Like each new iteration of BMW’s sporty passenger cars, this facelifted 1 Series gets nice updates and feels even better to drive.
The latest BMW 120i M Sport is another fast, racehorse-responsive and impressively agile set of wheels from the German premium automaker.
You also get a lot of kit here, which is another compelling reason to pick this five-door sports hatch if you are looking at entry-model premium cars.
Launched here in mid-2015, this locally assembled BMW provides excellent value in the premium segment for RM219,800 (without insurance) and a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, and free scheduled service programme.
The standard M Sport package here includes the M aerodynamic kit, the M leather steering wheel, M Sport suspension and 18-inch M light alloy wheels.
This M Sport package is quite alluring, but those with deep pockets can always opt to add expensive BMW M Performance parts and accessories for more driving pleasure and athletic presence.
It should be noted that our test drive unit came with BMW M Performance parts and accessories such as 19-inch wheels (which can cost RM16,999) with Pirelli run flat tyres.
Our test drive unit had Pirelli P Zero high performance tyres in 225/35 (front) and 245/30 (rear) sizes.
For entertainment, there is a 205W hi-fi system with seven speakers with Bluetooth and USB support.
A navigation system is also included, together with DVD drive, and hard-disc for maps and audio data, and MP3 decoder - which are controlled via the iDrive Touch Controller with direct menu control buttons.
There is also the BMW Apps menu, which allows access to services such as Spotify with a smartphone connected.
It also has the largest in class display monitor with its 8.8-inch free standing screen on the dashboard.
The fabric covered steering wheel has a nice feel to it; likewise, the rest of the interior which has Alcantara and Cloth seats and upholstery.
Other nice stuff include the two-zone automatic air-conditioning with rear air vents, and the BMW ConnectedDrive Apps interface for smartphone users.
There’s plenty of grunt under the hood, with the 1.6-litre TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 177hp and 250Nm of torque.
The 0 to 100kph sprint takes just 7.2 seconds.
With fuel prices at a low level, premium car owners might not care too much about fuel economy; but it’s always nice to know the 120i M Sport can be a fuel sipper with an average fuel consumption rating of 5.9 litres per 100km.
When it comes to ride comfort, the M Sport suspension is quite firm; but on motorways like the New Klang Valley Expressway, we had no issue with ride comfort when we drove it in a spirited manner.
The chunky, three-spoke steering wheel is precise and great on winding roads.
We loved the road-holding qualities of the car, and the amount of power it has for quick overtaking moves.
Around two million BMW 1 Series were sold worldwide over the last 11 years, and it’s not hard to understand why.
As the only rear wheel drive car in the premium compact class segment with exemplary 50:50 weight distribution, the 1 Series delivers a marvellous drive experience and lots of nice comfort kit to justify BMW’s slogan of “Sheer Driving Pleasure”.