WHAT’S NEW

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROAD TEST -

WHAT IT’S GOT

Six airbags, sta­bil­ity con­trol, au­to­matic stop-start, M Sport in­te­rior, M Sport brakes, M Sport sus­pen­sion, vari­able sport steer­ing, 18-inch M al­loy wheels, 6.5-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen, Blue­tooth, voice con­trol, nav­i­ga­tion, BMW Con­nected Drive, rear cam­era, au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing (be­low 60km/h), lane de­par­ture warn­ing, pedes­trian warn­ing, park­ing sen­sors, LED head­lights.

WHAT IT HASN’T

Radar cruise con­trol, lane keep­ing, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert, rear cam­era guide­lines, Ap­ple CarPlay/ An­droid Auto, spare wheel.

OWN­ER­SHIP

BMW’s Ba­sic Ser­vice pack­age costs $1340 over five years/ 80,000km, with in­ter­vals de­pen­dent upon use and driv­ing con­di­tions.

WHAT WE LIKED

Rear-wheel drive dy­nam­ics, beau­ti­fully done. Big grunt in a small car is al­ways en­ter­tain­ing. BMW’s 2.0-litre turbo also does top-end fizz bet­ter than most. Snug cock­pit, sup­port­ive driver’s seat, sporty driv­ing po­si­tion with plenty of ad­justa­bil­ity. iDrive works. Cheap ser­vic­ing — while you’re on the plan.

WHAT WE DIDN’T

At the price, you’re short-changed on some im­por­tant safety, con­ve­nience and con­nec­tiv­ity fea­tures. Dash is dat­ing fast. Low-speed ride can be a bit rugged on rough streets. Tight rear seat. Tyre noise on coarse bi­tu­men.

ALSO CON­SIDER

AUDI S1 $49,900

Haven’t driven this but I’d like to. 2.0-litre turbo (170kW), six-speed man­ual, all-wheel drive and 0-100km/h in 5.9 sec­onds. Beau­ti­ful num­bers.

MERCEDES A250 SPORT $54,800

A loveable lit­tle punk-mo­bile, with 160kW 2.0-litre turbo, seven-speed au­to­matic, all-wheel drive and adap­tive dampers. 0-100km/h in 6.3 sec­onds.

VW GOLF GTI $43,840

Ca­pa­ble, en­joy­able, spa­cious and com­fort­able. Front-driver with 162kW 2.0-litre turbo, six-speed man­ual or DSG. 0-100km/h in 6.5 sec­onds.

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