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Review: 2017 BMW 118i M-Sport

Discussion in 'News and Features' started by Tom, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Tom

    Tom Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    If you can find beauty or see past the 118i's controversial body shape then your 2 other concerns would be the lack of paddle shifters and puny brakes, that's it. Even so, these items barely taint the joy that emanates from the little One in most driving occasions.

    What comes to mind when you think of the current 1 Series? Entry level, underpowered and underwhelming most likely. I dont have a problem with its overall look but it certainly isn't the most flattering of BMWs.​

    <del>[​IMG]</del>

    In truth, what really sells the 118i is the zippyness and nimbleness as well as the mind blowing handling ability that it possess. It's the ultimate Bavarian runabout, one that is maybe even better than the MINI, had it not been the less athletic engine and transmission.

    [​IMG]

    Little 3 Potter

    This 1.5L TwinPower Turbo 3 cylinder is the little engine that could. It does much, much more than just chug along. 136hp / 220nm on paper figures feel more than adequate when gunning from zero. It's got a grunt so great, there's no telling it's only a turbo 1.5L under the bonnet.

    However, as with all modern small engines, the amazing initial thrust eventually melt away as the 118i gets up to speed and the small cc reality sets in as it breaches 140km/h or when asking for more. Nevertheless, it still is a small price to pay in exchange for the surprisingly excellent low to mid end power, which in fact is the most important power band anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Also, no one would know the 118i has a 3 potter under the hood, be it while driving or even at idle, other than when starting the engine or during Start/Stop situation. The sensation you get is a weird squirm as the engine turns, as it shakes more than the usual 4-cylinder.

    2017 BMW 118i M-Sport

    Engine: 1.5L 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo
    Power: 136hp @ 4,400 rpm
    Torque: 220nm @ 1250 rpm - 4,300rpm
    Zerotohundred: 8.7 seconds
    Transmission: 8-speed automatic
    Price: RM189,000
    Website: http://www.bmw.com.my/

    [​IMG]

    Good Interior

    Everyone's talking about BMW's current interiors being somewhat monotonous, and like the current F30 3 Series, it looks the same here. It even feels like you're in a F30 and you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference in their cockpit design.

    But in this lower ranking 118i however, that F30 interior suddenly looks better and feels premium here. For an entry level compact, it certainly impresses with the level of build you get and is a nice place to be in.

    [​IMG]

    Superb Drive

    Handling is easily the 118i's best feature. Steering is ultra precise, has just the right amount of turn and every rotation made really exude driving pleasure. It's incredible, how they've made the little 1 react to every turn in the most intuitive manner. It is perfect for driving enthusiasts and you won't find another non-M BM that drives just as well as this 1.

    [​IMG]

    Chassis

    Chassis is one made in heaven. Upon commuting the first handful of KMs, one can immediately spot the 118i's very robust suspension. A brilliantly tuned system that skim over bad roads like spreading cream. It is perfectly taut and pairs well with the 18" M-Sport wheels.

    RWD cars offer superior driving experience over FWD any day, and with the 118i being bootless, this joy is further heightened. You could say it mimics the feel of a BMW Z4, albeit not as go-karty, but the 118i is definitely more planted and easier to exploit in comparison.

    [​IMG]

    Handling


    This amazing chassis is begging for double the juice. While power is found wanting at speed especially when at the hill run, the chassis continue to entertain with its superb drive.

    Build up speed, bring that velocity into the corners and you'll find plenty of enjoyment from being able to bury the right pedal and use all of its power. The 118i is fully capable of giving its bigger contenders a good run for their money, anywhere except the highway.

    [​IMG]

    Cockpit


    Seating position is spot on, with both the steering wheel and seats being multi adjustable. Steering being mechanical and both the seats fully electric.

    There isn't much to say about the seats, be it aesthetically or in ergonomics, but they do make up by being side bolster adjustable, also electric. If you don't use this, all you have is a dull, flat seat. But get the squeeze right and they'd act like bucket seats, almost. It improves seating by a mile and the good news is, your co-driver gets the same seat.

    [​IMG]

    Brakes


    Brakes are great in every driving condition and supple like a typical BM. It is reassuring at all times and feels just right. However, these clamps aren't the most heavy-duty when on the edge.

    The brakes do fade after a good run uphill and drop exponentially at the downhill as I've experienced. Upon physical inspection, it becomes obvious they are made for general use.

    [​IMG]

    Tranny

    Much of the 118i's impressive pace comes from the faultless 8-speed automatic 'box. In sedate city prowl, it is super silky and completely stealth when in operation.

    Take it to extremes or cane it at full throttle and the 'box obliges without a hitch. It is intelligent in full automatic and you can trust it to do its magic in any scenario.

    [​IMG]

    No Paddles

    It is absurd to think BMW hasn't included paddle shifters in the 118i, especially with the presence of the sweet M Sport steering wheel. The absence of paddles can really be felt, when considering the 118i's awesome chassis. There's no dropping a gear or 2 when you need so it's all on the brakes and full reliance on the tranny.

    Almost every car out there's got them these days and it's really a pain to know you can't fully manipulate the superb BM. The shift knob lets you do the same thing but it just isn't the same.
     

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  2. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    The shoe side profile look never quite worked for me.
     
  3. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    It's a very nice package, if only they dropped the 4 pot 2L from the 20i in there..
    3 pot in a BMW is just...
     
  4. 6UE5t

    6UE5t Senior Member
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    I also don't like such shape. I prefer the sedan/coupe shape.
    Just this afternoon on the way to the office, I saw a 220i coupe, much better look than this.
     
  5. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    I think hatch / coupe is a very personal thing. I think this hatch is quite well executed, versus the likes of Golf Mk7. I feel this is sleeker.
     
    #5 ixeo, Sep 11, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  6. 6UE5t

    6UE5t Senior Member
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    I actually feel the Golf shape is among the better ones! :biggrin: Also Merc A Class is decent looking for me. But this BMW, Mazda 3, and Lexus CT200H shapes just don't do it for me due to the rear C pillar design and the whole proportion between the cabin/roof and the front hood which is too much like a short wagon. (That's why I also don't like wagon much).
     
  7. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    Can I take a moment to introduce you to our Wagon lord and saviour, the Volvo V90?
    316 bhp, 300 lbs ft of torque

    [​IMG]
     
  8. 6UE5t

    6UE5t Senior Member
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    Hahaha, yeah I know that one looks quite ok. But if I have a choice between a sedan and station wagon of similar spec and both looks pretty decent, I'd still pick the sedan.
     
  9. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    omfg.. I saw the godly v90 on the road the other day.. it's massive! But wow!
     
  10. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    The whole family AND the dog, and you'd be overtaking a lot of cars on the highway.
     
  11. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    Came back in to admire the pictures, great work Tom on the first pic, especially selecting the backdrop, with that mineral grey paint job, completed with the overcast sky.

    I felt Tom always had a knack for choosing locations for photoshoot.

    And it has a 1.5L Turbo engine, okay bye.
     
  12. vr2turbo

    vr2turbo Moderator
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    118i, what size engine you think will have.....lol
    Honda also going 1.5T, and lately saw Haval H2 also on 1.5T.....:hmmmm::smokin:
     
  13. Tom

    Tom Administrator
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    Thanks for the compliments Ixeo!
     
  14. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    So yesterday I drove the BMW 118i M Sport on Wesak day.

    Tom's overall assessment is accurate with the exception of
    That couldn't be further than the truth. If you accelerate in a linear fashion (commuting, normal city driving) the low end torque will get the car moving. But if you really want to accelerate off the line, or overtake, and you floor it, you really don't feel much power.

    It's not turbo lag, its just.. not much kick. The Honda Civic 1.5 turbo does the ZTH in 8.2s with a bigger body, with a CVT transmission. A Mazda 3 does it in 8.7s or so. Here the BMW has the best gearbox in the business for a RWD setup. So, yes, the engine is really rubbish to be on a car called “sport”. Apart from looking sporty and handling sporty, nothing “sports” about it. I’d probably call it slow and sharp.

    One thing that really surprised me is how smooth that 3 cylinder engine and how "light" and rev-happy it felt.

    Handling is top notch, cause no tail RWD. It’s at least on par with its sibling F30, if not better.

    Did I mention I like the looks?
    Damn good handling too
    And my boat will beat it off the line. Only provided it’s a straight line lol.
     
    #14 ixeo, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  15. Tom

    Tom Administrator
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    Good thing I said "feel more than adequate" then

    Expectations, expectations @ixeo

    But to be honest, I can be a bit of a forgiving person. I cab relate to your dissatisfaction on the 118i's lack of thrust. For me I went in expecting less and it turned out to be entertaining for the 4 days that I had it. I would think, in the long run, the 118i would start to grow on you
     
  16. vr2turbo

    vr2turbo Moderator
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    Huge CRV also on the 1.5T woh. Anyway VW are only on 1.4Tsi.....
     
  17. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    Hahaha, feeling is subjective AND relative. But honestly I think you were very forgiving, or you drove a Myvi before driving the 118i.

    Based on the numbers I've quoted from its peers, its nowhere near "fast". Of course, one can argue the Mercedes A180 also takes 8.6s ZTH. So in the end its just on par with its peers.

    But is it fun to drive? Yes, can be, driving a slow car fast. Gonna be very booooring when the road opens up. Frankly the chassis is very sound, sticking the 320i engine inside would be a lot of fun.
     
  18. 6UE5t

    6UE5t Senior Member
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    For starters, is it really able to accelerate to 100kph in under 9 secs??
     
  19. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    So far BMW have not given anyone reason to doubt their specs on paper.

    I firmly believe those times can be improved with better tires like PS4.

    If it was a 120i it’s be a hooligan.
     
  20. 6UE5t

    6UE5t Senior Member
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    Coz sometime ago I've encountered a somewhat hooligan 1 series like this, not sure if 118 or 116, and I can concur with you that this car is slow as I left it for dead when accelerating from around 100kph onwards.
     

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