bmw 118i 2023 review
The BMW 118i’s sleek design is the perfect antidote to the growing small SUV brigade. (Image: Tim Nicholson)
bmw 118i 2023 review

The minimal steering wheel controls are well labelled with text or clear icons. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review
bmw 118i 2023 review

Open the hatch and you’ll find a reasonably sized boot that can swallow 380 litres. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

With the rear seats stowed, the boot capacity expands to 1200L. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

There are a couple of tie-down anchors and shopping bag hooks. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

There is plenty of under-floor storage because there’s no spare tyre on account of the run-flats favoured by BMW. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

Likes

Responsive three-cylinder engine Handling and general driveability Surprisingly spacious and stylish cabin

Dislikes

Lacks some features expected at this price Real-world fuel economy Busy ride

There was a big kerfuffle a few years back when BMW made the decision to switch its entry-level 1 Series hatchback from a rear-drive platform to a newer, more efficient front-wheel drive architecture, shared with its Mini sister brand.

Despite the concerns of a few enthusiasts and motoring writers, the impact of the change in driven wheels hasn’t harmed the 1 Series’ reputation or sales.

As with the equivalent entry-level small car models from BMW’s premium rivals, the entry grade 118i is an expensive car for what you get.

But does the 118i hatch have enough charm to transcend the price and spec concerns?

Price Guide

$49,900

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The 118i kicks off the BMW 1 Series range from $49,900, before on-road costs. From there you can step up into the warmed over 128ti from $58,900, and the range is topped by the spicy all-wheel drive M135i xDrive in Pure ($67,900) or regular guise ($72,900).

The 118i’s circa-$50K price tag is a lot for an entry-level small hatchback, but it seems BMW has become better at including standard gear in its base variants. But it’s still not what you’d call generous.

Standard equipment in the 118i includes single-zone climate control, a head-up display, LED headlights and fog lights, an ‘M aerodynamics’ package, leather steering wheel, sports seats, a six-speaker audio system, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, ‘M Sport’ suspension, wireless smartphone charging, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.25-inch multimedia screen with satellite navigation, digital radio and Apple CarPlay.

bmw 118i 2023 review
Inside is a 10.25-inch multimedia screen. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

The only option fitted to the test car was premium paint ($1308) which brought the price-as-tested to $51,208, before on-road costs.

So there’s some good tech on the list, but there could be more premium features, you know, given it’s a premium brand, and all. Heated seats would be nice, for example.

Unsurprisingly, BMW offers a number of different options packs ranging in price from $1700 to more than $4000, depending on what you want.

bmw 118i 2023 review
The 118i has LED headlights and fog lights. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

Its two closest rivals are of course from the other big Germans – the Mercedes-Benz A180 (from $49,890) and Audi A3 35TFSI ($47,100) hatchbacks. The level of standard gear is relatively even across the three, although the Audi has the lead when it comes to safety (more on that below), hardly surprising given it’s the newest of the three.

There’s also the question of value, especially when you compare with high-grade small hatchbacks from mainstream brands. Models like the Mazda3 X20 Astina ($43,190 BOC), or Honda Civic VTi-LX ($47,200 drive-away) could be good alternatives, or for similar money you could get into something sporty like a Hyundai i30 N Premium (from $48,000 BOC) or for a few grand more there’s the Volkswagen Golf GTI ($54,990 BOC).

Is there anything interesting about its design?

Since the first-generation model arrived on the scene in the early 2000s, the 1 Series has had a slightly awkward design, partly due to the rear-wheel drive underpinnings. But this latest third-gen model, that debuted in 2019, is by far the most sleek and stylish yet.

This is helped by the slimline tail-lights, rising shoulder line and well-executed front-end design with the signature BMW quad headlights and wide ‘kidney’ grille.

In Australia the 118i comes as standard with ‘M suspension’ that lowers the ride height by 10mm, which gives it even more of a hunkered down look. The ‘Black Sapphire’ paintwork of the test car also upped the sexiness of the little hatch.

bmw 118i 2023 review
The latest third-gen model, that debuted in 2019, is by far the most sleek and stylish yet. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

The 1 Series, and its competitors from Benz and Audi, are all visually appealing in different ways, ensuring they will each appeal to different buyers.

The interior design is unmistakably BMW, which hasn’t evolved significantly for about 15 years. Although new-generation models like the iX and the soon-to-launch X1 SUV prove that BMW can evolve.

BMW’s overall dash design and layout isn’t a million miles away from the edgy angular look of the new Audi A3 – and that’s no criticism.

The mixed synthetic leather and cloth trim on the seats has a cool blue cloth motif to break up the grey and add a small splash of colour to the cabin. Matching blue stitching on the dash and doors is a nice touch.

How practical is the space inside?

Up front the 118i’s sports seats offer unbelievable levels of lateral support, and despite the bolsters being adjustable, it might be a little too snug for some. It’s expected for a pricey hot hatch but not the lower grade 1 Series. And given how much side support there is, it could do with a touch more under-thigh padding. The driver’s seat is power adjustable while the front passenger has to adjust their seat manually.

The typically chunky BMW M leather steering wheel looks and feels expensive and offers good grip. The minimal steering wheel controls are well labelled with text or clear icons. I appreciated the analogue air conditioning controls instead of them being buried in a multimedia screen menu.

The multimedia system menu is unfussy and while it’s not as tech heavy as some other systems, I don’t see that as a negative. It just means there are fewer functions you’re forced to remember. You can control the system via the ‘iDrive’ controller in the centre console or it can be used as a touchscreen. I like the way users are given both options. The 10.25-inch screen is nice and wide but quite narrow. Overall, BMW’s operating system is easy to use and functions well.

bmw 118i 2023 review

The minimal steering wheel controls are well labelled with text or clear icons. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

In terms of devices, the 118i has a wireless charging pad, as well as a USB-A and USB-C port, and a 12-volt charger up front.

It has a smallish central bin, but it’s fine for a number of smaller items. Tall bottles fit easily in the door storage bin and there’s a secondary slot for other items. The 118i comes with a decent sized glovebox, and two front cupholders with a nook for phones just behind it.

The 118i is more spacious than anticipated, especially in the second row. The back of the front seats are scalloped, allowing for a little extra knee room, but there is a good amount of legroom generally, and plenty of headroom, despite the lower roofline.

bmw 118i 2023 review

Open the hatch and you’ll find a reasonably sized boot that can swallow 380 litres. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

With the rear seats stowed, the boot capacity expands to 1200L. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

There are a couple of tie-down anchors and shopping bag hooks. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

bmw 118i 2023 review

There is plenty of under-floor storage because there’s no spare tyre on account of the run-flats favoured by BMW. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

The rear seats are on the flat side but still comfortable, and there are ISOFIX points on the two outboard seats.

Rear seat occupants have access to map pockets, two more USB-C ports, and storage for big bottles in the doors (just), but there are no rear air vents. The seats fold 60/40 and there’s no central armrest.

Open the hatch and you’ll find a reasonably sized boot that can swallow 380 litres, expanding to 1200L with the rear seats stowed. There is plenty of under-floor storage because there’s no spare tyre on account of the run-flats favoured by BMW. There are, however, a couple of tie-down anchors and shopping bag hooks.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The 118i is powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, offering up 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque. It’s the same unit found in the Mini Cooper, albeit uprated by 3kW for the BMW.

It is front-wheel drive and the engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

BMW says the 118i can cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.5 seconds.

If you’re after a quicker 1 Series, then the 180kW i28ti or 225kW Mi35i xDrive could be a better pick.

bmw 118i 2023 review
The 118i is powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

How much fuel does it consume?

According to BMW, the 118i consumes 5.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. During my week of mixed driving with the hatch, I recorded a much higher average figure of 10.8L/100km. This was exacerbated by the fact I did my main test drive shortly before returning the car. It was much more efficient around town.

It has a 50-litre fuel tank and does require premium 95 RON petrol. In terms of CO2, the 118i emits 135g/km.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The 1 Series range was awarded the maximum five-star rating from crash safety watchdog, ANCAP, in 2019.

The 118i comes with front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, cruise control, low-speed auto emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, driver fatigue detection, and six airbags.

bmw 118i 2023 review
The 118i comes with front and rear parking sensors amongst other safety features. (Tim Nicholson)

It is not fitted with a front centre airbag to help mitigate against injury between the driver and front passenger in a side collision. Only the Audi A3 has this out of the three Germans in this segment.

In this grade, the 1 Series is fitted with regular cruise control, rather than the adaptive system that moderates speed according to the speed of the vehicle ahead. It is a surprise to see the more old-school system in a BMW.

The lane keeping aid works well, smoothly centring the vehicle in the lane when required.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

BMW continues to offer a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty for its models, which is disappointingly a couple of years off most rivals these days.

The German giant also does things a little differently when it comes to servicing. Instead of service schedules, it has ‘condition-based servicing’, which is when the vehicle’s computer will inform you when the car needs a service.

BMW’s Service Inclusive pre-paid plan runs for five years or 80,000km for the 1 Series, and costs $1700 up front when you buy the car. That averages out to about $340 per service, which isn’t bad for a premium marque.

bmw 118i 2023 review
The German giant also does things a little differently when it comes to servicing. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

What’s it like to drive around town?

To be honest I wasn’t particularly hopeful of an engaging driving experience with the 118i given I have been underwhelmed by the base Mercedes-Benz A-Class. But after a week with the 1 Series, I reckon it might well be the pick of the premium players in this segment.

The 118i is also a much more enjoyable car to drive than the entry-level version of the outgoing X1 SUV with which it shares a powertrain. If you don’t need the extra cargo space or the ride height of the X1, then please test drive the 118i just to see what you’d be missing if you opted for the X1.

BMW has always excelled when it comes to building punchy powertrains for driver’s cars, and that continues to be true, even for its smallest internal combustion unit.

The 103kW/220Nm turbocharged three-pot is smooth yet responsive, offering linear power and torque delivery and acceleration that will bring a smile to your face.

Obviously it’s not as quick as its sportier 1 Series siblings, but make no mistake, you can still have fun in a 118i.

bmw 118i 2023 review
The 103kW/220Nm turbocharged three-pot is smooth yet responsive. (Image: Tim Nicholson)

There’s a little bit of lag when taking off and some hesitation from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission during shifts, but neither are deal-breakers.

That obsession with driver engagement has paid off with the steering which is quick and direct.

The suspension is geared towards dynamism and as a result of that, and the sharp steering, you’ll be seeking out the nearest twisty section of road every time you get behind the wheel. It’s planted in corners with excellent road-holding characteristics.

Unfortunately that dynamic tune, and the low-profile tyres, means the ride is on the firmer side and a little jiggly around town, but it settles at speed.

In terms of visibility, the 118i has huge B- and C-pillars, small rear side windows and a narrow rear windscreen, so you’ll be relying on the parking sensors and camera. The 11.4m turning circle feels large for a small car, too.

The cabin is well insulated from some outside noise but coarse chip roads will make their presence felt.

Keyword: BMW 118i 2023 review

CAR'S NEWS RELATED

BMW prepares for drive production in Steyr

BMW has launched preparations to produce the next generation of electric drive systems at its engine plant in Steyr from 2025. In concrete terms, BMW has begun to set the course in terms of personnel and organisation. Meanwhile in the USA, the plug-in hybrid SUV BMW XM is now ...

View more: BMW prepares for drive production in Steyr

BMW iX5: production on hydrogen SUV begins

iX5 Hydrogen iX5 Hydrogen iX5 Hydrogen ► BMW sticking with hydrogen► Small-series production for now► Is hydrogen still the future? BMW may be cracking on with its electric car roadmap, but like a few other manufacturers, it’s not done with hydrogen just yet. Today, Munich revealed it had begun production of an ...

View more: BMW iX5: production on hydrogen SUV begins

BMW Confirms 6th-Gen Battery for 2025 Electric 3-Series

Assembly operations at BMW’s Debrecen plant in Hungary will supply new cell-to-pack batteries for upcoming Neue Klasse platform-based models.

View more: BMW Confirms 6th-Gen Battery for 2025 Electric 3-Series

BMW M Boss Says There Is Room In The Lineup For An M4 CS

It would bridge the gap between the M4 Competition and M4 CSL.

View more: BMW M Boss Says There Is Room In The Lineup For An M4 CS

BMW Malaysia and dealer Seong Hoe Premium Motors treats film festival VIPs to 740Le xDrive ride

MELAKA: BMW Group Malaysia and Seong Hoe Premium Motors provided an official fleet of six BMW 740Le xDrive M Sport to the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) for the 32nd Malaysian Film Festival held here recently. The top five nominees of each category were treated to a special chauffeur ...

View more: BMW Malaysia and dealer Seong Hoe Premium Motors treats film festival VIPs to 740Le xDrive ride

BMW And Seong Hoe Premium Motors Electrify 32nd Malaysian Film Festival With 7 Series Hybrid

BMW Group Malaysia and Seong Hoe Premium Motors recently electrified the 32nd Malaysian Film Festival with its 7 Series hybrid luxury sedan. A fleet of 6 BMW 740Le xDrive M Sport were provided to the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) for the film festival held in Melaka recently. For this ...

View more: BMW And Seong Hoe Premium Motors Electrify 32nd Malaysian Film Festival With 7 Series Hybrid

Mining materials for EVs harmful to environment? BMW aims to mitigate that

It is common knowledge that mining for raw materials to make components for EVs such as batteries and electric motor negatively . However, intends to reduce the impact by taking charge in every part of their supply chain. The BMW Group has taken a stake in US-based company, Jetti ...

View more: Mining materials for EVs harmful to environment? BMW aims to mitigate that

All the special-edition BMWs revealed in 2022

This year was a big one for BMW as it launched new generations of its flagship cars, debuted a bunch of electric vehicles, and most importantly, it was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the high-performance M department. As such, the manufacturer was hard at work crafting new ...

View more: All the special-edition BMWs revealed in 2022

Seong Hoe Premium Motors unveils refurbished BMW and MINI dealership in Melaka

BMW's Gen 6 EV batteries to cost 50% less, improves range and charging speed by 30%

New BMW M2 with full M Performance parts debuts at 2022 Essen Motor Show

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: BMW iX is the best Luxury car of the year

AA DRIVEN COTY 2022: BMW iX is the best Luxury car of the year

Taking Retro To A Whole New Level: Kingston Custom’s BMW R 18

Used F30 BMW 3 Series - From 316i to 335i, which variant is the best?

The ultimate BMW racing machines that resulted from a humbling failure

BMW 3.0 CSL, De Tomaso P900: This Week's Top Photos

BMW i4 Police Car By AC Schnitzer Is Germany Promoting Safe Tuning

BMW X1 vs Audi Q3: 2022 twin test review

BMW Patents Suspension That Harnesses Electricity Going Over Bumps

OTHER CAR NEWS

;
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network