Ever since the new BMW 1 Series arrived, we’ve all been focused mainly on the top-of-the-line model, the M135i xDrive, while everything else seemed to fade into the distance. It’s understandable too, as everyone wants to know what it can do, especially considering the AMG and Audi ‘S’ competitors. However, most of the 1 Series models sold will not be M Performance cars. Instead, most will be BMW 118i and 118d models for their price tags and low CO2 emissions.

The former is the subject of the latest review published by the South African publication Cars.co.za. This is one of the first models to be launched in the 1 Series range, alongside the 120d and the M135i. It is also using the smallest petrol engine in the range, not that there are too many available anyhow. Under the hood of the 118i hides a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder petrol engine good for 140 HP and 220 Nm of torque, enough for a small car like the 1er.

The best part about the 118i is that you can get access to every single bit of tech you get on other models as well. You can have most of the technology you could find in the M760Li, from gesture control to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and even the Concierge service. That last bit was actually tested by the reviewer and turned out pretty nicely, I must add. I have never used the BMW concierge service but I think I might in the near future as it seems it has a lot of potential.

As for the review itself, it truly goes over everything you need to know about the new 1 Series. From the tech to the design and the way it drives, it even covers the boot space and how you recline the seats. All in all, the new 1 Series is a drastic improvement in most key areas compared to its predecessor. Yes, it doesn’t have RWD anymore but it has so many other advantages that it became a better car overall.