Arguably BMW’S best driver’s cars is one of its cheapest
mainstream market. The 125i starts at $45,700 for the sixspeed manual, or $100 dearer than the comparable Audi A3 — and Mercedes is about to join the fray with the A-Class. Talk about spoilt for choice.
BMW’s standard equipment includes rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, fog lights, dual-zone aircon and Bluetooth connectivity. The eight-speed automatic adds almost $3000.
Adaptive cruise control is the headline act here. Autonomous emergency-braking systems are the next big safety thing and theBMWbrakes itself if the driver doesn’t detect the car ahead slowing down.
The auto stop-start system in the manual relies on the driver flicking the shifter into neutral and the engine restarts as the clutch is depressed. The turbocharged 2.0-litre uses an official 6.6-litre/100km (6.4-litre auto). In both cases it’s dependent on drivers leaving the ‘‘ Driving Experience Control’’ switch in Eco-Pro mode. Go for Sport and fuel economy rises in step with the throttle response.
The only compromise the 1 Series hatch makes to its