BMW 1 Series Coupe 120i M Sport 2dr Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £26,310
Tax Band: G
Insurance Group: 26
MPG: 43.5
CO2: 152
0-62 Mph: 7.8 secs
BHP: 170 BHP
Range: 507 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.5/5
The 1 Series Coupe 120i M Sport is a powerful car that delivers both performance and fuel economy. With great handling and body control, the car makes light work of twisting B-roads but, for just a little extra, the 120d offers better fuel economy and efficiency which might make it a better investment. The Sport model also features very firm Sport suspension, which can be quite uncomfortable - although BMW offer to fit regular suspension as an option.

PROS:  The 1 Series Coupe 120i M Sport has good, controlled handling with a powerful engine that makes use of the ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology. The car offers excellent fuel efficiency, keeping the running costs down, whilst the M Sport trim gives it a suitably sporty look.

CONS:  The suspension can be uncomfortable and the interior space is not great, particularly in the rear seats where leg room is tight. The M Sport is also quite expensive and the 120d model offers much better value for money with lower running costs.

Behind the Wheel

The powerful engine is smooth and quiet and the road and suspension noise are also hushed, making this car a joy to drive. There is a little wind noise infiltration in the cabin when driving on motorways but this is not excessive.

The 170 bhp engine delivers 155 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm to give the car strong performance credentials. The car reaches 0-62 mph in 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 139 mph which is good for a car in this class.

Unfortunately, the Sport model has even firmer suspension than the rest of the 1 Series range which many may find uncomfortable - although you can select regular suspension instead. The manual 'box is smooth and crisp and the car really comes into its own on twisting back roads, where the front engine/rear-wheel-drive setup delivers fantastic body control, grip and poise.

Looks & Equipment

The 1 Series has a great driving position with a lot of adjustment available within the seats. Unfortunately, the mechanism for this is a little fiddly and this means it can take drivers a substantial length of time to find the optimal position.

In terms of equipment, the Sport comes with alloy wheels, climate control, rear parking sensors and MP3 connectivity for the stereo system as standard. Leather seats are available for an extra £1,010 whilst Bluetooth connectivity costs £400 and satellite navigation is priced at £1,550.

The car also benefits from advanced systems such as BMW's 'Efficient Dynamics' and iDrive control systems. BMW’s 'Efficient Dynamics' technology utilises braking, electric power steering and an automatic stop-start function to reduce wasted energy and improve fuel consumption.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The 1 Series Coupe 120i M Sport is a well crafted and engineered car which offers long-term reliability. It rated well in the 2011 JD Power survey and also comes with a three year warranty with unlimited mileage.

On top of the good reliability, the car also comes with a good amount of safety kit. Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are all fitted as standard, with traction and dynamic stability control also fitted. An alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking and deadlocks are all fitted to the 1 Series to protect it from theft.

In terms of practicality, BMW have improved the space in the boot and rear seats after much criticism. Unfortunately, this still leaves the rear seats short on legroom, making long journeys uncomfortable for adult passengers. The boot offers just 370 litres of storage space when the rear seats are in place which is hardly class-leading.

Value for Money

At £25,650, the 1 Series Coupe 120i M Sport is expensive but running costs are much lower than average due to the ‘Efficient Dynamics’ technology.

Fuel economy is 43.5 mpg on the combined cycle, which is fairly competitive for the class, and CO2 emissions of 152g/km place the car into road tax band G.

A BMW will always be a safe option in terms of quality but those looking for the best long-term investment may want to consider the 120d which offers better fuel efficiency at a small additional cost.

BMW 1 Series Coupe 120i M Sport 2dr Car Review - by 
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