connectivity, a stereo system and the optional extras of Bluetooth for £250 and satellite navigation for £1550. The iDrive control system will take some getting used to but can eventually be operated without too much fuss.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The 1 Series is a well crafted car which offers long-term reliability. It rated well in the 2011 JD Power survey which should give potential drivers confidence over their purchase.

Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are all fitted as standard, with traction and dynamic stability control also featuring to help reduce the risk of accidents. An alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking and deadlocks are also part of the cars standard equipment which is designed to increase security.

In terms of practicality, the 1 Series models restricted leg space in the back seat is a huge drawback and although it does have more boot space than previous models this is still restricted to 330 litres with the seats up and 1150 litres with the seats down - identical to the 116i SE.

Value for Money

Although the 1 Series SE is quite expensive at £21,285, running costs are lower than average due to the ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology. Fuel economy is capable of 46.3 mpg and carbon emissions reach 143 g/km. These are amongst the best in this class of vehicle and are better than the 1.6i SE model.

The 1 Series SE is a good investment for a small family hatchback, so long adult passengers avoid sitting in the cramped rear. The performance of the car is worth the money and is suitable for driving in lots of different conditions. Buying a BMW also means that quality and long-term reliability are assured, so this is a car that should clock up a fair mileage without many problems.

BMW 1 Series 118i SE 3dr Pre-Model 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:

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