It has been busy for me last week, with relatives coming over, and at the end of the week, my car had to have a faulty central locking mechanism (again!). Luckily for me, PML provided a loaner car for the weekend and they got me a 118i. It was a class lower than the 320i, but for a last minute loaner car request, the car they got for me was new and adequate for my purpose. I got to test drive a 1 Series which was good too!
First of all, the car provided was a basic 118i, with manual air conditioning and manual seat adjustments. It was not something befitting a premium luxury hatchback. The car came with light cream interior which made the 1 Series look roomier than it was supposed to be (Good!). Other than that, there was an iPod charger in the glove box compartment (something I don’t have on my car), as well as sports steering wheel which was slightly thicker than the one fitted on my 320i. Space wise, the 1 Series was adequate for me, and I don’t feel cramped, though rear seats are best for midgets or short city drives.
In the exterior styling department, the 118i was in hatchback format, and it didn’t look at all pleasing to me. As with most BMWs, it looks good on the side, and its best view in my opinion, is from the rear three quarters, showing the sharp crease along the rear hood.
After disappointing on the exterior design, the car’s performance was also a bit lacking with throttle response being a bit slow and noise in the cabin high when you rev the engine a bit in the preliminary start. Progression was also not smooth towards the higher gears unlike in the 320i. The silver lining of the car was its nimble handling and it seems to like curves more than the 3 Series. Something to be expected though since it is a smaller car and BMW’s handling has always been impressive. As for long term ownership of this car, I doubt I could live with the slow throttle response, manual fitments of the interior and the design. For this price, a Mini Cooper is a better buy, but if that One was a 135i, things would be a lot different!