Hatch match BMW plays catch-up with Benz’s all-conquering A-class
desperation it has the effect of making the flagging Bavarian a good deal more competitive and indeed the best value in the model’s two generation history.
BMWboss Phil Horton says the range-wide revision results in some $5000 added value. It also marks the effective death knell of the manual BMW.
Already a thing of the past in the 3 Series range on up, it is now history in its most driver oriented passenger model.
The eight-speed torque converter automatic is standard to match Benz’s nonoptional seven-speed twin clutch auto.
The base 116i gains better upholstery and rear park distance control; the 118i, 118d and 125i get a nav system via 6.5-inch screen, enhanced smart-phone connectivity including voice control and Bluetooth audio streaming.
The 125i also cops 18-inch alloys and sports seats.
The range topper M135i – soon to face off against the A45 AMG– gains fore and aft park distance control, top spec nav and internet functionality.
Option packages are similarly polished up to the extent that the 116i can finally be had with rain sensing wipers. Metallic paint and leather upholstery among others are still extracosts items.
The compact prestige price war will become yet more intense in October with the arrival in of Benz’s CLA fourdoor coupe followed in the first half of next year with the GLA, an SUV built like the CLA builds on the A-Class. BMW riposte later next year with the 2 Series coupe and cabrio, developments of the 1 Series.