The BMW 1 Series offers rear-wheel drive dynamics in the traditional hatchback package. It's packaged well with plenty of room inside, although minor practicality issues make the 1 Series less than perfect.
In spite of imperfections, the 1 Series is one of the most visited reviews, and the 118i SE spec on offer here is the pick of the bunch. A saving of £2908 on means options can be added without breaking the bank, too.
The car BMW 118i SE
The saving £2908
The discounted price £18,401
The online broker coast2coastcars.co.uk
The rear-wheel drive setup of the 1 Series provides a more dynamic drive over front-drive rivals, and the 1.5-litre engine is more punchy than it sounds, hence the 118i badge. As the entry-level petrol engine, it won’t cost much to run either.
The interior of the 1 Series is well-appointed, if a little cramped in places. The offset pedals contribute to this, and getting in might be a bit of a squeeze for some. Nevertheless once you’re in, there’s a fair amount of leg and headroom, even for taller drivers. Decent reliability provides some peace of mind too.
To top off the 1 Series’ talents, a decent ride complements the multi-talented engine, with only a slightly noisy suspension setup taking away from an otherwise peaceful cabin.
The small windows in the back of the 1 Series make the back feel less airy and spacious than it actually is. Couple this with the awkward entry into the rear seats, even in the five-door, and the rear of the 1 Series can be a less than comfortable place to be, despite being spacious once inside.
An awkward bootspace compounds the 1 Series’ weaknesses, and although the rear seats fold down to expand the load area, it’s neither wide nor deep enough to be as useful as rivals’ more cavernous boots.
Should I add any options?
It’s worth considering the optional electric glass sunroof to encourage some sunlight into the back, but at £895 it’s a costly extra if the rear seats aren’t in fairly regular use. Metallic paint is £550, and the £295 variable sport steering will liven up the disappointing standard rack for keener drivers.
The deal can be found on coast2coastcars.co.uk, simply select ‘BMW’ and ‘1 Series Hatchback’ from the drop-down menus, and the 118i SE 5dr from the following menu. A further £191 saving can be made if you select the above options through the broker, too.
By Jimi Beckwith