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Old 28th December 2018, 17:38   #1
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Default My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Disclaimer:- Most of this review was compiled soon after I bought the car in June 2016. Hence some of the cars compared here might have been superseded by newer models.

Things I like
- Front engine - Rear wheel drive layout
- Lovely oversteer, something you can get addicted to.
- 2.0L Twin power turbo diesel engine (190BHp/ 400NM) .
- 50-50 weight distribution makes the car agile, stable and provides excellent traction.
- Optional adaptive M-Sport suspension ensures electronic control of shock absorbers and allows the driver to choose between different set ups depending on the driving environment.
- Long list of safety features, which includes RF tyres (have a love-hate relationship with it) and a SOS button which will locate you in case of an emergency even if you do not have mobile signal.
- Europe wide road side assistance for 3 years.
- Driver seat is quite low, and the cockpit has enough adjustments to reach a comfortable driving position.
- Lot of cubby holes for storage.
- Rear time traffic information helps you to choose the best route to your destination.

Things I don’t like
- Manual gearbox is a bit notchy but gets better with use.
- Scratchy plastics on places where you can reach, not expected from a car at this price.
- Overall build quality isn’t as top notch as Audi/ Mercedes - Squeaking M sport inserts on steering wheel and temperamental rear hatch
- A/C takes a while to heat up the interior cabin during harsh winter mornings.
- Leg space comes at a premium on the rear bench seat, the middle seat is almost unusable and misses central arm rest.
- Rear wheel drive cars aren’t the best if you must drive on Snow.
- Standard business navigation with optional BMW advance loudspeaker system is a hit and miss depending on the audio source.
- Many features that you expect to be standard come as optional extras.


Small but smart things
- All the exposed plastic (B pillar, rear diffuser, front grill slats, etc) have gloss finish, it helps retain the colour and stops them from going grey.
- Driver comfort pack comes with 12V socket under the dash on the front passenger side and in the boot.
- When approaching a junction, the dashboard driver display shows the layout of the junction and highlight the exit or the lane to take.
- BMW connected is good when you are in a new town. It helps find cheap fuel outlets, hotels, parking space and much more.

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 11th January 2019 at 01:17.
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Old 28th December 2018, 17:59   #2
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Default re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-13653063_10153550266646862_8933434110191765820_o.jpg

This story is about how I bought a front engine rear wheel drive hatchback in 2016, arguably the only hatchback currently on sale which is built in that layout – a BMW 120D MSport F20 which itself may become extinct in 2019!
Before we get to that story it’s worth mentioning a word or two about me and my previous car purchases.

I am always excited when someone mentions to me that they are going to buying a car. Some will tell you once they have made the decision while some others will ask your opinion on which car is the best for them within a budget and some may even ask your help all the way to the actual purchase. The latter excites me more as I can help them with short listing cars, test driving them and even negotiating a price with the dealer. Finally, when you see them drive out of a showroom in their brand new (or pre-worshipped) car, you feel satisfied and humbled to be part of a happy moment in their life. So, when the time comes to make a car purchase for yourselves, the excitement is even greater. You just go with the vehicle that you love the most and write the cheque in favour of that dealer; at least that’s what you like to think.

Anyway, back in 2003, just a few weeks after I got my driving license, I was given the opportunity to choose my first bike. I chose a Yamaha, no not the iconic RX 100 or the less iconic RX 135, it was a Libero 106 CC. Those days the most popular bike in the market was Hero Honda Splendour. Bajaj Pulsar 150 was gaining popularity among the young riders due to its styling and advertisements. I was not particularly interested in either of them. The bike which I liked was Hero Honda CBZ, but it was slightly above our budget and it did not have a huge reputation when it came to fuel efficiency. I also thought I should be modest with my selection as the money was coming from the ‘Bank of Dad’. I did not even consider CBZ or take a test drive of it. I must admit back then I did not give much importance to my liking and the main factor that drove the decision was the asking price of the bike. Thinking about it now, if I had considered it and gone to the showroom with my dad, he would have been ok with me buying it. Anyway, the bike destined for me was Libero. It was a decent and reliable bike and it did serve me (and my friends) well through my college days and even a couple of years in Bangalore where I used to work. Later it was handed over to my brother and his friends to be used in his college. In 2015 it was sold after clocking nearly 70,000 Kms.

The first car I was involved in buying was in 2004, a pre-owned Zen - 2001 LX carburetted version, it was our family car and it served us well for around 13 years and more than 1 lakh Km. Again, in hindsight I should have convinced my dad to buy LXi version as that would have been more value for money than the Lx we bought. We could have even kept the car with us for longer until it became a classic.

Let’s move on to 2012, I bought a car and even got that registered in my name that year. It was a 2003 Nissan Micra XE, 3 door, non a/c version which had a mileage of 75000 miles. It was the car of my choice for our journey from London to Ulaanbaatar in 2012. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-puny-car.html . I bought it in UK remotely from India, without viewing or taking a test drive – yea brave (read stupid)!! My wise decision to choose a 3 door and non-A/C meant that there was hardly any space for us 4 fat adults, luggage, tent and spares. We couldn’t even wind the windows up even though we were driving through a sand storm in Kazakhstan at 45 degree Celsius.

So after a decade of not so convincing car purchasing decisions, in 2013 I ventured out again to buy a car in India. I always wanted to buy a VW Polo, in my eyes it was the best-looking hatchback in the country. Best in class materials used inside and a reassuring thud from the doors gave the impression that the car was built to last. All of which meant that the car will age gracefully. But anyone who bothers to remember its spec when launched in 2010 would know that it didn’t even match that of a car a segment below. The engines offered lacked any punch, both petrol and diesel were only mediocre when it came to power. The 1.6L petrol would have been a good option, but I knew I will be munching miles once I buy the car, so my preference was diesel. In 2013 VW Polo GT was launched with a petrol 1.2 TSi engine and in September 2013 VW launched a GT diesel with a 1.6L engine. I was sure that it was the moment I was waiting for, I paid the booking amount without even taking a test drive, which again violated the thumb rule of car buying. But before giving the car for registration I followed the TBhp rule and took a detailed PDI, thanks to my sales consultant Nirmal from VW Calicut.

As expected, I clocked decent miles in this car – it travelled 42500 KM between September 2013 and February 2015, and I loved every single km I drove in this car. No other car would have made me happy like Polo did with a price tag of a million Indian rupees. The car was not perfect. The suspension was soft and offered little confidence while negotiating a corner. The audio quality was not enough to impress anyone. The one thing it had was a great engine. The 4 cyl 1.6 TDi had enough torque to pull a truck and it wasn’t difficult to keep with cars a segment above on the busy NH4. Since nothing differentiated GT with normal Polo in terms of its exterior design, you got surprised looks from other drivers when they see this small hatchback accelerating quickly past their cars.

The car had its own drawbacks, the steering feedback was limited, the suspension was on the softer side and the ICE felt like a generation old. In the long term I had plans to upgrade its suspension, however in 2015 I had to put a halt to those plans as I moved UK for work. This also meant I had to take a decision about my Polo. Selling was never an option as it was close to my heart. I even thought about shipping the car to UK with me. Eventually I decided to be sensible and to give the car to my brother back home who promised to take good care of it.

As I reached UK the big question in my mind was which car to buy. However even before I start shortlisting the cars, I had to pass a full license test (both theory and practical). An Indian license holder can drive in UK for a year from his date of entry after which he needs a UK license to drive legally. I used to work in UK in 2010 -12 so was not sure if that 1 year period was already over. (I later discovered that for a non-resident its 1 year from the date of last entry to UK). Anyway, I didn’t want to wait for a year so went ahead and applied for a license. I did my theory test, went to take driving lessons and got a Full UK license in Feb 2016.

Initially I did contemplate on getting a used car as it made the most economical sense and there were a lot of options to make the purchase exciting. The possibility of buying a Polo GT 1.4 TSi with 50% more power than the one back home was really tempting. Used car market is very matured here and so there were VWs, Audis, BMWs, Mercs, Minis, Jags listed in the used car websites. However, I would have my work cut out if I had to get something which I liked within my budget for a cash purchase. HPI checks, outstation travels for test drives, garage inspections, the list went on. Since I had to rely entirely on public transport for all these travels it wasn’t easy for me to find time for such an elaborate search. Rent-a-car option is only available for those who have held a UK license more than a year if you have one, if you are a foreigner, they will consider your non-EU license. If you have both which was my case, the former takes precedence – strange, but anyway there you go. I decided that it was better for me to get a new car. A part of me still thinks I was a bit too quick to make that decision especially given that I had once bought a used Nissan Micra in UK remotely from India – I should have tried harder.

When it came to new cars, I was happy to set a budget of £35,000 and it’s a decent amount and you have quite a lot of options in almost all the car segments to make your decision. I was sure that I would not buy a saloon (Alfa Romeo Giulia was not launched then) or an estate version of one. Somehow in my mind I wasn’t matured enough to buy a sedan. 4*4s, I didn’t really need one as I was not staying in a farm and it didn’t snow that much in England as compared to mainland Europe to justify the purchase. 4*4s are practical though, some of them can even seat 7 adults (Land Rover Discovery Sport) and many drivers like the image that a SUV brings along with it. I wasn’t keen on that yet. 2-seater coupes were another option, especially Mazda Mx5 and Toyota GT 86 (Subaru BRZ), but then with just 2 seats it wouldn’t be ideal for a small family as their sole car.

So that brought me to hatchbacks. Hatchbacks in the UK starts from a humble £5995 (Dacia Santero) to £47,000 (Mercedes AMG A45). Here one of the best parts of buying a new car is that you get to customize your car from factory. If one gets carried away with the options, the price can really go much higher from these starting prices. I have a 40-mile daily commute so buying a car with diesel engine made more sense. That ruled out my favourites BMW M135i, Mini Cooper S and VW Golf GTi.

So the task for me was to find a diesel hatchback in the market that would be an upgrade from VW Polo in terms of power, interiors and drive. If you need an all-rounder in this segment you will have to buy a VW Golf GTD, it’s the perfect family car and there is no reason why not to buy it. It’s very well built, spacious and 2.0 L diesel engine is powerful and efficient. It also had an emergency braking system that will cost you much less to insure it – that’s a huge plus if you are a new driver and like to buy a powerful car in the UK. It is the obvious choice.

If you need the same car but prefer a flashier badge, Audi A3 S Line is your choice. They probably have the best interiors in this class, and a very spacious rear bench. Mercedes A class is a bit of an interesting one. If you buy the version with the 2.0 L diesel, then you are buying a car with the best engine in its class. On the other hand, if you buy a 1.5L diesel one, you are essentially buying a Mercedes car with a Renault engine. It’s probably the least spacious and least practical in this car segment. Rear seats are cramped, and the boot opening hinders loading and unloading.

My choice was none of them, it sure met all my criteria and some more. It is special because it belongs to a breed of cars that can get extinct soon, a front engine rear wheel drive hatchback, arguably the only one on sale in the world now. We all would have driven a rear wheel drive car in our life at some point, most of the cars in the by-gone era were of that engine-drive configuration. Maybe they would not have wowed us with their performance, but the layout is one of the best for a sports car when its combined with the right power. Anyway, without much further ado, let me introduce you to my BMW F20 120D M Sport.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-13724075_10153550267271862_7931788667115942295_o.jpg
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-13662367_10153550266871862_3120793369703952830_o.jpg
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-13731037_10153550266671862_7314107333801749911_o.jpg
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Old 28th December 2018, 18:25   #3
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Default re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Buying experience
One of the good things about buying a car in UK is the option of configuring the car and making a factory order. Not sure if it favours the buyer or manufacturer. Either way I was quite excited to spec up my car. BMW UK website is quite easy to use, and anyone can go to their website and start configuring the car to check how much will it all cost. I had done a few iterations of the configuration that I would like to have so that I wouldn’t end up going just by the salesman’s word and spend a lot more than what I wanted. My preference was to have the basic kit to aid the driver in his job behind the steering wheel at the same time a top of line spec when it comes to driving experience. After all I wanted to do justice to its engine-drive layout by providing a good optional kit.

Let’s begin with the technical specification of F20 120D M Sport.
Engine: - 1995 CC Twin Power Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine
190 Bhp @ 4000 Rpm
400 NM @ 1750 Rpm

Unladen weight: - 1450 Kg.

Dimensions: -
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-bmw-f20-spec.png

The M Sport version of 120D comes with the following features as standard

Exterior: -
  • 18” light alloy wheels M Double-spoke with mixed tyres
  • Front 7.5J x 18 with 225/40 R18 tyres, rear 8J x 18 with 245/35 R18 tyres.
  • Brake discs, front and rear non-ventilated
  • Chrome exhaust tailpipe
  • Kidney grille with extra-wide Black High-gloss vertical slats
  • LED headlights, with automatic beam control
  • M Aerodynamics body styling
  • M logo on the sides
  • M Sport suspension

Interior: -
  • Ambiance lighting - switchable BMW Classic Orange / Cold White LED
  • Door sill finishers with M designation
  • Gear knob with M designation
  • Anthracite headlining
  • Hexagon cloth/Alcantara seat upholstery
  • Interior trim, Aluminium Hexagon with Estoril Blue finisher
  • M Sport multi-function leather steering wheel with Speed limiting function
  • Remote control with integrated key, with inset in Blue
  • Sport instrument cluster with Red highlight
  • Front sport seats
  • Passenger airbag deactivation.

Note that the standard features do not include parking sensors or automatic climate control functions.

The infotainment system comes with a 6.5” screen (does not have touch ). It has BMW business navigation, DAB digital radio, single CD player, Bluetooth, real time traffic information, BMW teleservices, BMW emergency call (SOS) and BMW Online services as standard.

Automatic headlight activation/levelling and rain sensors also come as standard. It does brake drying as part of this process. This is the description BMW gives to explain the ‘brake drying’ function.

“The Rain sensor also automatically starts the brake drying function, which is part of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), so that the brake pads are lightly applied at intervals, depending on the activity of the windscreen wipers. This dries the brake discs, ensuring that the brakes remain fully responsive when driving in the rain.”

As you can see the list of standard features are not very long and misses some of the basic driver aids such as parking sensors, front arm rests and auto dimming IVRM. I had to get these and hence opt for a few extras.

Following are the optional extras which I got fitted from factory.
1- Driver comfort package £550.00
a. Servotronic steering
b. Cruise control with brake function
c. Park distance control (Rear only)
2- Interior comfort package £590.00
a. Auto dimming rear view mirror
b. Extended interior light package
c. Automatic air conditioning
I listened to the standard speaker system that came along with the car and was not impressed at all. So, an upgrade was necessary.
3- BMW advanced loud speaker system £295.00
It includes seven speakers and a 205-watt amplifier along with two very high-performance central subwoofers, as well as a centre speaker which focuses the sound in front of the driver.
4- Black panel display £125.00
A high-resolution TFT display with four analogue displays for speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge and oil temperature along with other information such as navigation tips, operational messages and vehicle information messages (low windscreen wiper fluid).
5- Speed Limit display £250.00
This includes a camera integrated into the rear-view mirror that collects information on all relevant traffic signs and compares them with the navigation system. The system can even correctly display variable speed limits in some situations, for example in wet weather, road works, average speed restrictions or time dependant speed restrictions.
6- Adaptive M Sport suspension £515.00
This requires a much more detailed description;
The Adaptive M Sport suspension sets the ride height ten millimetres lower and enables the driver to experience the car’s dynamic potential. I can adjust the driving characteristics to enable whichever driving style is most appealing to me depending on the time, place or even mood – from comfort to sport+. Depending on the selected setting, the Adaptive M Sport Suspension's electrically controlled dampers calibrate road conditions within fractions of a second. It also uses numerous sensors which measure wheel vibrations, vehicle speed, road conditions etc. to achieve optimal damping.

The COMFORT mode ensures exceptionally comfortable driving by making uneven road surfaces almost completely imperceptible.
The SPORT mode offers a sportier suspension with noticeably tighter damper settings. You can experience it explicitly when you make the switch on the move.
The Sport+ mode offers outstanding driving dynamics along with more spontaneous response from the steering and drive train. The DTC function (Dynamic Traction Control) is activated, which allows more wheel-slip on the drive wheels.
Note that this doesn't completely disable the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) function; instead it intervenes much later to ensure the vehicle remains stable.
This is the best 515£ I spent on this car and for what it offers it’s not very expensive at that price point. Just for comparison -a full set of B6 dampers for a VW Polo 6R costs around 450£.

7- BMW service package £475.00
I think this option was a no-brainer. Servicing a BMW can be expensive, this package can offset the cost to an extent. Following items are covered under this for 5 years or 50,000 miles whichever happens earlier.
• Oil service
• Renew engine oil and oil filter
• Renew microfilter(s)
• Renew air-conditioning microfilter / activated charcoal container
• Renew air filter(s)
• Renew spark plugs (petrol models only)
• Renew fuel filter (diesel models only)
So that’s £2800.00 worth optional extras.
The ex-showroom price of the car was £27452.50
That made the total bill £30252.50

I paid the deposit and an order was sent to the factory with the spec and I was told that the car would be ready in 3 weeks’ time. After 3 weeks, I was asked to come to the showroom and do a PDI just to be sure before they get the car registered on to my name. It all went smoothly, and we fixed an appointment for 28th of June 2016 3:30PM for the delivery of the car.

This was the first time I was taking the delivery of a brand-new car from the showroom.I must admit the experience was very pleasant. My sales executive along with his lead escorted us into a room where the car was presented in all its glory on a rotating platform ready to be driven off. We took some ‘Indian sweets’ for them and they gave a flower bouquet to my wife and a M badged key chain with carbon fibre inserts to me. Sales executive explained me the different features of the car and soon we were on our way home.

The first ever view of my 1 series on the day of PDi.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img_0672-2.jpg

BMW delivery experience suite
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img_0685.jpg

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 28th December 2018 at 21:50.
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Old 28th December 2018, 19:24   #4
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Default re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

The review

Design: -
In the world of large German hatchbacks, the current generation VW Golf (MK VII)’s design can be described as conventional with its clean lines and no nonsense looks, similar to its younger sibling VW Polo, slightly more bland. Mercedes A class (W176) looks like something designed by an Italian (The designer of A Class is a Brit Mark Fetherston) and it looked nothing like its predecessors and IMO wins the trophy for the best looking of the three.

BMW 1 Series doesn’t look anything like the other two. It is designed to make an impression that it means business and it is serious about being sporty. The bonnet is long to accommodate the twin turbo 2 L longitudinally mounted engine (or a 3L straight 6-cylinder petrol engine) The rear tyres are wider at 245 compared to the 225 at the front, both on 18” wheels. Probably makes sense as you need that extra mm of rubber to provide more traction at the rear axle as it tries to push the car ahead with 400NM of torque.

The LED headlamps are standard in the M sport variant. The LED lights taper slightly inwards but doesn’t meet the familiar BMW kidney grills. The slats on the grill are wide and have a gloss black finish. The bumper has large air intakes and has fog lamps incorporated on its either end. The general theme of sportiness continues as you move to the rear of the car. The rear tail lights are wider, and the bumper has diffuser in gloss grey. I am big fan of those diffusers, I guess a rear diffuser gives completeness to any car which claims to look sporty. I wanted to retrofit a GTi bumper in my Polo GT back home, it never happened, but I am glad the 1 series came with one as standard.

Even though I love the current design of the 1 series, it was not always the case. I didn’t like the E87 when it was launched in 2004, neither did I like the front end of F20 prior to facelift. The headlamps were too tapered for my liking. The rear was still ok but the wider taillights on the current ones makes it looks more matured. You can see from the photo below, how much the simple change of headlamp has made the car look better from the front.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-bmw-f20-front-end.png


Interior Design.
Coming to the interiors, I love the simple layout. There is no beige, and that’s a good thing. The ‘aluminium hexagon interior trim with blue finish’ which runs through the dash help break the monotony of the black dash. The driver focused central console is adorned with piano black finish and gives it an upmarket feel that this car deserves. It even has CD player – something most of the car manufacturers these days omit which I think is a real shame. After all we all like to have at least one audio CD of our favourite artist with us. The centre console is neatly laid out, it has all the expected controls at your hand’s reach such as A/C controls, rear/front window demister, traffic information button, favourites, skip songs and automatic climate control knobs. Those dummy switches there would have been used for heated seats activation if I had spent 295£ extra for that optional extra.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0491.jpg

Almost all the materials except for a few which are further out of reach are made of soft touch plastic materials. M badged gear knob, M badged steering wheel, M badged door stills all are made of extremely high quality materials. I love the steering wheel on the M sport version of BMW cars. There is no flat bottom gimmick here. Steering ‘wheels’ are supposed to be round, and BMW gives you the steering in the shape it is supposed to be. Talking about steering wheels, I guess the one which comes with other BMW trims doesn’t look all that great. I like the Polo steering more than those ones. However, I must admit I am not so impressed with the aluminium finished M sport insert on the steering wheel which squeaks when you press it hard. Not sure if it’s built to last - will have to wait and see.

The plastic used on the door pads especially on the lower part are hard and scratchy. Even though front door pockets can hold 2L bottles easily there are no felt linings in the door pockets something which would have stopped coins and other small objects moving around. It’s after all BMW’s cheapest car on sale so maybe the accountants were tight on spending.

The alcantara-cloth finished seats are one of the car’s best features. Alcantara is something which I like more than normal leather (Again I wanted to get that in my VW Polo). It doesn’t get cold or hot as much as leather/artificial leather and that was one of the reasons why I didn’t opt for the heated seats. And since I have survived one winter with this car, I guess I was right and have saved 295£. Driver seat has adjustable lumbar support and both driver and passenger seats have extra thigh support. The seating itself is quite low in a BMW compared to any other car that I have driven. I think this low seating position compliments the ultimate driving experience that BMW promises with its cars. It is not very difficult to find a comfortable and safe driving position with its adjustable seat and steering column.

Space: -
Let’s not beat around the bush here, BMW 1 series is not a spacious car in this segment by any means. It’s not too bad at the front with my very average built but it gets bad as you slip into the rear seats, it can hardly accommodate 3 adults abreast with any amount of comfort for a long drive. Not enough knee room or head room when compared to Audi A3 or VW Golf. But not as bad as a Mercedes A class. It can seat 2 adults and a kid comfortably, 2 adults with a child seat would be pushing it. The hump doesn’t make it easy for the middle passenger to sit comfortably. The boot is of decent size; Seats up 360 litres and Seats down 1,200 litres, that’s 20 litres less than VW Golf with its seats up and 70 less seats down. The boot opening is wider than a Mercedes A class and it’s easy to load and unload items from the boot.

Boot also comes with a 12V power source, hooks to hold your super market bags and a net to secure small items and stop them from moving around.
Since M Sport comes with RF tyres, there is no spare wheel in the boot. Probably have got more space due to this. I am sure if the drive was not at the rear wheel there would have been even more space at the boot.

Audio: -
As I mentioned before, I opted for an upgraded BMW advanced speaker system and it comes with subwoofer and amplifier. It didn’t sound that extra special in those initial days and I was nearly disappointed. But after a couple of weeks, the sound system really came into life. I am not an expert, but I guess it’s to do with speakers breaking in. The sound was crisp and did not have any distortions. Somebody who is upgrading from a stock VW polo sound system, this was really a huge improvement. However, I think the head unit has a mind of itself when it comes to sound output. It is better when I connect it to my Spotify or Apple music than when it’s on DAB digital radio. May be there is some tick box which needs to be ticked for this to be sorted out? I haven’t done much investigation on this because I am quite happy with the overall performance and I tend to use Apple music to listen to my favourite tracks. I probably should have invested in upgrading the system to a ‘BMW professional navigation system’. I once drove a BMW 430D M sport with the said set up and the audio was much clear, and the bass was more ‘powerful’ than what I had in mine.

Connected drive: -
iDrive and connected drive system; they are class leading. Let’s begin with the 6.5” screen, the resolution is much better than what you have in an Audi or a Mercedes A class. The standard one in A class uses a Garmin system and it doesn’t look OEM at all. The iDrive is extremely user friendly and possibly the only feature in a BMW which every single ‘professional car reviewer’ praise. There is a lot of truth in this because using the system with iDrive is quite intuitive and I have always found the function that I want without any struggle.

When I bought the car, there was no option for an Apple car play to be added to the system which is a bit of shame as I remember VW and Audi were giving them as optional extras. I don’t miss the car play a lot as the system connects with my iPhone almost seamlessly. You can choose a variety of different apps through BMW connected app from the Apple app store. I miss google maps but that is ok as BMW connected drive comes with real time traffic information as standard. It’s quite a smart system as it suggests you alternate routes if there is a traffic congestion ahead. May be its not as quick as your google maps and in that aspect, I probably miss that.

For those apps which are integrated with the connected drive system it’s easy to choose what you want the app to do from the system controls. For example in Spotify, you can select albums, search for tracks, save tracks, choose favourites and do almost everything that the Spotify app on your mobile lets you. I tend to use Apple Music more and it’s not as integrated into the car as Spotify is, again would have been resolved if BMW bothered to offer car play.

The system also allows you to find cheapest fuel outlets, parking space, hotels, trending news etc. Some of these features may work better on a smartphone and make the one in the car redundant. But at least I have found the fuel outlet and parking space search quite useful when out on the road.

One thing that BMW lacks in its entertainment system is a touch screen. In today’s world almost every single gadget that you are used to has a touch feature. Even though the iDrive is good enough for almost all the functions that you would use in this car while on the move, there are times when you die to have a touch screen which would reduce the number of clicks / touches to choose a function.

Front door pockets, can easily hold my 750ml water bottle.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-4.jpg

Left steering wheel stalk.
Has side indicators, BC ( Board-computer. option to go through various data on the instrument console) and full beam.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0462-2.jpg

Right steering wheel stalk.
Activate auto viper option, rear wiper, activate washer option.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0463-2.jpg

Headlight control, auto and manual. Front and back fog light.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0464-2.jpg

Driver instrument console
The place you want to be in a car. Nothing fancy compared to the Audi's virtual cockpit or Merc's MBUX system. But has all the information that a normal driver would need.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-15.jpg
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-16.jpg

Cruise control on the left of the steering wheel.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0466_1.jpg

Volume control, switch between various audio sources, change radio stations and audio commands. (Never got the audio command to work as expected)
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0467_1.jpg

Storage under the front arm rest, usb connectors and aux input.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-18.jpg

Engine stop/ start button and Auto engine switch off/on activate button. I know many fellow Bhpians get annoyed with this, but I have never deactivated it. While waiting at a set of traffic lights, or when stuck in traffic I really like the engine to switch off. It definitely improves the fuel efficiency, at least Tiff Needell experienced it in his tests.

It can also improve air quality in cities where there is a lot of stationary traffic. At least its better than idling your engine while being stationary.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0469.jpg

Lever to open the bonnet.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0470.jpg

Rear a/c vents and 12v adapter.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0473.jpg

Storage behind driver's seat.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0478.jpg

Side airbags.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0476.jpg

Not so spacious rear seat.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-2.jpg

Decent size rear boot.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-7.jpg

The display on the infotainment, when you connect your phone with the car using usb cable.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-20.jpg

Other apps that you can be used to play music.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-21.jpg

Options while you play a track from Spotify.
(One does not need a premium subscription to access these options)
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-22.jpg

Options for radio. I am huge fan of DAB, you get almost all the stations and found the quality to be better than FM.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-27.jpg

Apps to access radio.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-28.jpg

Options from connected drive.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-29.jpg
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-30.jpg
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-31.jpg
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-32.jpg

Switches to quickly access various audio sources, radio, navigation and main menu.
The famous rotary control switch, use this to navigate through the different options on the infotainment system. You get a better rotary control if you upgrade to professional navigation system. That is part of a £795.00 media package.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-42.jpg

Option to call SOS when in trouble and controls for interior lights.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-34.jpg

Switch to deactivate passenger airbag.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0471.jpg

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 28th December 2018 at 21:44.
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Old 29th December 2018, 00:22   #5
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Default re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Driving experience: -
In my opinion there are three key things that can make or break the driving experience in a car. They are the engine, suspension and the transmission. Good tyres and a steering wheel which offers excellent feedback are going to compliment this experience.

So, let’s start with Engine.
Yes, ideally you should have the mighty 3.0L 6-cylinder petrol engine, but my yearly estimated mileage of 12,000 – 15,000 miles means that I will be better off with a diesel than a petrol. This 2 litre diesel isn’t slouch at all, with around 190 bhp and a whopping 400 NM of torque, it can reach 62 Mph in 7.2 seconds and go further till it reaches the top speed of 142 mph. I haven’t had the chance to test that yet, I might have to travel to Germany to do that legally on public roads. In the real world, all this means is that you can set off from a set of traffic lights swiftly, do quick overtakes on country roads and reach motorway speeds without holding anybody up. The fact that this engine is used in a 3 Series, 5 Series and even X3 just explains how versatile and torquey this engine is. In the BMW line up, cars with this engine might have the numbers when it comes to sales.

BMW F20 comes with B47 series of engine after they gave a technical upgrade to their N47. BMW call it Twin Power turbo, the word twin has caused quite a lot of confusion and some trouble for BMW in the form of law suits. Not all Twin Power turbo comes with two turbos. Twin power only mean that the exhaust gases from a cylinder pair is fed through to the turbine using channels with different diameter. This results in excellent engine response at both low and high rpm. BMW 120D comes with 140Kw (188 bhp) version of this engine. This new engine is better than the N47 it replaces as it is EU6 compliant and depending on model and gearbox choice fuel consumption is 0.1 to 0.4 litres/km less than the N47 generation despite better power and torque delivery throughout the rev range. B47 engines offers better thermal insulation and this help the engine warm up faster and retain the heat. BMW claim the engine could be as much as 10C warmer the morning after it's been used. So, it’s less prone to soot creation which can lead to DPF clogging up and affecting performance if the car is used for small journeys, a major problem in previous models.

Suspension.
It's an M Sport version, it comes by default with a stiffer and a lower suspension. The body roll is almost non-existent, but the ride is slightly unsettling which can make the rear seat passengers feel sick on uneven road surfaces, hence I opted for ‘Adaptive M sport suspension’ for a good £515.00 which my sales executive felt was unnecessary. But I was sure it was going to make all the difference when it came to the driving experience. This magical option gives the car a lot of sensors to keep the dampness just right which will ensure the optimum road contact and traction depending on the selected driving mode.

In the comfort mode the car manages to glide over the bumps and undulations on the road. It’s not very plush I have to admit, you would still feel the bigger bumps and the car makes you feel you are in a sporty car than a luxurious tourer. In sports mode though things change quite dramatically, the suspension stiffens up and you get more confidence to negotiate corners. The transition can be made on the fly and that makes it even more usable in your day to day driving environment. You can choose the sports mode as you enter a country road from a main motorway to make your driving more engaging. The sports+ mode which I use only in very special occasions makes the car’s response a bit more dramatic. You get a bit of wheel spin as the dynamic traction control is activated, you can get caught out unaware if you are not careful. On the public roads you got to be very responsible and careful in this mode as it can keep you on the edge when you are negotiating a long curve or a simple round about. If you accelerate too quickly out of the bend or the round-about and if the roads are slippery due to light snow or heavy rain you can risk sliding. In this mode the DSC kicks in only in the very last minute which allows you to have good fun with the car if you are good in using the steering wheel and accelerator. But it’s very easy to make mistakes especially when the roads are slippery due to snow/ice or even an oil spill.
However, say you are in a private road or a deserted car park, you can choose this mode and have lots of fun sliding around without being a nuisance to other road users or violating the law. Its brilliant, especially when you have never experienced this before. Last time when it snowed, I went to a deserted car park and had good fun doing quite the same. You can go drifting around in circles for as long as you want in such places. Well I tried not to overdo it as I dint want to alert the sleepy residents, but whatever I did was good enough to keep a grin on my face for a long time.

Driving modes.
Explaining the driving experience of this car will not be complete if I do not mention the different modes of driving the car offers. The car has essentially 4 modes; Eco drive --> Comfort --> Sport --> Sport+.
Eco drive offers the most economic drives of the lot and understandably boring. When you choose this mode the suspension loosens, the accelerator gets less responsive and the steering gets less direct. Its best suited if you are planning to drive on the motorway at a constant 70-75 MPH. The instantaneous MPH goes 10-15% higher for the same speed and road conditions. Don’t expect to do any overtaking manoeuvres or quick accelerations in this mode. In real world conditions it can give you the best results if its less traffic on the road and you are not in any hurry to reach the destination. In winter when the temperature dip below 5 degrees this mode can help you gain some economy that you may otherwise lose in your normal mode (comfort). I do tend to use this mode when stuck in city traffic or when I am leisurely cruising on the motorway.

Comfort mode is the one that you would end up using most of the time. It probably mimics the normal driving that you expect from a car but only better. It doesn’t do anything out of ordinary or dramatic. It glides over bumps and go around corner with very less body roll. The steering wheel gives decent feedback and the accelerator is responsive. Don’t mistake it for a slow couch though, you can accelerate quickly and reach motorway speeds without any effort. The power delivery helps you keep up with most of the cars on the outer lane. This makes it suited for rush hour motorway and city commutes. In fact you can use it pretty much in any driving condition and that makes it your everyday drive mode.

Sports mode, well this is the real deal. The car takes a completely different character in this mode, it transforms from a relaxing cruiser to something very athletic that the tag M-Sport is worthy of. The suspension firms up, the steering wheel becomes well weighted and the steering starts to give a more direct feedback. This is the mode that you should ideally have when you are driving in the picturesque English country sides. It really is addictive the drive experience that this mode offers. It makes the car extremely responsive to steering and accelerator inputs and that is amazing. Since the suspension is firmed up it can go around the bends much faster. In my daily commute to work I use this mode driving up a slip road to join the motorway as it helps to quickly accelerate to 70 Mph and merge into the traffic. Even though it won’t make much sense using this on a sedate motorway drive, it would if you are keen to make some quick overtaking manoeuvres to drive past a set of slow trucks or caravan drivers. One thing that is very important while using this mode is the level of concentration that you should have on the road, as the car responds much quicker than what it does in the comfort mode.

Sports+ does everything that the car does in sports mode but makes the whole experience very exciting. You will feel that you are on the edge and the car commands the respect it deserves. If you overstep beyond your abilities, you are very likely to end up inside a ditch on the edge of the road. But if you respect the car and what it’s capable of doing, this is the most playful of the modes and the fact that it’s a real wheel drive car accentuates the experience by a huge margin.

Transmission.
The best word that can be used to describe the BMW manual transmission is ‘rubbery’. It is precise, has a short throw but the way the gear lever slots the gear gives a rubbery feedback. From what I read, I gather that it has been the case always. I wouldn’t be wrong if I give more marks to Polo gear shift than to that of 1 series. Good thing is that you get used to it and the feedback gets better over time. On the bright side, having a manual transmission gives you an opportunity to do rev matching, which I am a huge fan of. You will have to use your own skills to get it right in comfort mode, but in Sports and Sports+ the car does it for you which I think is quite flattering as a driver.

Conclusion.
When BMW use the phrase ‘Ultimate driving machine’ or ‘Sheer driving pleasure’ to market its cars, the expectation is huge for a buyer. Even though one may not have driven all the best cars in the world to do an honest comparison and arrive at a verdict, it’s fair to say the BMW 1 series doesn’t disappoint. Sure, on a race track Honda Civic Type R is going to be faster and on a drag strip an Audi S3 or a VW Golf Type R will outpace the M140i. To add insult to injury, mine is neither the most powerful in the range nor it is the fastest due to its manual gear box. But if you are after a car that is understated, enjoys shifting gears the old fashion way and wants a dose of excitement every time you go around a corner then BMW 1series is the one you would want to buy. And if you want to find one reason why the car is so good in delivering such a great driving experience, and stands out from the rest of the hatchbacks, you will find a front engine rear wheel drive layout.

2 Litre Twin power turbo engine.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-5.jpg

Bonnet is really packed in this BMW.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-6.jpg

Driving mode selector on the central console.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-43.jpg

Blue colour gives a clue.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-40.jpg

I hope silver colour means something less exciting, but definitely not boring.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-39.jpg

Ah red, it has to be exciting, and it indeed is.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-38.jpg

Its exciting, but with a note and a warning on the dash. You need to respect the car in this mode, else you can get the car on its roof.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-41.jpg

6 speed manual gear selector; its precise, short throw, but a bit rubbery.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-44.jpg

Sporty drivers seat finished in an alcantara-cloth finish.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0480.jpg

Seat adjustment and lumbar support
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0482.jpg

VIN number, manufacturing date, kerb weight etc.
I took the delivery of the car end of June, so the car did not have much waiting around after build.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0484.jpg

The key information regarding tyre size and pressure.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0485.jpg

Glove box.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0488.jpg

Black dash board with gloss black inserts and hexagonal aluminium trim with Estroil blue finisher.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0489.jpg

Lever to adjustment steering wheel.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0492.jpg

Microphone for bluetooth telephone connection.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0496.jpg

TPMS on the infotainment system. It needs resetting after a refill and it can take a few minutes to complete.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img_0775.jpg

12v socket in the boot.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0464.jpg

Central console.
Top row, from left.
Mode - to select various audio sources
TP - Traffic information from various local radio stations.
Volume control, mute entertainment button.
Pre-select radio stations. If you hover you hand over individual numbers, the infotainment screen displays the station name in case you forgot.
Skip station left and right.
CD input slot and eject button.

Bottom row, from left.
Dummy switch as heated front seats were not selected.
Blower to front windscreen, dual zone automatic climate control (left side), rear demister, blower off, manual over ride of automatic climate control, automatic air re-circulation and A/C switch on/ off button.

My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0490.jpg

In Sports and Sports+ mode one can configure the setting to effect the Chassis, Drivetrain or both.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img1623.jpg

Warnings lights to make you aware when you switch the driving mode to Sports+.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img1624.jpg

Display on the instrument console while you switch between driving modes.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img1625.jpg

Speed limit display, this was an option worth having at 200£. There is a camera that will pick up all regulatory road signs (Red circular signs or signs with red rings).
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img1627.jpg

Navigate to vehicle info and you have all the materials to do a good research on this car.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img1632.jpg

Owners handbook.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-img1633.jpg

There are a few angles from which I don't really like the looks of the car. But this isn't one of them. Notice the twin exhaust, externally it differentiates the car from the 2.0L 150 Hp 118D, and the 1.5L 116Hp.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0906.jpg

BMW led lights, front.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0922.jpg

Rear.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0927.jpg

Connected drive sensors and the camera.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0926.jpg

This is a sight that brightens up my day every morning.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0400.jpg

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 11th January 2019 at 01:27.
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Old 9th January 2019, 03:14   #6
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Default re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

As mentioned in the thread topic I have owned this car for around 2.5 years and have driven more than 36500 miles. Below is a summary of my experience of owning and living with the 1 series as a daily drive.

Is the car reliable?
Yes it is reliable. I have taken the car to the service center only twice for anything other than normal servicing. First it was for a squeak from the rear hatch. Apparently it’s a known issue with BMW F20s and most of the forums blame it on the rear hatch locking mechanism. BMW was able to resolve it in a day. Second issue was momentary loss on power which was also resolved in a day. They tend not to tell you the reason, but I guess it was the EGR valve that caused the issue. I am surprised though, the updates done to B47 engine should have stopped the clogging of EGR valve!

I had a puncture on the front right tyre and I was asked to replace it as repairing it would not be safe. RF tyres are expensive, but as they were run flats, I was able to continue the journey than getting stuck on motorway hard shoulder. It's definitely more convenient and arguably safer and so a fair trade off, considering the RF model of the 18" tyres are only 40£ more than the normal tyres.
Talking about tyres, never had to do a wheel alignment in the past 2.5 years, the wear has always been even. In the VW Polo, I had to do the wheel alignment every 5000 kms, so this came as a surprise.

How fuel efficient is the car in real life?
The claimed mixed fuel efficiency for this car is 61.4 Mpg, the average that I have got over the period of my ownership is 48.45 which is roughly 21% below the claimed. I use an excel sheet to record the fill ups and below is a graph of that data.
The graph plots fuel efficiency over fuel fill up dates and odometer reading. Some of the fill ups are missing, but still you get an idea. One thing to note is the sharp drop of fuel efficiency by 10-15% when the outside temperature dips below 5 degrees. Long motorway journeys on the other hand helps improve fuel efficiency, an improvement of 10-15%.
As of September 2018, all manufacturers are legally bound to display fuel efficiency which are obtained under the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). I can see that the figures claimed for this engine and the tune is 47.1Mpg - 48.7Mpg which reflects the figures that I am managing in my daily drives.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-annotation-20190101-194453.jpg

How is BMW service?
My experience so far has been really good. The center that I use is really busy, but they do take pride in giving an excellent service to its customers. Any feedback is taken on board and they try to make changes wherever possible. A courtesy car is a norm when you drop your car for service.


How is the infotainment system?
Well as mentioned before, it has a mind of its own when it comes to the sound output. I am not sure if its an issue with the head unit or the speakers. But when it works well it’s absolutely wonderful. It used to bother me before, but these days I normally tune in to the news channel or podcasts, so it doesn’t matter. A couple of times in the past it has taken more than a few minutes to load the navigation, I have reported that issue last time I went to the service center, they said they tried do some ‘tweaks’, not really sure if it resolved the issue.

What annoys me the most in the car.
On a cold dark wintery morning, it feel like ages before the car gets warm. To be fair its only 5 minutes in real time, but it can feel a lot more. Probably heated seats would have offset this.

What I like the most in the car.
There are two things which I like the most in this car.
1- Rear wheel drive, if it wasn't I would have as well bought a Vauxhall Astra TDi.
2- Rev matching done for you by the car in sports and sports+ mode.
The days of heel and toe and rev matching are numbered though, as more manufacturers ditch the manual gearbox in favour of automatic in their high powered cars.

How does the car feel to drive in Snow? Or when the weather becomes nasty?
Scary!! I think only thing that is scarier is aquaplaning.
End of February 2018 cold winds from Siberia hit the U.K and the whole country almost came to a standstill. It snowed and temperatures fell much below the freezing. One day on my way to work it started snowing quite heavily, within a few minutes there was at least half a feet of snow on the road. To avoid traffic, I took a country road which in hindsight was a bad move. The traffic was almost at a standstill on this road. Every time I tried to move off the car from a standstill, the rear axle would start spinning and the car would slide around even at the slightest change of elevation. I had to switch off the stability control and be really gentle with the accelerator to stop the car from spinning around and crashing onto the kerb or vehicles behind. To be honest an X drive would have made no difference whatsoever as there was an X3 a few vehicles ahead of me spinning around as much or even worse than me. If winter and snow is really a concern, the only solution is to invest in a set of winter tyres.

Luckily I haven't experienced aquaplaning yet, but its there at the back of my mind every time I drive in rain. It's very dangerous and if you are unlucky to experience one, there isn't much you can do other than hoping for the best. I try to slow down when it rains and look ahead for anything on the road for clues for puddles or standing water.

Aquaplaning and BMW 1 series, I cant help but post the below video.



Any option that I wished had added?
Obviously heated seats would have been nice. Professional media package and HK speakers would have made the music sound consistent.

Buying diesel, was it the right decision?
I feel like it was the right decision whenever I fill up the car. Like it or not diesel is fuel efficient and it has immense amount of torque too. The modern diesels are cleaner than the older ones. This diesel engine has less clatter than the Audis or the Mercs. However, when you are on a leisurely Sunday drive, you do miss the lovely grunt and the crackling of a straight 6 cylinder under the BMW M140i. Sometimes I think I should have bought the M140i instead of 120D, with my sort of driving I could have managed 35Mpg on my daily drive to work and enjoyed the occasional blast whenever I wanted, Sigh!
Mind you petrol can be up to 10-11p cheaper here in the UK compared to diesel, so buying the M140i may not have been a bad idea after all, ah well.

How is the build-quality?
I was concerned before as there were some trims which squeaked when you put pressure on them. Some badges felt they were destined to come off, it would have been a shame if it did. However, I am happy to report that all the trims are still in place and except for the hatch rattle, there hasn’t been any issues related to build quality, yet.

Any accessories ?
Not sure if I can call it an accessory, but I have invested in a dash cam, Viofo A119S. It's a single channel dash cam and records videos upto 1080P /60fps videos. I haven't hardwired it, its connected to the 12v under the front passenger dashboard. I have posted the links for 2 videos from my daily drives.
Warning:- You may see impatient drivers in the videos.






A few more photos from my ownership.
Chatsworth House parking.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0200.jpg

On our way to Ben-Nevis.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0222.jpg

Scottish highlands.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0218-2.jpg

Wales, after watching WRC GB leg, 2016.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0397.jpg

When it snowed in 2017.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0691.jpg

When it snowed in 2018, a deep freeze than snow.


Puddle lamps in action.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0775.jpg

Front right tyre, deeper threads as it was replaced after the puncture.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-dsc_0841.jpg

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 11th January 2019 at 01:05.
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Old 12th January 2019, 07:12   #7
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Long-term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th January 2019, 07:38   #8
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

This is what a BMW should look like, compact, manual gears, basic and fun. If the 1 Series is brought back to India this time, I'd definitely take a look.

Having said that, BMW build quality is going down, specially the creaks and groans on the dashboard and panels are becoming notorious, which I've found in almost any older BMW I've driven. Audi is definitely 2 leagues up in build quality, and I don't even like Audi.

This 1 Series looks good from the outside, unlike its previous version which just looked quirky. Hope there is better legroom at the back as well. Even I would've suggested that you take the petrol over the diesel, since the 1 is bought mostly for driving fun anyway, the torque from petrol is instant and that is required since it is paired to a manual shifter.

Nevertheless, you've got a car which is a rarity these days, short-wheelbase, compact, and RWD which combines into a quick, effortless driving experience. Keep it forever. The clutch is THE best part of driving a car, DSGs and ZF's be damned.
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Old 13th January 2019, 05:37   #9
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

I was not a fan of the BMW 1 series till I went through all of this thread. That is a lot of information shared and thanks a lot! A RWD hatchback with a stiff suspension and a manual gearbox in this era is truly a dream for many of us. Enjoy your car and wish you many miles of happiness.

Off topic: I was planning to start a meet thread in the UK as there seems to be quite a lot of bhpians here!
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Old 13th January 2019, 09:51   #10
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Nice review and well written . This forum probably needs a BMW 1 series thread.I have the pre-LCI small petrol engine and really love the drive . It's running an MHD flash tune though.
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Old 14th January 2019, 18:06   #11
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Beautiful car and a lovely write up to go with it. Sadly BMW was never serious about the 1 Series in India. I think the 118D was the only option given in our market. The facelift looks really good, like a proper fun BMW of old. Very sad that they are ditching the RWD layout for the new one.

Surprised you bought the diesel + manual combo. Should have bought the M135i and skimped on options . BMW 6 cylinder petrol in a RWD hatch makes me drool! You tube car reviewer, Matt Watson is always critical of BMW manuals and their offset pedals in RHD cars.

Just one query, you mention servotronic steering as one of the options. What does this mean and what do you get otherwise?
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Old 15th January 2019, 01:08   #12
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

Very well put review with all important statistics. The car looks amazing and although the interiors might look a bit dated as compared to competition but BMW is a class apart.

I clearly recall last year's Beast from the East when we were completely snowed in. Public transport was complete chaos. Compared to last year, there is no sign of snow in this year. I have heard of this aquaplaning issue in RWD vehicles but what you have mentioned is really scary!

All the very best with your new car and wish you loads of happiness!

Cheers!
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Old 15th January 2019, 03:02   #13
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

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Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
This is what a BMW should look like, compact, manual gears, basic and fun....

Having said that, BMW build quality is going down....

This 1 Series looks good from the outside....

Nevertheless, you've got a car which is a rarity these days, short-wheelbase, compact, and RWD which combines into a quick, effortless driving experience. Keep it forever. The clutch is THE best part of driving a car, DSGs and ZF's be damned.
Thank you dark.knight, I just agree with every single world you have mentioned there, about how a BMW should be, how BMW have a build quality that is quite low compared to the likes of Audi and Mercedes, and how difficult is it to convince one's self to like an Audi. However, these days BMW has started to follow the trend of other car companies and make cars which are more appealing to their accountants than the drivers and I am finding it hard to digest the looks of new BMW cars and SUVs. I also agree on your take on manual gearboxes as well. ZFs and DSGs are faster, more efficient and produce less C02 compared to the manual ones. But there is a certain charm, something that gives the feeling that you are in control when you change gears in a manual. Very soon though all that will become a thing of past especially in cars with high powered engines.

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I was not a fan of the BMW 1 series till I went through all of this thread. That is a lot of information shared and thanks a lot! A RWD hatchback with a stiff suspension and a manual gearbox in this era is truly a dream for many of us. Enjoy your car and wish you many miles of happiness.

Off topic: I was planning to start a meet thread in the UK as there seems to be quite a lot of bhpians here!
Oh thank you so much BlackPearl, it's a good car and deserves a lot of praise than what it gets in the press. The biggest pain is the space at the rear, its quite difficult for 3 adults or even 2 tall adults to travel for long distance in the rear.

Yes I think we should, please go ahead and start a thread to catch the attention of the members. If we know the locations of the members we should be able to find a place and decide on a date for the meet.

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Originally Posted by shrjun View Post
Nice review and well written . This forum probably needs a BMW 1 series thread.I have the pre-LCI small petrol engine and really love the drive . It's running an MHD flash tune though.
Thank you Shrjun. Wow that's pretty cool, is it the 114i? How much extra bhp were you able to squeeze out after the tune?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Beautiful car and a lovely write up to go with it. Sadly BMW was never serious about the 1 Series in India...

Surprised you bought the diesel + manual combo. Should have bought the M135i and skimped on options . BMW 6 cylinder petrol in a RWD hatch makes me drool! You tube car reviewer, Matt Watson is always critical of BMW manuals and their offset pedals in RHD cars.

Just one query, you mention servotronic steering as one of the options. What does this mean and what do you get otherwise?
I agree BMW was not serious about the 1 series in India. I guess one reason may be the lack of interest for a luxury hatchback. That said Mercedes sold more A class than one would expect.
Yea they are ditching the RWD layout in their F40, but they are going to sell it in huge numbers, as it will be more spacious than the current one and the added practicality would appeal to many small families. Apparently one of the surveys BMW did revealed that a large proportion of the 1 series owners did not know if the car was RWD.
Yes I have seen Mat's videos and I do like his reviews. But, I am not sure about the offset, never noticed it.

Servotronic essentially makes the steering react differently at speeds under 20 and over 20 kmph. It makes it very light at very low speeds making parking and slow speed manovoures effortless. When you are on the motorway it weighs up and that makes the drive steadier. By standard I think its a normal power steering, servotronic steering has become part of the standard fitment now and so I cant verify that. A pic from BMW website trying to explain servotronic.
My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)-capture1.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountMe91 View Post
Very well put review with all important statistics. The car looks amazing and although the interiors might look a bit dated as compared to competition but BMW is a class apart.
I clearly recall last year's Beast from the East when we were completely snowed in. Public transport was complete chaos. Compared to last year, there is no sign of snow in this year. I have heard of this aquaplaning issue in RWD vehicles but what you have mentioned is really scary!
All the very best with your new car and wish you loads of happiness!
!
Thank you CountMe91, I agree the interiors feel a bit dated especially after the recent updates to Mercedes A class. Oh yea beast from east almost grounded the country to a complete halt. RWD with wide tyres is not going to help when you hit a large area of standing water at motorway speed, the best solution is to slow down and take it easy.

I agree with all of you who mentioned that I should have bought the petrol 6cyl with a manual gearbox. It would have made even more sense as the 6cyl petrol offer decent fuel efficiency and I would have even got my hands on a M140i with the upgraded B58 engine as it was launched around the time when I was in the market for a new car. May be exchange my 120D for a used M140i ? Well let's see what Brexit brings .

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 15th January 2019 at 03:13.
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Old 15th January 2019, 04:44   #14
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Default Re: My RWD hatchback; BMW 1-Series (120d M-Sport F20)

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Originally Posted by rejoycjohn View Post
Thank you Shrjun. Wow that's pretty cool, is it the 114i? How much extra bhp were you able to squeeze out after the tune?
it's the F20 116i.The MHD tune is supposed to bring it up to 210 bhp.
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