BMW 125d M Sport Review: UK first drive | It's Got Wheels

27 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on BMW 125d M Sport Review: UK first drive | It's Got Wheels
BMW 125

BMW 125d M Sport Review: UK first drive

You like cake? Hell, we all like cake, but you might also want to keep some of that cake, stash it away so you can enjoy more cake. Well, if you’re the greedy sort who wants to gorge on cake now and still have plenty left over for a snack, the BMW 125d is just the car for you.

The 125d, along with the new 125i, rounds off the BMW 1 Series five-door range and both of these top spec motors only come in M Sport trim. This means big front intakes for sucking in air, M Sport body kit and 10mm lowered suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and, of course, the M Sport signature of an anthracite headlining.

There are also M Sport seats finished in Alcantara, M Sport dials and short-shift gear lever, so the £27,820 asking price for the 125d M Sport is not quite as steep as it might first seem.

What helps to offset the cost much more is the 2.0-litre TwinPower twin turbocharged diesel engine that hefts out 218bhp. That’s enough to see the 125d from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, which means this diesel hatch is every bit as quick as a Golf GTI yet it can turn in 57.6mpg average economy with the six-speed manual gearbox that is standard. Opt for the eight-speed auto and the 0-62mph sprint time remains the same but economy goes up to 58.9mpg.

With these sorts of economy figures, plus 149mph top speed whether you choose to swap the cogs yourself or let the car do the graft, the 125d is quick in anyone’s book. Yet we’ve still to mention the manual transmission version offers 129g/km carbon dioxide emissions and the auto betters this still with 126g/km. So, that cake you fancy chowing down on looks like it will have plenty in reserve for second or third helpings.

This is still only half the story with the 125d. All of these facts, figures and stats show it’s a clever car that makes the most of its power and BMW’s energy saving measures. However, the truly great bit about the 125d is it lives up to the M Sport badge with honour and distinction.

The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is quiet and subdued when you turn the key, or more accurately press the starter button as this car has keyless ignition. Even pulling away from a standstill reasonably briskly doesn’t elicit any great roar from the motor or exhausts.

Nope, where this car soon starts to make you realise it’s part of the M Sport family is on the road as you flow along. The 10mm lowered suspension may be a little firmer than a standard 1 Series’, but it’s still forgiving and fluent. The steering too has a similarly lucid feel, especially if you knock the Drive Performance Control into Sport or, better still, Sport Plus.

The latter setting allows the rear wheels a degree of slip and spin before coming to the driver’s aid and it means tighter turns or roundabouts can be negotiated with enthusiasm but not with the flash of a traction control warning.

BMW 125

Then the engine begins to show its mettle with the way it just keeps on offering more power, more acceleration, more performance. It’s happy to rev round to 5000rpm, but it’s even happier seeking out the next gear up a few revs sooner to stay in the sweet spot where its 332lb.ft of torque does its best work.

Using the power to balance the car through corners, applying it with more force on the exit, the 125d makes incredibly fast progress across country. It does this without any apparent strain or stress, which translates into the driver feeling wholly at one with the car. It’s only when you glance at the speedo do you realise the 125d is capable of propelling you at speeds that might be hazardous to the health of your licence.

Back it off and the 125d becomes an ideal small family hatch thanks to the more generous room and access to the rear seats compared to the previous generation 1 Series’. The front sports seats are very supportive and comfy, the dash a classy affair and the boot sufficiently big to compete with the class leaders.

It’s also a refined place to be, this 125d, even when pressing harder on the throttle. Engines and wind noise are admirably contained and only a little whizz from the tyres can be heard on more coarsely grained roads.

With a generous spec of standard kit, all the performance you could want in the real world and economy to shame many more overtly parsimonious machines, the BMW 125d is one of the most complete small hatches money can buy. That’s a slice of cake we all fancy.

BMW 125
BMW 125
BMW 125
BMW 125
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