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The stunning 1 Series

The stunning 1 Series
Highlights

The all new BMW 1 Series’ tryst with Indian roads has been fulfilled. We take a closer look at how much prepared BMW is, and what 1 series is...

The all new BMW 1 Series’ tryst with Indian roads has been fulfilled. We take a closer look at how much prepared BMW is, and what 1 series is all about.


Augustin Kurian
Launching a car in India is a supreme challenge, for India is a country which breaks all the conventional thoughts of roads, traffic and drive. Again for BMW to launch its cheapest car in India was that kind of a challenge. Its success still remains uncertain, but the 1 series remains assuredly urbane and affable.
The first impression 1 series made to Indian was superior, the vehicle spoke for itself with a blatant confirmation of a fine German engineering alchemy. It certainly combined all the elements and characteristics. The vehicle underwent multiple changes making the 1 series redundant in the global automotive market, but for Indians this is just new and unique. And in India, undoubtedly it will definitely not look like a regular hatchback but will stand out from the crowd on the busiest of roads (like most Indian roads) with an independent and modern appearance with sporty proportions.
On the exteriors, it has suave contours, an archetypal BMW design grill in a kidney shape and a pouted out headlamp, classier and similar to the 1 series BMW launched a decade ago. The wheel-base is wider and short overhangs, continuing it into a further accentuated shoulder line. At the rear end the wheel arches emphasises on the exclusive BMW rear wheel drive.
The cockpit is equipped with intuitively arranged controls and better all-round visibility, than the previous generation 1 series. The cockpit is angled towards the driver and puts all the important controls within easy reach to provide a sense of personal control and comfort. The door pockets, where bottles with a volume of up to one litre can be stored, and the cup holders, optimally located in front of the gear lever, offer additional storage options. It also offers more flexibility in the rear and the luggage compartment: the rear seats can be folded down in 60:40 configurations to increase the luggage capacity.
But if you are expecting the car to be mightily spacious, you better think again. The head-room is less much like the previous generations, and for passengers at the middle seat, it will be hard to sit for a long ride. Still considerably better than what you get to see in the Merc A Class. The boot space has also been considered this time.
The car is available in four variants in India, with two engines-a 136bhp, 1.6-litre turbo-petrol and a 143bhp, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, both eight-speed automatic transmission. One petrol variant and three variants in diesel for the country obsessed with mileage.
The engine is aggressive when sporty and responsible with Eco pro engines. The revving is incredibly good considering a 1 series making you feel like you are driving an elder sibling - a 3 series or a 5 series. It’s fun and peppy. The vehicle claims to have a top speed of 212 kmph and the acceleration of 0-60 in 8.6 seconds. The pulling is good at 5000-7000 rpm but at low levels of 1500-2500 rpms the vehicle can leave you unimpressed. The gear shifts may sound unreliable sometimes and can give you a bumpy ride, now-and-then. The condition applies to both diesel and petrol engines. But we feel the automatic gearbox available in India may not let you feel all of that, thanks to BMW for considering the fact the Indians can drive only on Indian roads. Unlike what Merc did with their A-class, BMW played this game very safe (except launching it at a time when rupee has hit its slump).
The car gets better as you go behind the wheels, the steering is quick and agile, and the weight distribution of 50:50 and run-flat types gives BMW an upper hand above its European rivals. The price of the vehicle will start be 116i (petrol) at 20.9lakh, 118d (diesel) at 22.9 lakh, 118d Sport at 25.9 lakh and 118d Sport Plus at 29.9 lakh (ex-showroom).
The vehicle stands up to the stature where Philips Von Sahr, the country head of BMW, described it. It is indeed a car for young Indian achievers.
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