BMW 118i Urban – Quick Fix – Every bit a BMW for a fraction of the price

I’ve got a soft spot for BMW, having owned a couple of 3-series I know what they are capable of producing when it comes to handling and quality of finish.  A week in the 118i and all those memories come flooding back – at a much more affordable price too!

Make: BMW

Model: 118i

Variant: Urban

Engine / Transmission: 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol. 8-speed sports automatic Steptronic transmission

Vital Stats: 100kW / 220Nm

BMW Claimed Fuel Economy: 5.6l / 100km

EFTM Claimed Fuel Economy: 8.5l/ 100km (to be fair, almost entirely stop/start city driving)

Price: $36,900 + $2,055 options

Wow Factor: I bought a 3-series BMW in the year 2000, it was $60,000 or so – and they didn’t come much cheaper.  Adding the 1 series to the range has made the BMW brand reach more people and probably added a second BMW to more than a few driveways.   Just the fact that a BMW could be yours for less than $40,000 is a bit of a wow factor is it not?


Most Impressive: Despite being the baby of the bunch, and despite the lower price – this is still every bit a BMW.  The fit, the finish, and of course the handling – If you’re putting BMW on the showroom shopping list its most certainly one you have to drive to get a simple look at how they just do it that “bit” better that sets them apart.


I can’t not mention the infotainment system here, which is feature rich for the class, and while the DAB+ radio is a nearly $400 option it’s well worth it.  The default 8 button macro-presets are my favourite feature.  Seen in the Rolls Royce this is more than just “station presets” – each button can be a radio station, or a map destination, actually almost any function or page on the entire infotainment system.  Quality stuff.


Least Impressive: These vehicles are hard to fault, my personal hatred (shared by my wife I found out) of the stop/start engine feature at the traffic lights aside – You’ll think I’m crazy given what I’ve said above – but the price is probably the least impressive.  $40,000 is a lot to pay for a vehicle this size, stacked up against the Mazda 3 for example you may find it hard to justify unless you are a genuine student of motoring, handling and the quality of interiors.


The Sweeping Statement: This has every element of BMW which for years was achieved only at the 3-series “entry-level” – if the budget fits, this is a must drive when you’re car shopping, and when you do, do what the salesman told me 15 years ago, find a roundabout and drive through it like you want to – that’s when you’ll feel what handling really is.



Co Authors :



  1. Michael Hughes

    August 14, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Hey Trevor, where is the 118i Urban made? And does it matter to you, where a car is manufactured like when the BMW X5 is made in the U.S.? Although not in the same league as BMW, I refused to buy a Honda Jazz because it was made in Thialand. But also the price was more (even with the “Free Trade Agreement”) than a Japanese made Mazda 3. Funny this – when the Jazz was being sourced from Japan due to “supply” issues in Thialand, it was cheaper to buy. I am very happy with my purchase of a Suzuki Swift (made in Japan).

  2. Michael Hughes

    August 14, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Also can the Stop/Start feature be turned off? It would be weird if you couldn’t turn this off, but still be able to turn off the ESP or ESC, apparently a literal “can’t live without” safety feature made compulsory by the government. I do not understand this!

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