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BMW 120d Sport/SE

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    7 Reviews
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      30.12.2013 21:16
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      Good all rounder with performance and economy

      This is a review on a 2007 plate 120d msport.

      *performance and economy*
      The single true 2.0l engine produces and impressive 177 bhp and the torque pulls from as low as 1500rpm. The 0-60 is around 7.5 secs with a top speed in excess of 130 mph. All of this is wrapped up in the following 'real life' mpg. The following figures are my own experience and not manufacturers figures.
      Urban - 47 mpg
      Motorway - 57 mpg
      Combined - 50mpg
      This coupled with the performance is truly outstanding.

      *Handling*
      To be honest the msport package makes all the difference, the suspension can be a little harsh for some and is not always a comfortable ride on potholed roads of Great Britain, however in my option the handling outweighs these slight negatives, the car really does handle well on B roads and due to its size almost feel go kart like. The traction control system on the vehicle is also very good, due to its rear wheel drive and low down torque the rear end can easily step out of line on greasy roads, you have been warned. Despite lots of clims that bmw are to be garaged in the winter snow, I can honestly say that with the investment of a good set of snow tyres I have not been stuck once in the last three years, we have some harsh winter where we live too. It just shows that with the right equipment and attitude on the road you can get around.

      Equipment

      The standard equipment is not great, however if buying second hand look out for one with all the options, you will get these for very little extra. The professional radio head unti is a must as it shows the mpg, average speed etc. comfort pack is also a must with heated seats, auto lights and auto wipers.

      Common faults

      There is only one known common fault I have come across with these vehicles, the electronic steering colum is prone to locking, this will mean either one of two things. 1. A software update to fix the problem which is relatively inexpensive or 2. A new steering colum itself at a cost of over £1000. It would be good to ask if this has occurred if purchasing second hand. Also I do not know if this problem is confined to earlier or later models.

      Overall summary

      I have been driving this with a family of two children for 3 years, the vehicle is large enough for day trips but if you were planning a camping trip you would struggle due to the small boot space. Reliability and economy are first class, the badge shouts prestige, running costs are low. A full service at an independant dealer is only around £120. If I had not upgraded to a 3 series then I would definitely recommend a one series.

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      19.11.2013 01:34
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      A cheap BMW with cheap running costs

      I finally got around to selling my wife's Mini convertible after even more problems after reviewing it on here.

      My wife wanted to go back to BMW because that is what she has been used to in the past and prefers the build quality and reliability of them. So it was upto me to find her one.

      I needed to find a sporty looking BMW, but not a hatchback and must be an M Sport. That was my wife preferences, however having had BMW's for a number of years now, I know what additional extras need to be on the car. These extras help the resale value and give an allround nicer car.

      My wife liked the look of the 1 series coupe. Not the hatchback. So it was down to me to find an M Sport version. Not difficult but needed to fit into our budget. The best allround engine for performance and economy is the 120d. Found one with a few additional extras on the car

      Sat Nav
      Leather Interior
      Heated Seats
      Front & Rear Parking Sensors

      Now you may look at some of those and think that alot of cars come with those nowadays, and your be right. However, German manufactures have a habit of selling you a bog standard car that you need to add extras, which to the like of Ford or Vauxhall are standard.

      So I found a 120d M Sport on a 10 plate with the above extras. 84k and paid £10,500. Again some people would say that is quite alot of money for a high mileage car. But until you own a BMW, your see that they hold their value pretty well.

      How does the car performance? Due to the small car which means its light weight. It comes with a very pokey 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine. Alot of low down grunt which produces 174bhp. 6 speed gearbox. Top speed of 142mph (which I never know why they tell you because you cannot do it).
      Fuel economy stands at 47.9mpg within the town and out of town 68.9. I checked the cars computer last night to see the average and it stands at 49.7mpg. My wife does a 34mile round trip which is a mixture of a and b roads. My opinion is that this average mpg can go up alot if she drives abit more sensibly. IE she looks ahead, does not accelerate hard etc. What comes with most cars now is the start/stop facility. Pull up to traffic or traffic lights and when you take the car out of gear and stop then the engine cuts out. Does not save a massive amount of fuel but every little helps, and it saves on car tax.

      Speaking of car tax, its £105 for the year.

      The ride of the car is firm. This is mainly because the car comes on run flats (have a puncture and the tyre will remain inflated and not burst). It means that the rubber is very firm and you feel most pot wholes. It also comes on 18inch rims so there is less cushion between the tyre and the wheel rim. With the hard suspension and 18inch rims it produces a massive amount of grip

      Inside, with the M Sport version comes a chunky leather sports steering wheel. Built in CD player and air con as standard. Soft touch plastic throughout. There are no squeaks or rattles that come from the car when driving, so its all nicely screwed together.

      There are the obvious things to say that when it comes to servicing, you will pay BMW prices. But thats for all BMWs and not just the 1 series.

      So far there have been no issues with the car. Nothing has failed, nothing sounds like its going to fail. So fingers crossed, but I cannot see it any worse than the Mini.

      Conclusion
      Ok so you do pay quite abit to own a small car, but its abit more than a small coupe. Its far superior in style and quality compared to the competition. It a cheap car to run and get alot to the gallon. But the downside is still that BMW love putting run flats on all their cars and this does make driving the car abit less comfortable.

      Tip:
      Try and get a 1 series with added extras. There are millions of 120d's out there, but if you can bag yourself one with extras then it will stand out from the crowd if and when you try to sell it.

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        05.02.2012 17:39

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        Brilliant first BMW to own, and you get much more for your money over other BMW's.

        BMW have always, in my view, produced and built some very beautiful cars none of which have been financially in sight until recently when I bought a 1 Series.

        I had the choice between both a 3 and 1 series both at the same price and age, but in the end chose the 1 Series based on the below factors:

        The 1 Series had the M Sport Pack
        The 1 Series had substantially less mileage
        The 1 Series just looks better
        The 1 Series had more accessories
        Both cars had the same interior
        Don't have kids

        Many people dislike the 1 Series, but I cannot find the general consensus as to why!?

        For me the engine is solid, and packs a huge punch for overtaking and can easily reach high speeds as and when required and this is exacerbated (in a good way) by the RWD.

        I love how the 1 Series looks in comparison to the 3, 5 and 7 Series which all look a little bland. The seats are infinitely adjustable including the supports around the abdomen which can be inflated/deflated to hug the body.

        The cabin seems ergonomic and nothing gets in the way, yet everything is easily reached. There is plenty of room for 5 adults in the car and the boot is just about the right size. Although trying to get a pram in the boot along with shopping I can imagine would be difficult.

        There is one thing about this car the annoys me.. the dashboard rattles whilst accelerating, and this continues until a steady speed is met. I just turn the music up, but if your in the mood for a quiet drive this would soon drive you mad!!

        This car I think is ideal for a young couple, or single people but for those with families this would be too small.

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        04.06.2011 11:54
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        You either love em or hate em

        The wife was offered a BMW 120dSE as a company car a few years back. I was not to happy to begin with as i was not to keen on the shape of the car and also though a 3 series would be a better size for us. I am not going to go into facts about the spec etc as i am sure you know these already so here is my view after living with this car for 2 years. The car has quite firm suspension but this is not as bad as in the Mini Cooper we had before it. The firm suspension comes into its own on twisty country roads. It is a delight throwing the car into bends with confidence. The 2L engine is pretty responsive for a diesel and pulls well. Overall the car feels quite fast and the gear sacing works well. The car came in black with the added option of piano interior trim. We also had the sat nav business option fitted. The screen is nice and large but it can be a bit hard to see as it is positioned on the top of the dash were sun can shine onto it. The bluetooth for the phone works very well and the controls on the steering wheel all do the job well. The seats offer good support and we can drive for long period of times with no problems. The car has proved big enough for our use though if we had children or taxied people around in the back more this would not be the case. I can not quite understand why there is a cup/bottle holder underneath the arm rest as you can not have the arm rest down if you have a bottle there! Biggest fail on rear wheel drive is the driving in ice or snow. This is even worse for the 1 series as it is so light. We just left the car at home when it would not get out of our drive this past winter and made off in our 2nd car... a Peugeot 107! Not to impressed with the run flat tires which do cost a bit to replace but if you keep the tire pressure where it should be you can get good wear. We just replaced the tires at 38000 so thats it good wear!

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        12.01.2010 16:21
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        all round brilliant car and fun to drive.

        I have previously been to test drive the BMW 1 Series 2.0 litre sport 3dr.

        The main thing that that i was looking for was speed comfort and style. which i am glad to say it had.

        The 2.0litre engine gives the car the edge its needs also it being a rear wheel drive car you can accelerate quickly if needed to and not worry about wheel spinning out of a junction.

        The comfort inside the car is exceptional. the BMW sports seat hug to your body and all the controls that you need are with in easy reach so you can enjoy the driving experience a lot more.

        on the style side of things i think that the outside of the car is pretty much basic BMW neat lines striking headligts. But the interior of the car is what brings the 1 Series all togeather as i stated above the seats and the insruments are within easy reach. also the front windows are frameless which adds that extra bit to the look of the car when you get in the window drops automatically to allow you access to the car then as you shut the door the window will close straight away.

        Overall i was impressed with the 1 series and i am hopefully going to pick my new car up at the begining of March 2010.

        I will up date this review as i go along and hopefully after you reading this you will be tempted to go and test drive the car.

        Cheers

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        10.01.2010 22:34
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        Take a test drive, you will not be dissapointed

        I have owned the car for just over a month now so I though it may just be worth writing a quick review, and then updating it as I get to know the ins and outs of the car better.

        Having been a fan of VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group) cars over the years, I have had golfs and prior to purchasing the one series I had a Seat Leon FR tdi. The latter are great cars but all share the same chassis and range of engines so I thought that it was time for a change. The 120d seemed to tick all the boxes for me, a well built hatch with and efficient diesel engine and most of all a reasonable amount of power when required.

        The first thing that struck me is just how smooth and quiet the engine is, it sounds more like a petrol car. The power delivery is much smoother than that of the VAG tdi engines of a similar output, and the engine seems to rev further before running out of steam.

        The interior of the car feels very solid and all the instruments seem very well placed. As mentioned in other reviews the climate control system is the best I have experienced and seems to defrost the car very quickly and maintain a steady temperature in the cabin on a journey.

        The looks of the car may not be to everyone's taste but if you get one with a decent spec I think they are a good looking car, especially in Platinum Silver.

        These cars appear quite pricey at first glance, but there are some excellent savings available at the dealers at the moment. My car was a demonstrator with good spec and a saving of £7000.00 of list price. This puts the 120d into the same price range as the VW Golf and Seat Leon, which is realistically where it should be placed.

        The only problem I have had with the car so far is with the frameless front windows, which are only fitted to the 3dr and coupe models. When you open the door the window glass drops a little and then goes back up when you close the door, With the weather we have had of late the glass tends to freeze to the seal so that when you open the door the glass doesn't drop, and then the door wont shut properly after. This can be overcome by defrosting the glass prior to opening the car but this can be a pain, especially when your de icer is inside the car!

        Apart from this I have had no problems with the car so far but I will keep updating the review as time goes on, and report back after first BMW service etc.

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        25.11.2005 09:25
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        A well built, quick, refined hatchback that's rewarding to drive - marred only by high CO2 emissions

        BMW 120d Sport (2005) – 3 day test drive

        This is a car that will probably polarize people’s opinions – they’ll either love it or hate it based on one thing, it’s looks. If you fall into the ‘hate it’ camp and rule it out for that reason alone, then you’ll be judging a book by its cover and missing out on a very good little car.

        So, from the front it has the traditional kidney shaped grille and actually looks like a solid and purposeful car. Likewise from the rear it has a neat compact shape that’s not unpleasant. It’s from the side that some people take a step back and say “Oh”! There’s a prominent ‘shoulder’ running the length of the car which together with the roof line and shape of the rear side windows gives the car it’s ‘cab like’ appearance. Personally I found the looks quite interesting, I mean after all, BMW is not known for making unassuming looking cars. Getting inside is via proper door handles, not these flaps so common in today’s cars, and opt for the SE and you’ll have puddle lights under each door handle – there’s innovation for you. There’s a nice solid feel to the door closing too that will remind you that this car comes from a quality manufacturer. Once inside the impression I got is one of functional simplicity, everything in its place and a place for everything. Ok, let’s get the main criticism of the interior out of the way first – storage space. Now I’m not being sexist when I say women will hate this car… where do you put things? I carry a certain amount of rubbish around (duster, maps, sweets, torch, etc.) and there doesn't seem to be space to easily and neatly stow it all away. The glove box is a ‘crabs mouth’ affair, with a space that barely fits the users handbook, and anything else you might squeeze in there will fall out when you open it. Similarly the door pockets are narrow and difficult to get your hand into, being obstructed by the door handles and seat bolsters, so I wouldn't want to use them that often for fear of bruising my knuckles. Finally there’s the centre storage area behind the gear shift, now what is that all about? It’s the most peculiar shape for an oddments tray I’ve ever seen, being slightly curved in every direction and shallow to boot! The message is, forget storage space for all but the essentials.

        Moving on, the rest of the interior is pretty good, ok the materials are at the bottom end of the BMW offerings but they’re all beautifully screwed together and won’t creak or rattle. The centre section sports your sound system and climate controls, the latter being a sensible and logical setup operating an efficient heating and ventilation system. As for the BMW Professional sound system, it immediately scores over rival cars in two key areas – firstly, it will play MP3 CDs by default, usefully showing the ID3 tags and file names, and secondly it doubles up as a readout for the trip computer, showing average mpg, range, etc., if you so desire. Come on Audi, your Concert and Symphony offerings are sorely lacking MP3 compatibility. Moving on the speedo and tacho dials are pleasantly simple, separated by an area for warning lights and the trip computer. Finally, all the controls have a very nice solid feel to them, with one touch operation for the indicators and wipers. At night is all a nice soft orange colour that’s typical of most BMWs – no boy racer reds or blues here.

        Now, people who buy this car won’t be doing so for its space, the boot being smaller than a Golf or A3, and rear seat space likewise being slightly more cramped, although access is easier with it being a 5 door car. Rear leg room isn’t great, but headroom is fine for 6ft adults. In the front there’s no such problem, and the range of movement available for the steering wheel and seat should see most people getting comfy. There are of course the usual options of leather, electronic/memory seats, heated seats and lumbar support to take comfort to the next level. On the Sport model you’ll be treated to electronically adjustable side-bolsters as standard, hmmmm maybe for someone slimmer than myself. A final word about the rear view mirror… it’s small and there’s a good reason for that, the view out of the rear window isn’t panoramic by any stretch of the imagination. However, when it comes to reversing, rearward visibility is actually fairly good.

        Enough about the interior, it’s fine for the average driver, it’s on the move that is where this car plays its winning cards. For a diesel, the level of refinement is amazing for a car of this class. In a Golf or an A3 you’ll be constantly reminded that you’re driving a diesel and engine noise will make its way into the cabin at any speed. The 1 Series however achieves quietness at 70-80mph that many larger cars from rivals can’t match. Long motorway journeys are effortless in this car with wind noise and road noise being barely a whisper – dare I say it, this 120d is as quiet as a Lexus IS300 on the motorway! Couple that with the six speed gearbox which sees just 2000rpm pushing you along at 80mph with little effort, and don’t think you’ll sacrifice acceleration in sixth, because so long as you’re above stalling point this car wants to go. Acceleration from rest sees 62mph come up in a stunningly quick 7.9s for the manual, with the auto being a mere 0.3s behind it., and it’s all delivered with a quiet un-fussed urgency that marks the BMW way. Venture into the countryside and this car will still be just as at home, with huge levels of grip from its 17” run-flat tyres. There’s an almost go-kart like accuracy about the cars handling, it’ll just go where you point it with the minimum of fuss, and you’ll feel beautifully ‘connected’ with what’s going on without being uncomfortable or thrown around. Push it in the wet and the rear wheel drive still delivers the goods, so I get the feeling that you’ll either have to switch off the TRC or simply get stupid with the loud pedal to get yourself in a mess. The ride itself is smooth and compliant, and while the firmer springing of the Sport might appeal to the younger driver, the softer SE is a treat to drive, even with the stiffer run-flat tyres, offering up little road noise and plenty of comfort. It’s a more composed ride than you’ll find in the Audi A3 which tends to fidget around somewhat.

        Mpg is as good as most of it’s counterparts with 47-48 being returned for sensible driving. The gotcha for those caring about the planet, or the cost conscious company car buyer is the whopping 173 g/km CO2 figure for the 120d Auto, well you pay for your fun! Compared with the equivalent A3, the emissions can see you paying £45-£50 more tax – per month! As for that auto-box it’s precise and well controlled with quick accurate changes. There is a sequential manual mode, but quite frankly slipping it into D and letting it get on with it is just as rewarding. For gadget freaks it’s rumoured that some form of wheel-mounted gear shift will become available, although that’s still to be confirmed.

        There are plenty of options similar to what you’ll find on most cars in this class. I’d always go for Xenon lights, and with the 120 you’ll get the ‘angel eyes’ rings that BMW has made famous. The BMW Professional radio/CD will give you a two-line display, essential for impressing your mates with it showing MP3 ID tag information, or phone numbers etc., if you opt for the Bluetooth integration. Most of the rest of the options are nice to have, but the standard spec for the SE includes a host of extras anyway, including parking sensors and an auto-dipping rear view mirror. Oh and I almost forgot, the stereo has an AUX input so no problem connecting your iPod… in fact the stereo in this car is almost reason alone to buy it if you enjoy your music on the move, and with two optional upgrades to the speaker system, who could ask for more.

        One really nice touch I must mention, and something that is really useful if two different people regularly drive the car. The key fob stores your 'profile' - that is settings for the electric mirrors and (optional) electric seats, climate control and even stereo settings. Unlock the car with 'your' key fob and all these will be set to your preferences, while your partners key fob will store their settings. How neat is that?

        So, my overall impression of this car is that while you might question the looks (and they really aren’t that bad) it’s the best small 5-door diesel on the market – bar none! In fact had BMW made this car with the looks of the Audi A3 they’d have cleaned up! It’s only the hefty emissions that might put off some company buyers (myself included sadly). Had this car been the same money as the A3 then it would have been no contest, and that’s not forgetting that the A3 is a good car in its own right. It just goes to show how BMW have managed to go one step better with virtually every aspect of their car. As they said in the film Highlander, “There can be only one”…. and for me it’s the “1” from BMW.

        Did you know?
        • The run-flat tyres allow you to drive up to 150 miles at 50mph after a puncture.
        • The standard stereo will play MP3 CDs, but make sure you put all your files in the ‘root’ directory of the CD. If you use sub-directories, the player won’t see them.
        • The auto box will hold the car without rolling, unlike the VW Golf or Audi A3.
        • Tailgate opening is via the badge on the boot – a trick being used by more and more manufacturers.
        • The car boasts an iPod ready AUX socket, but strangely enough doesn’t provide a satisfactory area in which to rest Apple’s MP3 gadget, except for this strange curved ‘tray’ in the centre console.

        My Recommendation?

        The BMW 120d SE Auto, Xenon lights, lumbar support & heated seats (heaven!), Hi Fi speaker option and the comfort pack.

        The Competition?

        Audi A3 2.0TDi SE DSG, bit slower and a bit less refined, but slightly cheaper for company car buyers, has a bit more boot space and has the looks. Golf 2.0TDi DSG GT, cheaper still but refinement and build quality are lacking when stacked up against the BMW and Audi.

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