BMW 1 Series Coupe 120d ES 2dr Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £24,145
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 27
MPG: 60.1
CO2: 124
0-62 Mph: 7.6 secs
BHP: 177 BHP
Range: 674 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
The 1 Series Coupe 120d ES is probably one of the best models in the range in terms of value for money thanks to fantastic fuel efficiency and great driveability. The handling is good, although not quite as sharp as it could be, and although the standard equipment is fairly mean, the BMW has a quality feel.

PROS:  The 120d ES is one of the cheapest in the 1 Series Coupe range and its diesel engine is incredibly efficient, making for very low running costs. The handling is controlled and stable, and the CO2 emissions are very low.

CONS:  The ES trim is the most basic trim level available on the 1 Series Coupe and is not as luxurious as you might expect.

Behind the Wheel

The manual gearbox is smooth and crisp, and the front engined rear-wheel drive chassis makes for fantastic body control, good grip and excellent balance on the road. Despite these benefits, the handling is not as sharp as other cars in the 1 Series thanks to the big heavy diesel engine up front, and the suspension - as with all other models in the range - is a little too firm.

In terms of performance, the 177bhp engine delivers 258lb-ft of torque at 1750-3000 rpm which is more than adequate for the class. This helps the car to get from 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds whilst giving it a top speed of 142 mph.

In terms of refinement, the engine runs smoothly and quietly, with road and suspension noise also hushed. There is a little noise generated by the wind at motorway speeds but this is not excessive, making the cabin fairly comfortable and quiet.

Looks & Equipment

The 1 Series Coupe 120d ES comes with alloy wheels, air conditioning, MP3 connectivity and a stereo system as standard features, but a quick glance at the optional extras list shows that speccing this car up can get expensive. Leather seats cost £1,115, climate control costs £400, rear parking sensors cost £350 and Bluetooth connectivity is priced at £400.

The iDrive control system takes some getting used to, whilst BMW’s ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology utilises braking, electric power steering and an automatic stop-start function to reduce wasted energy, making the car more efficient.

In terms of comfort, the 1 Series has a great driving position with a lot of adjustment available. The interior quality is lower than in the more expensive models and the dashboard, whilst logical and easy to navigate, is designed with functionality rather than appearance in mind.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

BMW have improved the space in the cabin and boot but unfortunately it is still cramped. Rear leg room in particular is in short supply and the boot offers just 370 litres of space when the seats are in position, making it a little impractical for use as a small family car.

However, safety levels are fairly high with the car offering advanced safety kit as standard. Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are all fitted to the car to offer the highest level of protection with traction control and dynamic stability control also offered as standard. An alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking and deadlocks are also fitted to protect the car from theft and offer all-round security.

A well crafted and engineered car, the 1 Series should be endlessly reliable. A three-year unlimited-mileage warranty is available as standard and the car performed well in the 2011 JD Power survey.

Value for Money

The 1 Series Coupe 120d ES is priced at £23,480 which, although a bit steep, makes it one of the cheapest in the current 1 Series Coupe range.

Running costs are much lower than average due to the ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology and the diesel engine is incredibly efficient, offering better value for money than some might expect. Combined fuel economy is impressive at 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions are low at 124g/km - putting the car under VED price band C.

The 1 Series Coupe 120d ES is good value for money, offering good performance alongside high levels of efficiency. The only downside is the limited practicality due to restricted storage space and rear legroom but, providing buyers are willing to make sacrifices on this, the BMW 1 Series Coupe 120d ES could be a great investment.

BMW 1 Series Coupe 120d ES 2dr Car Review - by 
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