Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW 1-series - 1st Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: BMW 1-series - 1st Report Update

Date: 07 July 2007   |   Author:

It's all about the power now the Beemer has been with us a little while...

10 JULY 2007
Mileage 2327
Forecast CPM 28.4p
Actual CPM 32.1p
Now the 120d’s properly run in we’re making the most of the extra power BMW’s found from its updated 2.0 diesel. Bearing in mind the CO2 gains, it’s impressively quick.
25 JUNE 2007
Mileage 1454
Forecast CPM 28.5p
Actual CPM 32.1p
BMW claims big mpg improvements with its new eco-tech, but we’re cynical about how it’ll work in real life. Early signs are good, though, averaging 40mpg-plus despite brisk pace.

Main Report

In an age where CO2 reduction is key, especially for business users, a manufacturer taking huge steps to reduce emissions is big news.

BMW seems to have done the impossible, with the 1-series claiming both power increases and hefty improvements in economy and emissions. The figures (an extra 14PS yet eight more miles per gallon and a drop of five BIK bands comparing old and new 120d models) are so remarkable they're almost beyond belief - which is why we've persuaded BMW to lend us a Montego Blue 120d SE three-door to let us find out for ourselves if the numbers are real.

BMW_120d_LTT 30.05.07.gif

We've plumped for the three-door because it has just joined the range at a time when the five-door's getting a mid-life refresh, and because its styling - those longer doors give it an almost coupe-like look - is, for me, preferable to that of the five-door. The five- is no more practical, the rear's too cramped, and hard to get into thanks to rear doors that don't open far enough.

The punchy 2.0-litre diesel engine and compact dimensions make the 1-series a great car for picking through city traffic, while the Big Smoke will also be the perfect place to try the technology that's brought about that massive CO2 reduction, especially the start-stop system that automatically cuts the engine while the car's stationary at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. I once ran a blue five-door 120d, so we have a real-world precedent for fuel economy that'll make an interesting comparison.

We've limited the options spend to £1795, which gets you a reasonable amount. The dynamic package (sports seats and suspension, better interior and pretty star-spoke 18-inch alloys [1]) and comfort pack (auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensor, armrest, anti-dazzle rear-view mirror and cup holder) accounted for most of the cost, along with metallic paint. Other extras include a USB audio interface, handy for running an iPod through the stereo [2]. But it's the eco-tech that will dominate our reviews, and we'll have to wait and see what sort of impact it has on costs.