2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
There are a lot of exciting engineering solutions in the revision of BMW's compact 1-series. This ensures less consumption and lower CO2 emissions. But driving fun is not neglected.
By Kai Kolwitz
One less in several respects - this is how one could describe the essential characteristics that distinguish the “new” BMW 1 Series from its older brother. Less than three years after its market launch, the manufacturer has given its entry-level model a makeover - and has added a three-door variant to the five-door model, which, with longer doors and frameless windows, is supposed to move the compact sports car more in the direction of the coupé.
No space miracle
It is not illogical to do without the two entry options - it was not for nothing that blasphemers asked when the 1 Series was originally launched, why a car needs rear doors if nobody can sit on the back seat anyway. Of course, that was exaggerated - but even after the revision, the A's is not a space miracle: If you think about children or have to take your friends from the football club with you, you should also take a close look at the model range of the competitors, or yourself, if there is one Bavarian car should be more oriented towards the 3 Series.
However, BMW has never sold its cars because they offered maximum transport capacity per euro of purchase price. And what defines the brand image has been emphasized once again by the facelift: interesting technical solutions and driving pleasure not too short.
From a purely visual point of view, the retouching is rather subtle: changed apron and lights at the rear, a front with a larger air inlet along with trim strips and integrated fog lights, if they were ordered, a new, more valuable design in the interior - the revision makes the 1 Series look fresher, but without being able to tell at first glance why that is.
New injection concepts
It is more exciting what has happened under the sheet metal: the range of engines has been heavily revised, and a wealth of ingenious individual measures are intended to make the BMW more economical without sacrificing driving pleasure. In the four-cylinder gasoline engines 118i and 120i, these are new direct injection concepts that are intended to make it possible to drive with a lean mixture for large parts of the vehicle, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
The diesels save weight through aluminum crankcases, but they all have detailed tinkering like an electrically operated power steering, which only uses energy when it is working, or an intelligent control of the generator (read: alternator), which now mainly powers the battery Overrun mode loads and decouples in load phases in order to provide the entire engine power for propulsion when accelerating.
All of this happens without the driver noticing anything - another innovation leaves an impression: With the facelift, the 1 Series now has an automatic start-stop system that always switches off the engine when idling is switched - for example in traffic jams or at red lights. If you press the clutch again, the engine is restarted in a flash - a concept that VW had used in the faded three-liter Lupo.
During the first few kilometers, stopping at traffic lights is accompanied by a certain “crap, stalled” feeling. But once you get used to it, you can even get a certain amount of amusement from the unfamiliar calm and the following starting processes - only nervous clutch gimmicks naturally mess up the system.
BMW promises one liter less consumption with around one second better acceleration from zero to one hundred (7.7 seconds / three-door) through the measures for the 170 PS strong 120i. The specified 6.4 liters in the third mix could not be achieved in the test, but the values remained well below eight liters despite a stormy drive on winding country roads, which is worthy of all honor in view of the offered performance.
At the same time, CO2 emissions also fell: the 152 and 140 grams per kilometer that BMW specifies for the 120i and the 143 hp 118i with manual transmission are no longer that far from the 130 gram limit set by the EU Wants to oblige the manufacturer from 2012. The diesels are even at 123 (118d) and 129 (120d) grams per kilometer, while the unchanged 116i and 130i with 181 and 197 grams are out of the ordinary. However, the 115 PS 1.6-liter offers performance for which you don't necessarily have to drive a BMW, while buyers of the 265 PS six-cylinder top model do not exactly come out as eco-fetishists due to the performance offered.
Everything tailored to the driver
What all the variants have in common is the design as a distinct driver's car: the chassis conveys a distinctive road feel even without the sports package and, together with the precise, pleasantly firm steering, enables brisk cornering. There is also the typical BMW rear-wheel drive, which nobody else in the compact class has to offer.
The 1 Series is not only premium in appearance and handling: BMW calls for 25,850 euros as the base price for the 120i, 23,550 euros for the 118i, the 143 hp 118d comes to 25,300 euros, the 120d even to 27,550 euros. In reality, there might even be one or two thousand more - because BMW can even pay extra for everyday features with the 1 Series. The air conditioning is only standard in the top 130i model, everyone else has to pay 980 euros for the feature alone or 1,200 euros for the Advantage package, which also includes fog lights, additional shelves and a center armrest.
Metallic paint costs 640 euros, and those who value xenon headlights along with cornering and cornering lights can get a further 1,380 euros. But: BMW has never sold its cars because they were the cheapest in the vehicle segment?