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BMW 118i (2013)

by John Ewing,reviewed June 2013

The 118i is the second-cheapest in BMW’s new 1-series model line.

Amongst our test car’s ‘optional extras’ was a Sportline pack ($1600), which includes alternative pattern 17” alloys, trim detail enhancements and front sports seats. The latter are comfortably supportive, and the electric backrest width adjustment moves the bolsters in or out, allowing for a perfect torso-hugging ‘fit’.

BMW’s chassis engineers have graced the rear-drive 118i with excellent dynamics, making the more curvaceous road home seem doubly attractive. It’s communicative and feels nimble flowing through direction changes with ease and precision. There’s lovely balance, plus crisp, linear steering response.

The new, twin-scroll turbo engine and intuitive eight-speed auto are perfect partners. Gearbox shifts are smooth and barely apparent at low throttle openings. It’s equally smooth, but with a firmer more positive feel, on harder acceleration.

The engine is responsive through the rev range, with peak torque available from 1500rpm, and offers a level of performance that surprises and delights, given its modest 1.6-litre capacity.

Rear passengers won’t be so enamoured of available cabin space, with the centre position the worst. Tyre and road noise can be intrusive, and a lack of proximity entry seems out of step when the car features keyless start via a dash button.

BMW 118i 2013


Nimble handling, safety, engine response, excellent auto box


Option prices, rear space, road noise

Key features

Dual-zone climate-control, 17” alloys/runflat tyres, auto stop/start system, cruise control with braking function, bluetooth, CD, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, rear park sensors, sports front seats, cloth trim, electronic differential lock


Dual front/front side head and thorax airbags, electronic stability/traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, cornering brake control, front seatbelt pre-tensioners/force limiters

Car Details

Vehicle make BMW
Vehicle model 118i
Vehicle type Small Over $35,000
Year 2013
Price when new $45,893 (auto) MLP
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
4 out of 5 stars

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Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Engine 1.6-litre, TwinPower turbo-petrol, 4-cyl
Max power 125kW @ 4800rpm
Max torque 250Nm @ 1500-4500rpm
Economy ADR 5.8 litres/100km
Emissions rating
4 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.