New BMW 1-series review, test drive

BMW 1-series Price in India

 

 

BMW has taken heed to critics of the 1 Series, who grumbled that the looks were challenging and the engine range spiralling. Solution? Its biggest facelift ever, introducing a far sharper nose, a much nicer rear end and some stonking new engines that further its performance and eco credentials over rivals. The BMW 1 Series has never been better.

 

It still comes in three-door and five-door guise, with badges aligned to the BMW 2 Series (so they bear little relation to engine capacity…) and BMW’s simplified the trim line-up. The old one was a top 10 best-seller regular. BMW’s aiming for more of the same with this.

 

EXTERIORS

 

The BMW 1-Series isn’t an attractive looking car and there are no two ways about it. In reality the 1-Series has given birth to the X1 but in India the X1 came first and thus the 1-Series appears to be a X1 turned into a hatchback. The end result is a car which although proudly boasts of the BMW badge on its long hood, doesn’t solicit a second glance on the road. The 116i comes with 16-inch wheels which look a bit puny on this car. The rear is very plain too and overall this vehicle doesn’t make a visual impression. In spite of being in the market for more than 8 months now, the styling fails to grow on you.

 

INTERIORS

 

Every car in the BMW 1 Series range has a standard 6.5in colour screen, mounted on top of the centre console. It’s controlled via the iDrive system, which is one of the most intuitive and user-friendly interfaces around. There is a large rotary control wheel near the gearstick, with simple shortcut buttons for all the major functions. The graphics are slick and the menus only take a moment to get your head around.

 

Bluetooth and audio streaming, a single CD player, a DAB digital radio, multifunction steering wheel and USB connection are also standard across the range, with the option to upgrade to an excellent Harman Kardon stereo, or even a larger display screen and sat-nav with real time traffic information and mobile internet services, plus a 12GB music hard drive, as part of the BMW Professional package. Only the 116d ED Plus model gets sat-nav as standard.

 

Fit and finish in the BMW 1 Series is well above average, although a few pieces of trim – especially the door pockets and the glovebox lid – feel quite hard and scratchy. There’s a nice mixture of brushed metal and gloss black surfaces in higher spec cars, but they can also be fitted as options on entry-level models.

 

All the major controls are solidly built and robust, although the indicator stalks and stereo controls are made from harder, flimsier plastics. In terms of its rivals, the Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Golf feel plusher, but only by a narrow margin.

 

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

 

A pair of four-cylinder engines power this smallest of BMWs, one petrol and one diesel. The 1,995cc ‘N47’ diesel is a familiar one; we’ve already seen it in ‘20d’ guise in the 3-series, 5-series, X1 and X3, as well as in the 525d. However, here, in the 118d, it makes 141bhp and 32.6kgm. These figures still compare favourably with the diesel engines of its closest rivals, the A-class and the V40 Cross Country.

 

A pleasant surprise is that it is quite refined; almost more so than a 3-series. The NVH levels are impressively low, both at idle and on the go, and it gets harsh only near the top of the rev range. This milder state of tune suggests less aggressive turbo-charging, which means less noise.

 

The power delivery is smooth. This engine is incredibly linear for a diesel, and while you enjoy the almost petrol-like journey up the power band, you do miss that characteristic surge of torque that you get in the mid-range with most diesel engines.

So, is the mid-range weak? No – it’s just a bit flatter than you’d expect, and if you’re worried about being able to pull off an overtake on a whim, the gearbox is there to help. The eight-speed ZF automatic, also shared with the bigger Bimmers, works brilliantly in the 1-series. With the ‘Driving Experience Control’ switch set in the default Comfort mode, the shifts are soft and seamless, and the gearbox is still decently quick to react to pedal inputs. In Eco Pro mode, the ’box can’t wait to upshift, and even if you’re cruising at 60-70kph, that’s good enough for eighth gear

 

Put it in Sport or Sport+, however, and you’d better have a clear stretch of road, because the engine responses quicken and the transmission just darts through the gears. Keep your foot in, and it won’t shift up until its 4,800rpm redline. Overall, the power delivery gets in its stride at about 1,500rpm, and builds strongly till about 4,000rpm. The 118d hits 100kph in 9.02sec, just 0.4sec after the V40 and much ahead of the diesel A-class.

 

The petrol is a 1,598cc, direct-injection, turbocharged motor that makes a healthy 134bhp and 24.47kgm of torque on overboost. Like the diesel, it is only available with the ZF automatic and that’s a good thing. Unlike the earlier, naturally aspirated BMW petrols that loved to be revved but had weak mid-ranges, this turbo-petrol has a meaty and wide torque curve. The ZF ’box masks whatever minimal turbo lag there is and the engine will spin happily to 6,500rpm, accompanied by a nice exhaust snarl and a muted turbo whistle.

 

DRIVING DYNAMICS

 

Figures aside, there are four driving modes – one for every mood. The Eco Pro, for the one off occasions when you feel like driving in the economy mode; then there is the comfort mode, again something that will be sparingly used. The Sport+ mode, which automatically switches off the ESP, is sure to bring an ear to ear smile on your face.  The steering feels heavier than in the other modes but continues to remain as precise and responsive which makes it that much more fun to push around corners. The 225/45 R17 tyres make their contribution in ensuring that you feel confident while carrying speed into round a bend. The 1 series not only handles amazingly but is also quite comfortable even on bumpy and rough tarmac. The suspension is well damped and easily absorbs all the undulations that the road throws at it without letting out a single twitch to put your comfort levels in question.

 

SAFETY FEATURES

 

Euro NCAP has recently made its crash tests more stringent, but the 1 Series scored highly in the old tests with a five-star result, and did well in all areas except pedestrian protection.

 

There are six airbags and tyre pressure-monitoring on all models, and run-flat tyres are included on many models. However, the 1 Series doesn’t get emergency automatic braking, adaptive cruise control or collision detection.

 

At least security body Thatcham rates it highly for being difficult to break into, or steal from.

 

CONCLUSSION

 

If you need a reduced and truly lively hatchback that consolidates solid execution with light-footed back wheel-drive taken care of, one and only auto will figure on your shopping rundown: the BMW 1 Series. The BMW 1 Series has earned the full five stars in the NCAP accident tests and gloats an especially great grown-up inhabitant assurance rating of 91%. Early-life unwavering quality is great, however as the miles mount up, it has a notoriety for giving inconvenience.

 

BMW 3 Series Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 36,30,000/- (3 Series 320d Prestige) to  44,40,000/- (3 Series M Sport) .BMW 3 Series has 7 Variants of Diesel are available in India. BMW 3 Series comes in 8 colours, namely Alpine White (non-metallic),Mineral Grey,Glacier Silver,Crimson Red,Deep Sea Blue,Black Sapphire,Valencia Orange,Midnight Blue.

 

 

 

Toyota Camry | In-Depth Model Review

 

 

Toyota Camry Price in India

 

Over the years, Toyota gained immense prominence and has introduced

various high-end vehicles in the Indian auto market. Camry is one of

such vehicles and is demanded for its aristocratic looks, great

performance and comfortable interiors. The sedan was first launched in

2002 and in 2015 it has seen exterior and interior upgrades

 

EXTERIORS

 

The Toyota Camry hybrid was launched for the Indian market in late

2013 and this is a mid-life update for the vehicle rather than an

overall change. The most visible update is on the front fascia where

the heavy chrome from the fog lamps has been moved to a revised front

bumper which now sits in front of a honeycomb grille.

 

The bumper gets a chrome bottom lip while the indicators have now

become vertically stacked units that sit below the headlights with LED

DRLs. Otherwise, all the elements including the “I’m a hybrid car”

blue shading in the Toyota logo, and chrome forehead marks have been

carried over from the previous vehicle.

 

There are no major changes to the side profile of the Camry hybrid

apart from the new vertically stacked indicators and the wheel design.

A change in the latter from a simple spoke design to a more

complicated arrow one has increased the premium feel of the car and

also given it slightly more sporty credentials.

 

Toyota appears to have done some major work on the rear of the Camry

Hybrid. The thick chrome strip that ran above the number plate holder

has now been stretched out and runs across the length of the boot. It

cuts into the tail lamps changing their layout as the reverse lamps

have now moved above the line while the brake lights sit below it. The

rear bumper remains untouched, but now the reflectors have become

larger and have moved to the base of the unit. Toyota has also added

another chrome strip at the base of bumper to bring about uniformity

in the design.

 

In a country where shiny is equated to rich, the addition of a

significant amount of chrome as compared to the older model is a sure

fire way to up the ante when it comes to the premium appeal of the

Camry Hybrid. It was a never a great looking car but stood out and

continues to do so due to its size, rarity and well now, the bling

factor.

 

CABIN

 

Imagine what it’s like sitting on your favourite sofa – that’s how

good the Camry’s rear seat is. The deep seat base makes for excellent

thigh support and the squarish roofline makes for plenty of headroom.

The seat back is perfectly angled and there’s enough place to stretch

out. There are front-seat adjusters placed on the side of the seat, so

the rear-left passenger can easily slide it forward for more legroom.

The seats are also placed at a nice height, so it’s easy to slide in

and out of them. Toyota knows the Camry’s strong point is its rear

seat and so, has left no stone unturned to make sure this new Camry’s

seats are the best. The front seats are equally nice to sit in and

both have eight-way power adjustability.

 

From the driver’s seat, the Camry feels wide and that’s partly because

of the big dashboard. Interior quality is another place where the

Camry has been substantially improved. All the bits that you

experience first – the steering wheel, the gear lever and the controls

– feel rich and proper, and we like the uncluttered layout and

sufficiently big switches. The interior may not have the sheer

solidity of the Skoda Superb’s cabin, but it’s not far behind. The

stitched-leather effect for the top half of the dashboard is nice,

wood finish is quite convincing and the Playstation-like

steering-mounted controls are interesting. We did think the rear

air-con vents were a bit

 

cheap-looking, but that’s the only serious complaint we can level at this cabin.

The Camry’s dash strikes a nice balance between pleasing design and

functionality. We particularly liked the multi-layered dials with the

real-time fuel consumption indicator and a meter that shows you how

economically you are driving.

 

Storage spaces are plenty. The glovebox in particular is huge, and

there’s a big cubbyhole between the front seats. To improve cabin

space, Toyota has used thinner door pads, and this probably explains

why the door pockets are unusually narrow. The boot is much smaller

too – this new Camry gets only 484 litres of space as against the old

car’s 535 litres.

 

It’s pretty well equipped though. Standard features include dual-zone

climate control, keyless entry and go, fully powered front seats,

Bluetooth connectivity, parking sensors, cruise-control and a 2-DIN

touchscreen audio system with aux-in and USB ports. There are some

important features missing though — in addition to quite a few

airbags, this Camry doesn’t get a sunroof or a reverse camera.

 

ENGINE

 

The locally built 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine was a step up

in capacity from the 2.2-litre engine of the preceding model.

 

It featured all-alloy construction and twin camshafts, with Toyota’s

VVTi variable valve timing system on the intake valves, and at its

twin peaks it put out 112kW (150 horsepower) and 218Nm of torque.

 

With 18kW and 31Nm more than the old engine it was a willing and

free-revving workhorse that delivered pretty decent performance, and

better fuel economy.

 

For more performance Toyota offered the 3.0-litre petrol V6, which

upped the peak power and torque to 141kW (189 horsepower) and 279Nm

respectively, giving it more zip and extra smoothness.

 

The gearbox options were a conventional four-speed automatic

transmission and a five-speed manual. Most buyers preferred the

automatic, so there aren’t many cars around with the manual.

 

Both engines were developed to run on 91-octane regular unleaded, and

can also run on E10 ethanol-blend fuel.

 

DRIVING

 

Toyota Camry has the capacity of breaching a speed barrier of 100 kmph

in approx. 7.8 seconds from standstill. Further, it can reach up to a

maximum speed range of 180 to 185 kmph with the help of a six-speed

automatic gearbox. The automatic hybrid variant helps the motor to

reach a speed in the range of 190 kmph to 195 kmph while accelerating

to 100 kmph in just about 9.3 seconds of start.

 

With the help of multi-point fuel injection supply system, the petrol

variant of this sedan delivers a decent mileage of 13 kmpl on highways

and 9.5 kmpl in city. While advanced electronic fuel injection supply

system in automatic hybrid version, the car offers 19.1 kmph on

highways and 16.3 kmpl in city. The electric variable steering wheel

is highly responsive and comes with telescopic adjustment function,

and thus it has a turning radius of 5.3 meters

 

SAFET AND AFTER SALES SERVICE

 

The Toyota Camry is loaded with a host of safety equipment that

includes four airbags (driver, front passenger and front seat sides),

ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), TRC

(Traction Control), Hill Start Assist Control, reverse parking camera

with back monitor and corner sensors, impact sensing fuel cut-off,

speed sensing auto lock and smart key remind warning. The instrument

cluster also shows a visual and audio warning when the driver and

co-driver are not belted up while the car is in motion. The earlier

Camry came with just two airbags while the current one has four. The

market norm is at least six in this segment. Talking about

after-sales, Toyota really rocks in this department. The company has

constantly been recognised for its excellent service, be it anywhere

in India. Toyota parts are also priced reasonably and the vehicles are

known for their bullet-proof reliability. The only downside is the

fact that Toyota service centres are very cramped thanks to the fact

that a huge number of Innovas and Etios are being used as taxis

throughout the country.

 

VERDICT

 

It is difficult to rate the Camry Hybrid. On one side, it does look

quite nice in its new avatar, especially in the color that we have

here but on the other side, it does have an interior that is quite

drab and simple. Where it does offer exemplary ride comfort, it does

falter when it comes to sheer handling prowess. But there is a BIG

positive – the Camry Hybrid is one of those cars that is too far into

the future for a market like India. It does offer some really cutting

edge technology to us today…but at a cost. Just like the Mahindra

e2o then, the Camry Hybrid is certainly a car that deserves much more.

Sadly, until the government does not think straight and starts to

offer huge excise benefits and other concessions to electric and

hybrid cars, cars like the Camry Hybrid will continue to suffer.

 

Toyota Camry Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 28,69,100/- (Camry 2.5 AT) to  37,22,500/- (Camry Hybrid) .Toyota Camry has 2 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Toyota Camry comes in 7 colours, namely Dark Brown Mica Metallic,Silver Metallic,White Pearl Crystal Shine,Grey Metallic,True Blue Mica Metallic,Attitude Black,Greyish Blue Mica Metallic.