Driven: BMW’s all-new 1 Series Wheels24

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BMW R2 Series 1

Driven: BMW’s all-new 1

Author: Hailey Philander

second-generation 1 Series has arrived in Africa packed with kit and exciting technology — but did they do to its face?

The littlest BMW far has been fairly successful for the More than a million of the 1 Series hatch have sold since the five-door was in 2004 and the company hopes to on this success with the all-new model.

In common new versions, it is bigger and wider its predecessor. The wheelbase has grown by to 2690mm and passengers seated on the bench now have 21mm legroom – a valuable commodity in a hatchback.

The most noticeable though, are to the car’s appearance. Its sneaker profile is less (perhaps due to the car’s greater and narrower, upwardly sloping and an emphatic line that the length of the car and also carries the releases.

I prefer the look of the with its horizontal detailing and interpretation of the 1 Series’ squared-off clusters but its front end is perhaps the controversial styling point its wraparound headlights and wider grille resembling the unflattering of wide-set eyes and flaring

THE URBANITE: The Urban Line white rims and grille and accents set it apart from and Sport Line models.


However, to soften the of a possibly offending appearance, BMW a staggering number of options 6000!) to prospective 1 Series This is not, however, an to lure drivers who would be tempted by other options-heavy models such as its Mini the more affordable Citroen DS3 or the Fiat 500, but rather to BMW buyers more opportunities to their car according to their desires, BMW SA said.

The standard One has relegated to “side show” as the focus of BMW’s attentions are the new and Urban lines for the range. somewhat by high-gloss black and accents for the Sport and white and acrylic inserts for the Urban things can get complicated when of options are thrown into the

Great, then, that the new 1 is a lot easier to drive than it be to configure.

The cabin is spacious and with a variety of storage for squirreling stuff; there’s a little tray for the key fob – all new 1 Series keyless entry and start. include things more seen on larger BMW’s as lane departure warnings, a limit indicator with “no information, and Connected Drive via the BMW iPhone app, relays a of vehicle indicators, connects to the and Bluetooth and processes online updates.

There’s also the iDrive controller, although the experience control” button Eco Pro alongside the gearshift is new. auto stop/start is now standard on all as part of BMW’s Efficient programme, the driver is still to switch between modes to the engine management, shift and throttle mapping, depending on the


Three models are at launch – the petrol 116i and and diesel 120d – each a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. units were made to drive on the media launch week.

With the help of new and the enhancement of Efficient Dynamics power and torque are greater on all while fuel consumption and CO2 are down.

COMPACT LUXURY: trim, glossy accents and top are some of the new cabin’s hightlights.

The is no longer the runt of the litter BMW’s Twin Power turbo tech with and Double Vanos valve taking the 1.6-litre engine’s up to 100kW/220Nm and delivering a car that is enjoyable to drive.

Similarly, the with Twin Power is to deliver 125kW/250Nm in the 118i while the 120d (also Twin Power boost, time with variable geometry and common rail delivers 135kW and 380Nm.

On the launch, I had the chance to drive the with the standard six-speed gearbox (with handy indicator) and the 118i with the new eight-speed auto transmission. an eight-speed auto in something as as the 1 Series. How thrilling!

Auto are almost seamless and shifting under hard acceleration (to perhaps) is done without any coaxing. Gearshift paddles are and the car driven did not have these on its list, but it was not missed at all as gear were intuitive and smooth and right in step with the power band. No hairy at all, although the whole was so quiet the car’s rowdy may well have missed

Things were as easy-going in the where the baby of the range had a to show its sportier side. through the sturdy BMW manual were assured and the car’s clutch action was welcome.

AND NOW: The two generations of 1 Series.

was, of course, aided by the 1 impeccable dynamic qualities. The are wider apart as both the and rear tracks have increased and the 1 Series rides on an cross-strut at the front and a multilink suspension that combined on the smooth, sometimes bumpy surfaces to provide a comfortably ride.

The 1 Series was composed at speed no tummy-churning pitching under and cornering although Comfort, and Sport Plus modes can be for the adaptive suspension, depending on the and driving conditions. An electronically rear differential will be in reeling things to the safe when required.

There’s the M Sport suspension that is and results in a ride height is 15mm lower – perhaps a thing to consider for those sportier ambitions for their 1 Series’, especially since no word yet on more boisterous and 135i models. Three-door 1 models are expected in South from September, 2012,

So, the all-new 1 Series is meant to be and “more …” than the it replaces, but it’s definitely not off its youthful vigour. And, its seemingly aggressive pricing ( options), it could see many of vibrant, family hatchbacks up the calculator functions on their

My biggest 1 Series joy, its painful appearance, is that it no resembles a shoe when side on. That has to count for right?



R268 500

Standard Steptronic 500

Sport Line R286 000

Line Steptronic R304 000


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