Ricochet News

BMW118i - Best driving hatchback

By Graeme Lund - Jan 31, 2017
BMW118i - Best driving hatchback

The premium hatch segment of the vehicle market is very hotly contested and of course, where there is competition, there is excellence.

I had the pleasure of recently driving the BMW118i as well as a number of its competitors and each of these vehicles is very well made and quietly competent. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the BMW is the best ride.

A lot of my life revolves around food. I have a penchant for good restaurants and I have a habit of comparing much of what goes on in my life with restaurants.

Now in the case of the premium hatchback market, the BMW 118i, relative to its competitors, is like dining in a fine restaurant. There are other eateries in close proximity but, if like me, you want good service, delightful ambiance and a great meal, and then go for the BMW 118i. 

The 118i’s interior seems to be moulded around the driver giving excellent ergonomics and a very comfortable seat and driving position. As one would expect from this luxury brand, the finishes are top of their segment. Sitting in the cockpit of a BMW 118i is an experience in itself, it goes way beyond pure functionality! 

To continue with the simile, this car is not a fast food outlet or even a well marketed steak franchise, the BMW 118i is like a small restaurant where the owner greats you at the door and shows you to a table, lights your candle and introduces you to the evenings specials.

The drive quality of this, the only rear-wheel drive hatchback, is delightful. “Sheer driving pleasure” has been BMW’s slogan for many years and every person at BMW has bought into it, especially the engineers. 

This is not a car that says “Hi, my name is Frank and I’m your waiter tonight” and then interrupts your conversation later to ask “Is your meal OK?” because management have told them to ask this question in exactly these words, because it is never going to be anything more than “OK”.

No, this is a car whose service just happens. Your menu simply appears in front of you, your wine glass is never empty and the evening’s specialities are recited in a manner that would sound just as good on the stage of a Shakespearean play.

Producing 100kW at 4000rpm and 220Nm of torque with a declared 5.3l/100km, the 118i has more than sufficient power to meet any urban or long distance challenges and does so efficiently.

Don’t expect your plate to be heaped with food that will only leave you feeling bloated, but rather, by choosing the BMW118i, dine on a well matured and expertly cut steak or the freshest of hake with the chef’s tangy tartare sauce, either of which melt in your mouth and leave you feeling replete.   

So next time you’re looking to for a hatch back, consider whether you want the quick meal from the drive through that will only fill your stomach or if you want to sit in an environment full of other people’s poorly behaved kids or if you want to dine by candlelight at that delightful bistro around the corner.

If you think I’m being overly sentimental, then my suggestion is that you visit the Five Star rated Continental Cars along Ring Road, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth or give them a call on 041 502 2200 to test drive the BMW 118i and tantalite your taste buds.