2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
With the convertible, BMW's single series is now complete. Our test shows whether the open version sets standards in the compact class, as the Munich-based company claim.
By Michael Langenwalter
BMW has put a lot of pressure on the pace. Within a year, the Munich-based company put the entire series of 1s on its wheels with the three- and five-door hatchback, the coupe and now the convertible. From a purely visual point of view, the open variant is therefore very independent, although the membership of the one-series in the front area can be seen at first glance and the rear reminds of the coupe. The deep rear line and the short, steep windshield “show what we mean by open-top driving,” says Falko Radomski, Product Manager of the 1 series. "With us, the driver has a clear view to the rear and is not wedged in." In other words, he can really let the wind whistle around his ears.
There is no annoying stopping
And he doesn't even have to stop for that. Up to a speed of 40 km / h, the soft top can be electro-hydraulically opened and closed while driving at the push of a button. The whole procedure is done in 22 seconds. A rain shower that suddenly fell has lost its horror for good. In contrast to the 3 Series Convertible, BMW has opted for a soft top for its entry-level series. This is not only easier to stow away, but also doesn't have to hide in terms of driving noise. Even when driving faster on the motorway, the interior is not excessively loud.
The tried and tested is slightly modified
When it comes to motorization, BMW relies on the tried and tested for the 1 Series Convertible, which, however, has been slightly modified. At the market launch at the end of March, there will be a choice of five engines, "two entry-level petrol engines with four cylinders, a six-cylinder engine that is certainly sufficient, a top-of-the-list model and a diesel", explains Radomski the manufacturer's strategy. Extensions are planned gradually. "Let yourself be surprised".
At the presentation in Valencia, BMW only had the six-cylinder model 125i in connection with the soft-shifting six-speed gearbox preferred in Europe. It's easy to explain why: The engine, which will also be installed in the coupe from spring, will be used for the first time in the one-series in the convertible. The unit is a throttled three-liter six-cylinder with an output of 160 kW / 218 hp. The maximum torque of 270 Newton meters is in the range of 2500 to 4250 revolutions. This makes the engine very smooth, which makes it wonderfully lazy to cruise. Even on mountain routes, the driver doesn't have to switch back and forth like crazy to keep the high-torque engine on tour and to provide the right sound.
Irrelevant consumption value
BMW specifies the top speed at 238 km / h, the average consumption (with the roof closed) at 8.1 liters per 100 kilometers (CO2 emissions 195 g / km), which is actually irrelevant for a convertible. Open and on winding roads, the consumption display easily shows twice as much. Because the direct steering as well as the firm, but not uncomfortable suspension almost lead to a more sporty (and therefore not exactly consumption-optimized) driving style. A temptation that is open to the top in every respect.
Pretty high price
This also applies to the price. A proud 36,200 euros are in the price list for the soberly equipped 125i convertible ex works with manual transmission. Sensible - and actually indispensable technical extras - easily push the price above the 40,000 mark. And the recommended BMW navigation system is not even included. The entry-level model 118i (105 kW / 143 PS) is in the price list from 28,550 euros; the 120d diesel is sold for 33,500 euros. After all: the single convertible is the cheapest way to drive an open BMW. Above all, this should convince buyers in the USA, where the Munich-based company has some catching up to do in terms of convertibles.
Incidentally, the manufacturer markets the open version built in Leipzig as a fully-fledged four-seater. For short trips, this may actually still work. But at the latest when two pairs of skis are pushed through the through-loading opening with integrated transport bag (260 euros surcharge), this is unnecessary anyway. The convertible offers enough space for two people. That should be completely sufficient for the young (and wealthy) clientele that BMW wants to address with this. Since the comfortable and perfectly contoured seats can now be pushed back completely, even tall occupants do not feel cramped. The 305 liter trunk, which shrinks by just 45 liters when the top is open,In conjunction with the additional storage space on the back seat, it offers enough storage space even for a longer vacation trip - of course, facing the sun.