Anyone owned one of these? I’m thinking of getting one of the first generation, 100-140k miles...
What’s the car like to drive? Heard the ride can be a little harsh. Is that really the case. Any other good points/bad points?
Edit: Changed link to source article
I had one of the coupe versions, a 120d, 10 reg. It was great - good to drive, quick enough and good fuel economy. The boot isn't huge so to fit my 3/4 pads I had the back seats permanently down. Note that the wheel arches will prevent you fitting in the width of a full size medium pad in the bottom of the boot, but it's enough for a 3 foot American pad (medium size organic or metolius.)
Main point of annoyance was a lack of cupholders (any, at all.)
I had to sell it due to becoming a parent and needing a big boot. Now have a diesel Octavia VRS. On paper it has better fuel economy and acceleration than the 120d but in practice the 120d was better in both respects.
I think the 120d hatches are a bit ugly tho.
Edit to say, no reliability problems at all and the service monitoring system was also much superior in the BMW to the VW, but I sold it at 75k so not really comparable to one with 100k or more.
A baby beamer
Just asked our mechanics in the workshop (its a quiet day....), and they arent aware of any real weak points - a few examples of injectors rattling, but nothing much beyond what you would expect of any 100k+ miles car. Dealer parts can be quite steep, but most stuff available from pattern manufacturers.
Wife had a 1 series convertible. It was really nice to drive. A sensor got ill once, which was a bit expensive, but not mind-numbingly so, and they're much the same anywhere I think.
Only ever driven a rental. It’s a piece of horrible wee smallness. The window switch is behind you!!
And I’m 5’ 6”.
Don't drive if there's snow in the forecast!
> Don't drive if there's snow in the forecast!
Or get an M with the LSD. Then do
Yeah, I’ve heard about reliability issues.
To be honest it would be a bit of a mid-life crisis vehicle and I’d only keep it for a couple of years (whilst holding my breath!)
Thanks, useful info.
Actually haven’t sat in one yet so may be heading for a disappointment...!
I test drove one just before lockdown I thought it was a good drive, good spec and the computer thing was good and easy to use. Felt solid, very BMW like and quality build. What put me off was 2 things...first was it was a bit too low down and a bit awkward to get in a.d the second was that I felt crammed in and not enough space whilst in the drivers seat. Nice car though but not for me!
I had one of these from Hertz a while back - the early ones were rear wheel drive and tricky to reverse park on steep hills - impossible to avoid embarrassing wheel spin. Poor field of view out of the rear window too, I seem to remember. Otherwise, very nice to drive!
Edit: I am 6ft 3in!
I had a 5 door 116i a few years ago and really liked it, only reason I sold it was I needed a much larger vehicle.
The drive is excellent with almost all journeys being a fun experience, especially any involving twisty roads where the handling really shines.
The ride could feel harsh, depends on what you're used too. I found it fine, but now I have a very soft Volvo and my partner has a 1 Series, I start to feel the harshness in the Beemer.
Reliability was good and is good in the current 116i my partner has, and this is a 10 year old example. Servicing is pricy but not much different to our local VW dealer and the customer service at BMW is far far better.
The ambient lighting makes night time driving really nice too, that pinprick of light makes such a difference.
They have a proper handbrake, which I think for most is quite a bonus.
Diesels are pretty unreliable - have issues with timing chains snapping
Petrols are more reliable but have ignition coil issues
M-sport ride is supposed to be very hard
> Diesels are pretty unreliable - have issues with timing chains snapping
I think this issue was fixed after a certain year in production, details will be on honestjohn website I expect
> Petrols are more reliable but have ignition coil issues
> M-sport ride is supposed to be very hard
Maybe just me, but as others have said I thought it was cramped. Ridiculous given how wee I am!
Detail from HJ:
"Not much room in the back. Firm ride on Sport and M Sport models. 116i petrol is fairly lacklustre. Coil and injector problems on later 4-cylinder petrol engines. Timing chain failures on N47 diesel engines becoming very common. Failure of the cat converters on a 118i N42B20 very expensive at dealer prices."
> Don't drive if there's snow in the forecast!
Bingo. There's always one. I'm surprised no-one has mentioned indicators yet.
OP: BMW + winter tyres = good in the snow and more fun if you want it.
I'm interested if anyone over 6' has found the Mk2 onwards 1 series cramped. I am tempted by one.
have you driven much in real winter conditions?
I'm 6'3" and don't find it cramped at all. Seat adjustment is good. Wouldn't be room for a passenger behind though.
Yes. Highlands, Germany, Alps, Pyrenees, some winter rallying, lots of different vehicles including a BMW and some other powerful RWD cars. Nearly 40 years worth. You?
A feature of BMW ownership is people who have never driven one telling you how rubbish they are in snow.
Much the same actually albeit for a bit longer and a bit further afield
I can agree that a suitably shod RWD car is indeed tremendous fun to drive and would be an ideal car if the OP travels mostly in the south or at more amenable times of year.
If wants a car that will go anywhere no matter what the weather there are probably far better choices for the average driver - winter tyres are not a magic panacea.
PS I can also agree that a well driven 2WD car with good winter tyres is more capable than the average 4WD!
> I'm 6'3" and don't find it cramped at all. Seat adjustment is good. Wouldn't be room for a passenger behind though.
My son is learning to drive in one at the moment, the only car they have he could get into and drive. He's 1m95 and big!
> Really. have you driven much in real winter conditions?
I daily commuted and went climbing regularly in a 540i then a Z3M through the three hard winters around 2010. Both on normal tyres. The Z with the LSD and little else was a predictable pussycat. The 5 was admittedly a bit of a handful at times and I did get stuck once when the auto-box failed in deep snow. Still, cracking fun.
If I needed a cheap but fun runaround right now I would be hard-put to see past a 6cyl 130i manual.
Bombproof engine, great balance.
I ran a 635CSi with winter tyres for two Bavarian winters and her indoors a 313i. The LSD is the answer to most problems, I reckon my 635 had the hardest one I've ever driven (same for the ABS).
I had a 635csi for a few years, beautiful to look at, beautiful to drive and steerable from either end. Didn't see much snow though. For shame I let the rust get into it.
My wife's had a set of factory winter wheels and tyres - sensibly the winter rear wheels were not as wide as the summer ones, which increased the ground pressure. It happily churned through the snow with fairly cautious driver and bounded through it with a driver who was happier with slippery conditions.
As a convertible, it only really got used as a two seater and had masses of room as that. As a four seater it was acceptable.
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