27th Oct 2005, 01:13

Drive the car, the badge certainly belongs there. However, as with what everyone's said, the interior's CHEAP. The leather upholstered one looks like it was taken from an elephant's behind. The doors don't thunk bank-vault solid like in the E36 cars (as if it were filled with concrete and glass welded to the doors). The base 116i's cloth upholstery and interior looked more expensive. The Golf is certainly classier, the Astra looks better too. Actually every single competitor has a more substantial feeling interior. Notice there isn't a temperature gauge? Perhaps they have too much faith in their warranty period. Wait until the car's 8 years old and everyone can afford it, and something goes wrong.

18th Nov 2005, 14:45

1 series - Looks great outside, but apart from that you will find...

- Arrogant dealers who don't want to offer test drives, don't talk price and think people will just buy the thing

- Poor rear space - more in a Mini

- Firm ride thanks to run flat tyres

- Fiddly indicator switches

- Don't buy non-leather upholstery in sport model - you will feel sick with the upholstery

- No temperature gauge.

This is not a real BMW and money can be spent more wisely elsewhere. Sorry!

23rd Dec 2005, 03:26

Get over it that there's no water gauge..

People who buy the car tend to be people who do not look at things like that and oil.

They only want it to pop up on the screen when there is a problem.

Secondly there is less legroom cause of the rwd layout.

Well people like me will sacrifice a bit of legroom for the rwd layout. (but me and my family don't have a problem with the legroom.)

Congratulations BMW for being one of the first to bring rwd back into a hatch.

11th Jan 2006, 10:29

I own a 1 & I'm very impressed with this car. The details like lights under the door handles & an alarm if the front passengers don't put on their seat belts, a mesh curtain when carrying loads & an ipod connection.

22nd Jan 2006, 03:52

Hi, all, and thanks for posting comments to my original review.

I have now spent 5 months with my 120d and clocked up less than 5,000 km on it, thanks to the car having a recurrent steering column chaffing/creaking noise that seems uncureable by the local dealer after seven cracks at it!

On the first three visits, they even had the gall to tell me that they could hear nothing and asked me to collect the car at the end of the day. When driving off their lot, the noise was readily apparent - and has been so till now.

Apart from this gremlin, I've also had to have the A/C compressor replaced, as well as the idler pulley for the drive belt to stop the car sounding like an ice grinder.

Add to this the numerous paint defects and spotting door waistline mouldings and I regret trading my E46 318i Valvetronic Auto for this heap of junk!

I am now requesting the dealer to buy back the car at full purchase price and looking round for a used E46.

Unfortunately, the new 3 leaves me cold in terms of styling, both outside and in. Whatever happened to BMW's once clear driver-focus? The dash is so slab-sided and where the heck is the temperature gauge? BMW sees it fit to give a relatively useless vacuum gauge, but not the more important temperature gauge. Why?

Also, like the petrol versions of the 1, there is no longer a dipstick on the engine as well. Again, why?

Another flaw underbonnet is the inability to do a visual check on the brake and washer fluid levels as the reservoirs for both are either under solid covers or hidden away. Come on, BMW, this is a safety-related issue!

Coming back to the 1, if my experience is atypical, one should be cautious if traditional BMW quality levels are desired.

19th Mar 2006, 20:23

What a great little car..

I always get a smile when I drive it..

Handles so much better then any fwd rival..

I love the design.

There is a slight rattle sometimes coming from from the parcel tray, but every hatch that I have driven always has some sort of noise.. I guess it's a hatch thing.

23rd Mar 2006, 01:12


I wrote the original review and in my case it's love the car, hate the quality.

It could be that I got a one-off bad example, but the indifferent dealer service just added to the misery.

I am now looking towards swapping the car for a used E46 3 series.

23rd Mar 2006, 09:29

I drove the new 3 series (2006 on) and I must say that the E46 (previous model) is probably the epitome of the BMW 3 series. The new car felt very very heavy, like my 2000 5 series, and not nimble like 3 series should be. That just ruined it for me. I buy BMWs for handling, not for their limousine feel.

Plus, the E46's have pretty good reliability according to Consumer Reports here in America.

So I think your best bet is to get the last great BMW and hold onto it forever. A 325i, manual with sunroof and sport suspension, should just about do it!

23rd Mar 2006, 09:56

If BMW was smart they would bring the 1-series and make a whole lot of money from the car.

P.S. I would buy a 1 series if it made it to the U.S.

23rd Mar 2006, 14:34

I agree. New 3 series to too fat and has horrible ergonomics. Although I haven't driven a 1 series it sounds like what BMWs used to be like.

Only trouble is, the latest rumour is that they are only going to bring over a coupe which is going to be tiny in interior room. We need something like the current hatchback, but with a trunk (hatchbacks don't sell well in the US for some bizarre reason).

28th Mar 2006, 01:45

Hi again.

As the originator of this review, I agree with the comments made about the current E90 3 series - it feels "fat" when compared to the E46 3 series.

It is quiet and refined on the open road and handles sharply, but go into a car park and the car lacks the nimble manoeuvrability of its predecessor.

The dashboard is also pretty unremarkable and either bland or even plain ugly, depending on your school of thought. Regardless of this, almost everyone I have spoken to has commented that it is lacking the driver-focused clarity of the previous 3.

So, no thanks to your latest ideas on the 3, BMW. The E46 rules!

1st Jun 2006, 16:10

I own a 120d Sports in the UK for almost six months now. Despite everyone said it is a bad car, I found it working fine for my daily 180 miles trip (motorway and cross-country). Even with the run-flat the ride isn't too firm as people claimed. The price is more than usual for what you get, then again it is not a Ford, it is a BMW. I says if you can't afford it then simply just don't buy it. VM. May 2006.

30th Jul 2006, 06:30

I have owned a 120d SE for about 4 months now and love it. Yeah there is the odd noise and it can feel a hard drive, but then they are all (sports hatch's) and sport means you're not going to get a ride on a cushion of air, so you all knew what you were buying (a sports car)

I was lucky with mine, it came with loads of extras, (electric sun roof, full electric pack, interior/exterior lights package, leather sports seats, cruise control... you name it it seems to have it. BMW service was first class when I took it in for the sun roof sensor replacing. They replaced the sensor and told me that this model was due a new alternator part of a recall, which they changed and even washed the car before I left. The drive is fun, powerful and very economical if driven sensibly.. keep to the speed limits and you can expect about 540 miles per tank.. boot it and you will get around 420mpg. All in all, well happy.