BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

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Shaz620
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BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by Shaz620 »

Hi, originally I had wanted a performance car but this may not be practical in anticipation of a possible 30k commute in the future although we are hybrid working currently.

Ideally would like a 1 series model which is highly reliable, practical, okay to have fun in but also fuel efficient considering the 30k miles (half town and half motorway).

With this in mind which BMW plate would be best as I am aware there have been recalls in the past among other concerns, is a 2016 model the best option at a minimum ? as I have noticed 2016/2017 models tend to be decent for tax to compared to newer models.

Also, which engine is reliable between Petrol and Diesel models ? are Petrol models the better option for short and long runs ?

Comfort is also important for me, would be interesting to see how you have found 1 series on long runs and their air con etc I know for comfort some may prefer 3 or 5 series and I might be a bit odd but I just love the look of the 1 series M Sport hatchback

Any other known issues to be aware of these cars / which can be avoided ?

I would consider the 116 model but I prefer the 4 cylinders.

My budget would be 14-15k max but if I can find something cheaper specifically with M Sport looks and suspension that would be nice.

Thanks a lot everyone for any insight
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by mupet0000 »

You could get a good 2016 118d M Sport for a little below your price range with under 40k miles on the clock.

On the other hand you could get a 120d M Sport at the top end of your budget like this:
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-detail ... 6053504534

The 118d is no slouch, but the 120d is going to be more fun. They will both be about as economical. Whichever engine you go for, I would recommend at least the following options:
Leather seats - these seats are very comfortable for long journeys.
Automatic gearbox - the manuals are fine, but if you're spending a lot of time driving, the autos are so much better with BMWs 8 speed being best in class.
LED or Xenon lights - not only do they have the halo day time running lights, but they are far brighter than the standard halogen bulbs which should be avoided if at all possible.

Other options worth having:
Dual zone climate control - ever have passengers that want a different temperature? This is for you.
Pro Nav - The bigger screen looks better and is worth having if you use satnav often, although you can upgrade the screen yourself in the future.

The diesels are efficient around town too, and as long as you are giving them a long run every so often, I wouldn't even consider a petrol as you will not get nearly as good fuel efficiency as compared to a diesel model, especially around town.

Personally I use my 118i around town mostly, with the occasionally long run. Aircon is perfect and the leather seats are really comfortable. Road noise is louder than a 3 or 5 series but comfort even with the M Sport suspension is good.

As for reliability I don't know enough. All I can say is I have heard about more diesels going wrong as compared to petrols, but nothing widespread in these later models. From what I have read, the 116d engine isn't all that.
2019 F20 118i LCI2 M Sport [Shadow Edition - Black 18" Wheels, HK, Leather, M Sport Brakes, Extended Storage, Sun Protect Glass, Cruise, Rear PDC] - Auto - Mineral Grey - Folding Mirrors, Black Panel, Pro Nav Retrofit, Automatic A/C, Heated Seats.
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by marco_polo »

The 120i/125i engine changed in autumn 2016, so you'd need to go to a 2017 to guarantee a later B48 'facelift' engine.

In your shoes I'd go 125i personally, almost as fun as an M135i, but lighter weight and slightly more frugal being a 4 cylinder. Obviously a chunk less torque than the 6 cylinder engines, but that’s no bad thing if you’re new to RWD.
Silver F21 M135i - ManBox - HK - Adaptive + Eibach Pro's - BBS CH-R's - BMWP Drexler LSD - M4 LCA's

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Shaz620
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by Shaz620 »

mupet0000 wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:35 pm You could get a good 2016 118d M Sport for a little below your price range with under 40k miles on the clock.

On the other hand you could get a 120d M Sport at the top end of your budget like this:
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-detail ... 6053504534

The 118d is no slouch, but the 120d is going to be more fun. They will both be about as economical. Whichever engine you go for, I would recommend at least the following options:
Leather seats - these seats are very comfortable for long journeys.
Automatic gearbox - the manuals are fine, but if you're spending a lot of time driving, the autos are so much better with BMWs 8 speed being best in class.
LED or Xenon lights - not only do they have the halo day time running lights, but they are far brighter than the standard halogen bulbs which should be avoided if at all possible.

Other options worth having:
Dual zone climate control - ever have passengers that want a different temperature? This is for you.
Pro Nav - The bigger screen looks better and is worth having if you use satnav often, although you can upgrade the screen yourself in the future.

The diesels are efficient around town too, and as long as you are giving them a long run every so often, I wouldn't even consider a petrol as you will not get nearly as good fuel efficiency as compared to a diesel model, especially around town.

Personally I use my 118i around town mostly, with the occasionally long run. Aircon is perfect and the leather seats are really comfortable. Road noise is louder than a 3 or 5 series but comfort even with the M Sport suspension is good.

As for reliability I don't know enough. All I can say is I have heard about more diesels going wrong as compared to petrols, but nothing widespread in these later models. From what I have read, the 116d engine isn't all that.
Thanks for the response, will most certainly look out for the options you suggest. Do the 2016+ models generally have cruise control or is that another extra ? and speaking of 2016 models, what would you say is the best way to ensure such cars are not plagued by inherent issues from the past ? I could ensure this by looking out for 2017 models, but these are a little more expensive.

Yes, the diesels have insane economy on paper; however is there a possibility for DPF concerns on the later models ? and as you say, there does seem to be a sentiment that petrol isn't unreliable as the diesel cars.

Speaking of your 118i (absolutely love the spec you have), what's the economy like / mpg on long motorway runs and also short runs. Nice one.
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by Shaz620 »

marco_polo wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:51 pm The 120i/125i engine changed in autumn 2016, so you'd need to go to a 2017 to guarantee a later B48 'facelift' engine.

In your shoes I'd go 125i personally, almost as fun as an M135i, but lighter weight and slightly more frugal being a 4 cylinder. Obviously a chunk less torque than the 6 cylinder engines, but that’s no bad thing if you’re new to RWD.
It would be my first RWD car in any case and definitely not too concerned about power when compared to the M135I, would you say the petrol engines are generally a lot more reliable for long and short runs ? also, would the mpg on the 120i/125i be reasonable for 100-120 miles round trip commutes ? thanks
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by marco_polo »

I do long motorway commutes in my M135i, so clearly I think the mpg is fine!

Diesels with DPF’s aren’t great for short runs only, but with regular 60 mile single trips in the mix it shouldn’t be troublesome.

Diseasil is probably the sensible choice, I just don’t like them. Had a derv 1er for a few years, but couldn’t make my peace with the gruff engine with its narrow power band, the restricted red-line, getting dieselly hands whenever I filled up, or that it sounded like a dumper-truck.
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by 50pence »

Shaz620 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:18 pm
Apologies you've mentioned this already though what is your budget?

--
F20 M135i LCi, auto, adaptive suspension, adaptive LED h/l + HB assist, h/seats, c/pack, elec folding mirrors etc
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by Shaz620 »

marco_polo wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:49 am I do long motorway commutes in my M135i, so clearly I think the mpg is fine!

Diesels with DPF’s aren’t great for short runs only, but with regular 60 mile single trips in the mix it shouldn’t be troublesome.

Diseasil is probably the sensible choice, I just don’t like them. Had a derv 1er for a few years, but couldn’t make my peace with the gruff engine with its narrow power band, the restricted red-line, getting dieselly hands whenever I filled up, or that it sounded like a dumper-truck.
Perhaps a 30 mile round trip once a week or a 60 mile round trip once every two weeks would be good to alleviate any DPF concerns.

Fair enough on your preference, speaking of your 135i what are your commutes like on a daily ? you get decent mpg out of it ? lol I’ve been looking into it and really wanted the car but can’t justify it outside perhaps as a weekend car, but when you spend £££ you want to drive it on a regular
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by Shaz620 »

50pence wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:21 am
Shaz620 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:18 pm
Apologies you've mentioned this already though what is your budget?

--
Absolute max would be 15k but would take a bit more time to save that, however between 11-13k would be nice, if I can find a spec worth having e.g. M sport looks, no past recalls etc, cruise control, leather seats, auto and LED/Xeon it would justify paying a little more
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by mupet0000 »

Shaz620 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:15 pm Thanks for the response, will most certainly look out for the options you suggest. Do the 2016+ models generally have cruise control or is that another extra ? and speaking of 2016 models, what would you say is the best way to ensure such cars are not plagued by inherent issues from the past ? I could ensure this by looking out for 2017 models, but these are a little more expensive.

Yes, the diesels have insane economy on paper; however is there a possibility for DPF concerns on the later models ? and as you say, there does seem to be a sentiment that petrol isn't unreliable as the diesel cars.

Speaking of your 118i (absolutely love the spec you have), what's the economy like / mpg on long motorway runs and also short runs. Nice one.
I forgot about cruise control not being standard, it was indeed an option even on the M Sport trim so defo look out for that one! I wouldn't rush into a purchase, make sure to figure out what options you really need/want and what you can live without, you don't want to buy a car and later down the line regret that it doesn't have cruise control or some other option that you sacrificed because you wanted to get into that car asap. It might take some time for the right one to appear on the market with a good spec and the right mileage for the right price but it's worth waiting if you can.

When I got into my first BMW I wasn't familiar with the spec and how absolutely everything was optional, it was a 2014 3 series and even though they give you iDrive with a small screen as standard, there was no bluetooth music or satnav.

The best thing you can do is look for a car that has been fully serviced and hopefully with an owner that hasn't floored it from cold on a daily basis. Pay a specialist to give it a once over before you buy it if you want some extra piece of mind. DPF shouldn't be an issue considering the journeys you'll be doing, I wouldn't worry about that at all. Reliability is a tough one here, I think that in general there's nothing to worry about providing you find a car with good history.

As for economy in my 118i, it's ok. You can view my entire fill up history and fuel economy since I bought the car here:
https://www.fuelly.com/car/bmw/118i/201 ... 000/927698

Most of my driving is around town where I tend to get mid 20's MPG, lots of short journeys. On a longer run the best I have seen is 60MPG on the motorway with an average speed of 50MPH, although any single carriageways or country roads are going to be 35-40MPG. My partner drives a 2015 Mini with the same engine as the 116d 3 cylinder and her worst MPG even around town is 40, going all the way up to 70 with an average of 55. My fuel cost is almost double what hers is despite both of our driving being very similar.

As for what marco says about diesels, he isn't wrong, however I have a different view. Although I own a petrol it's purely because the majority of my driving is very short journeys. I have driven plenty of new BMW diesels including the 116d, 118d, 218d and 430d. The power band is narrow and there's absolutely no reason to rev them out, torque is instant and very low down in the RPM range. As for the sound I quite like it honestly :lol:

The narrow power band isn't an issue when you have an automatic gearbox as it will keep you in the power band with ease. Even the 116d has more low down instant torque than my 118i, but it quickly loses steam where as the 118i keeps pulling. The 118d is much nicer to drive with the extra power being very noticable, that's why I think the 120d would be perfect.

The only way I can get better fuel economy out of my car is to drive it in eco pro mode, accelerate very very gently and pray that I don't have to overtake any slow traffic. In a diesel you'll get better fuel economy than that even when driving in quite a spirited manner.
2019 F20 118i LCI2 M Sport [Shadow Edition - Black 18" Wheels, HK, Leather, M Sport Brakes, Extended Storage, Sun Protect Glass, Cruise, Rear PDC] - Auto - Mineral Grey - Folding Mirrors, Black Panel, Pro Nav Retrofit, Automatic A/C, Heated Seats.
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by marco_polo »

Shaz620 wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:24 am speaking of your 135i what are your commutes like on a daily ? you get decent mpg out of it ? lol I’ve been looking into it and really wanted the car but can’t justify it outside perhaps as a weekend car, but when you spend £££ you want to drive it on a regular
I do a bare minimum of 260 miles a week, usually a few more (I'm now on 85,000 miles from new). I usually see 37 - 38mpg on a run, half of that around town.
Silver F21 M135i - ManBox - HK - Adaptive + Eibach Pro's - BBS CH-R's - BMWP Drexler LSD - M4 LCA's

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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by 50pence »

Shaz620 wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:26 am
50pence wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:21 am
Shaz620 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:18 pm
Apologies you've mentioned this already though what is your budget?

--
Absolute max would be 15k but would take a bit more time to save that, however between 11-13k would be nice, if I can find a spec worth having e.g. M sport looks, no past recalls etc, cruise control, leather seats, auto and LED/Xeon it would justify paying a little more
I'd personally err towards a petrol, the facelift (LCi) was early 2015 though the later engines were introduced in the 120i and 125i in 2016 it seems though with a longish transition period. So a 2016 onwards 120i or 125i though making sure it has the B48 engine, or from what you've said perhaps a 2015 onwards 120d or 125d with the B47 engine.

However none of these would have dual zone climate control (instead normal aircon), heated seats, cruise or elec folding mirrors as standard so it'd be a matter of shopping around for the right spec.

--
F20 M135i LCi, auto, adaptive suspension, adaptive LED h/l + HB assist, h/seats, c/pack, elec folding mirrors etc
F55 Mini Cooper, man, LED h/l + HB assist, h/seats, head-up display, active cruise, XL nav, elec folding mirrors etc
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by BFleming »

Cruise control can be retrofitted - don't let it be a deal breaker; use it as a negotiation tool if it doesn't have it.

On the diesel v petrol argument, all I'll add is that a BMW DPF doesn't work like a VW one; BMWs regen constantly once criteria are met, so urban driving isn't necessarily a no-no. I've never had any DPF woes with my 2 BMWs, and the vast majority of their runs were short ones.
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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by MyMlight »

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2016 M135i: it can be as fast or frugal as you like!
OK, this was not an exciting journey but it did include rush hour traffic in Coventry!


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Re: BMW 1 Series - Best 118 or 120 model specification for Price / Performance / Reliability

Post by chrisr »

I would suggests go for the newest petrol engine car for your budget. Diesel may be fine for the type of journey's you're going to be doing. What has the previous owner used it for?
Don't dismiss the 118i , a sweet sounding little engine with in theory less moving parts to go wrong. Economy will be about the same as a 120i though. Economy on mine low 40s at motorway speed.
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