Tricky sticker

Ar­guably BMW’S best driver’s cars is one of its cheap­est

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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.

TECH­NOL­OGY

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.

DE­SIGN

The only com­pro­mise the 1 Se­ries hatch makes to its

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