Ever think you could never afford a BM? You are wrong. Prices are comparable with the likes of Honda and VW so go for it!!! I looove mine (lady owner). However I made one vital mistake and renewed my 5 door for the 3 door because I preferred the sleeker more sporty body on the 3 door. I always thought the 5 door was a little clumpy. Now besides the fact that I have since had twins and have to lunge heavy car seats into the back, there is a serious fault with the design. Basically, when the cold weather hits and the windows freeze then you will have problems opening and shutting the doors. Why? Well the mechanism of the door opening relies on the window automatically moving down a little to unlock the door. When you close the door the window moves up a little into the recess and hence the door is secuerly in place. Not a problem most of the time but in cold weather despite pouring hot water on the windows the mechanism doesn't function until what seems to be when it has had enough time to defrost. During our very cold weather last year and the previous I had trouble getting in and when I eventually did the window did not automatically slide up into the recess position. The result - driving along with the door closed by the latch but still slightly open. It was enough to put the door open light on and the beeping alarm as you drove along hoping it would soon rectify at the next traffic lights where you could try to shut the door again. Ok now this just happens in the winter and if you love the 3 door then go for it but it did make me late for work on several occasions and sometimes it happened when it was only -2!
The salesman made a great deal about the BMW being rear-wheel drive, well after three years of driving one I can't say that makes a whole lot of difference under normal conditions - maybe on a high-powered BMW it would, but the 116 is for everyday motoring and it'll never leave a Porsche standing at the traffic lights!
Call me shallow but the reason I bought it was simply because of its looks. I knew that a BMW should be a good car, but then frankly most cars are these days, and if we allowed our heads to rule our hearts we'd all be driving Toyotas. But the sleek sculpted lines of the 116 with its shark-like distinctive front end are something I'm always going to admire in the car park.
Inside the low lines mean there's not much headroom even for someone of average male height. The driving position is comfortable though, and the instrument display very user-friendly - if it's within your budget I'd recommend going for optional extras like rear parking sensors, electrically folding wing mirrors, top-end instrument computer - they do make a useful contribution to the motoring experience and it's a pity more of them aren't standard.
Performance on the 116 as mentioned isn't spectacular, it'll keep up with the average family saloon and on congested British roads what more do you need, but from a standing start there's nothing to make the blood race. Trying to get some oomph by keeping it in a lower gear causes the engine management system to take over and govern down the revs - in fact this is the only car I recall where that big rev counter on the dashboard served much purpose. Once you've got up to the speed limit though its a rock-steady and pleasantly quiet drive.
After three years experience it's a car I've consistently enjoyed. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a smallish car for both town and long-distance journeys and has the budget to indulge in image (nothing wrong with a bit of flash!). But is it a car I love so much I'd go straight out and buy another one? - no, been there, done that, and it's time to move on to test if there's greener grass elsewhere.
I have been driving for over 4 years now and I have been quite lucky when it came to having my first car. It wasn't all mine but I got to share my mums BMW for a while, which was great. It wasn't the newest but it was a BMW.After driving that I couldn't really got for anything else as the sheer power and quality of the car drew me in. I drove my mates Fiestas and Polos but nothing could match up to it.
Then a driving drought came, I didn't renew the cars insurance with my name on it so I took the good old 'reliable' London Transport. After a year or so doing that and getting cramped and having sweaty people all over me I thought enough was enough, I needed to get out!
So off to Autotrader, Ebay, Gumtree and nothing!! Abosulutely nothing, they were either to big (engine size wise), it was the wrong model of car, wrong colour and even the wrong price. And this was looking into ANY car. Was I destined to use London Transport for that bit longer? I could not let that happen!!
Then Bam!! My mum goes 'I want to get a new BMW and get rid of this one'. I thought YES!! I'll find her one and keep this one. So off I went in search for her new BMW. She wanted a 1 series as she didn't want anything big. I rang a few people and one of my mates knew someone who worked for BMW and gave me his number. Wow this is long already!! I'll cut it short after a few days of trying to get my mum the BMW 1 series, I ended up getting it myself! I have never looked back. Sorry guys! :-(
I got a BMW 1 series 1.6L SE 5 Door. It is in Titanium Silver and comes with the Comfort package (arm rest at the front, parking sensor, light dimming mirrors, rain sensor) and also has electric wing mirrors which go in at the touch of a button. I was thinking Nice!!. The look of the car is amazing, I think its looks really sophisticated for a small car. The grooves from the front to the end panel gives the car that edgy look and have noticed that not many cars have this and are usually just plain. The BMW Badge is at the front and back of the car and you cant help but noticed the mean looking BMW grill. Looks wise I was in there!
The interior of the car was fantastic, it's all black cloth seats (no leather thanks) along with a lovely looking dashboard which is also in black with a hint of silver to give it that edge. As I sat in I noticed that the car was a lot more spaceous than I thought it would be. I remember Jeremy Clarkson was complaining about the sheer space in the car but then again most of us aren't as tall as him! I'm 5ft 10 I think and I thought it had enough space at the front and the back. The front seats could be adjusted up or down, back and forward. This is done by using the levers on the side and at the front of the seat.
The steering wheel could also be adjusted for your driving comfort as well. The gear stick and handbrake lever are all within touching distance as well as the heating control system. The music system is abit tricky to get to but thankfully BMW have sorted this by putting the buttons on the steering wheel where your hands should be positioned whilst driving (to me its 9.15PM).
The car has an inboard computer and can be accessed via a little scrool button allocated on the indicator. There you will have access to adjust the time and date, how you want doors to open when you unlock the car. It then also gives you information as to when you need to check the brakes, check the coolant level and when to have an oil check. You can also access how much oil is left in as there is no dipstick. It also had a feature of how many clicks you want your indicator to do!
The car I have has a rain sensor on the top of the windscreen so when rain starts it will know and automatically get the wipers to work. This feature has to be switched on and can be done using the wipers switch on the right hand side of the steering wheel. It also has a scroll button to choose how sensitive you want the sensor. The car also has automatic headlights which will switch on as soon as it get darks. That too has to be switch on to. All four windows have eletric windows and on the drivers side you can lock the back windows if you have child sat there which is a really nice safety feature.
This being the smallest car in its range, I didn't expect too much boot space but again it suprised me. I could easily fir two substantial sized suitcases in there and if not then I could fold down the back seats and have double the space!
Now the old BMW I drove was smoothish, it had been given the run arouns by me but still gave me an ok enough drive. This however was amazingly smooth. I thought I was gliding across the roads! From just pulling out to driving up to on the motorway, the car oozes smoothness and you can hardly notice how fast you go at times. This car being a 1.6L is slightly slower than the older one (1.8L) but it felt just as fast. Whislt driving this car, it also feels very solid and I feel real safe in it. The car feels firmly on the ground and have every faith in it when driving. I have driven a few other cars and they feel real light and sometimes I worry that it might topple over when driving which isn't good. Before I forget, the car also has a unique start stop function to it. When the car is at a complete standstill and your foot is off the clutch, the car completely shuts itself off!! Then by pressing the clutch the car comes back on. This is part of there efficient dynamics programme and I think they applying it to all cars now. Also you dont have a key to start the car. Its more like a toy which you insert on the left hand side of the steering wheel and by pressin gthe start button and pushing down the clutch, the car starts. no more keys!!!
A full tank according to current petrol prices will set you back around £60 as it can hold around 53 litres of petrol and from my knowledge that can given you around 400+ miles which isn't so bad I guess. I top up £30 a week or sometimes £40 every week and a half and have no trouble getting to and from work (SE to N) or getting to my girlfriends house (Kent) a few times a week and also the odd trip to Bluewater.
If you are purchasing a New BMW 1 series 5 door this will set you back from about £18500 for the very basic model to about £30000-£35000 for the sports version.
Overall this is a great car and I'm so glad I took the risk in buying this for myself. The car is great to drive and even my mate who has driven a few times always insists on driving me when we go out because he loves it so much. Hes even thinking getting one himself.
The only possible downside I see with this car is that if your a young driver the insurance premium is going to be high so make sure you have been driving abit and have a few years no claims.
All the specifics and facts and figures can be found on the website below.
Also if your are interesting in purchasing a new or fairly BMW, send me a quick message and I'll direct you to the dealer who helped me get mine. Be sure to let him know I sent you!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this long review. If I've missed out anything, let me know and I'll add it.