BMW 118i Sport Line
Indicative drive away price: $42,480
BMW’s 118i Sport Line five-door hatch edged ahead of the pack thanks to a mid-cycle upgrade that restructured the 1 Series line-up, smartened presentation and improved the standard features inventory.
The 1 Series follows the line of BMW’s traditional, beautifully-balanced driveline configuration with a front-mounted longitudinal engine, mid-ship transmission and, notably, in a class dominated by front-wheel-drive models, rear-wheel-drive.
Along with subtle interior refinements, features such as a rear-view camera, BMW’s savvy ConnectedDrive with real-time traffic information and rain-sensing wipers are now standard across the range.
There is a touch of understated sporting elegance and refinement about the 118i, both in the way it looks and how it drives. The refreshed styling and presentation is smart and there is a pleasing attention to detail in the trim and interior fittings.
Continuing the model’s slightly sporting character, the 118i has a cockpit-style cabin layout that is a little tighter on space than some of its rivals. But, it is cosy rather than cramped, and appropriately contoured seats provide good comfort and support.
The 118i hatch is a superb everyday drive. Sharp, nimble handling, good steering feel and excellent cornering grip are backed up by a well-controlled ride that is firm but not harsh.
The car is propelled by a sweet, 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine that produces 100kW of power, while its 220Nm of torque, developed from 1500rpm to 4500rpm, provides plenty of flexibility.
Having a well-matched eight-speed automatic transmission helps keep the 118i’s engine working in its most effective range and, as such, fuel consumption is relatively low.
In summary, the 118i Sport Line five-door hatch provides the prestige small car buyer with a high-quality, well-rounded package for everyday use.
|1ST: BMW 118i SPORT LINE, 858
|2ND: VOLVO V40 T4 LUXURY, 850
|3RD: BMW 218i ACTIVE TOURER SPORTLINE, 848