BMW 1 Series (2004 - 2011)
Last updated 17 October 2014
N43 engine of 40,000 mile E87 BMW 118i failed in April 2014, losing all power. Independent BMW specialist found that it had seized because the plastic timing chain guide had broken up and fragments sucked...
When the BMW 1 Series was launched in 2004 the most controversial aspect was the styling which certainly divided opinion. Whether it will become a design classic remains to be seen, but it certainly hasn't put people off and the BMW 1 Series has become one of the most popular premium hatchbacks around.
The first impression you get from the BMW 1 Series is an air of solidity. Like all BMWs, it feels superbly engineered and incredibly well built both inside and out. Just because it's the cheapest model in the BMW line-up, doesn't mean it's a poor relation to the larger cars.
As you'd expect, this BMW is also great once you get behind the wheel. It's rear-wheel drive, which is ideal for grip and agility, so the 1 Series is composed in corners and good fun to drive, even with the smaller engines. That said, the original 116i is best avoided unless you're on a tight budget as it's fairly lacklustre and lacks low down punch. The 118i or 118d are much better choices.
It's certainly not the most spacious of cars either - particularly for rear seat passengers where there's a shortage of leg and headroom for adults. The boot isn't a bad size though and the large tailgate means you can carry some sizeable loads. For practicality there are better cars, but as premium hatchbacks go, the 1 Series is the best all rounder with a great choice of efficient engines.
Good to drive, fairly economical.On 1 May 2014
Great to drive but lots of mechanical problemsOn 28 October 2013
A robust and reliable car the 118d is competent in all departmentsOn 22 April 2013