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116D at Hatton Quay

In BMW on August 12, 2013 at 9:05 am

photoI jumped out of the A Class auto into a basic BMW 1 series 116D manual.

Somehow I missed one obvious truth, Mercedes and BMW are neck and neck on ugly front ends!

It’s only when I sit here posting the pictures I’m reminded how the Munich offering looks pretty ropey in base trim.

Funny how I missed that when picking up the keys for a run down to the River Tamar.

Years ago down at Hatton Quay I witnessed my first ever swirling Starling roost.  Today the tide was out, and the height of activity was a sweet old lady wondering if I was trying to get her in the photo!

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So what’s the I series like in poverty spec?

There’s none of the wow factor “indoors” that you get in the 3 pointed star.

However there’s one huge leap forward when it comes to driver involvement.

Despite having a lowly 116 bhp lump the 2 litre diesel seems far more refined than the lame A Class alternative.  Perhaps that’s just the result of a snickety snick manual gearbox?  Whatever, it didn’t seem too pedestrian even in the £22,000 “cheap” version I was driving,

All the controls were well weighted, and I was able to whoosh along with confidence, no I’d even go beyond that with “enjoyment”.

I like the alloys, the seats and red trim line inside were nice too, and somehow cloth works well in this car too.  Why do the cloth spec 3 series seem so naff?  That’s a mystery to me, or is my memory reminding me of a previous generation of 3 series?

After my 12 mile acclimatisation run I flopped the seats down, got frustrated by the parcel shelf and wondered where BMW had hidden the interior space.  On the outside this is bigger than my Volvo C30, but in luggage carrying mode it looked much shorter and less spacious.

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I never did clamber in the back, but I may want to try that trick in a different version to be reviewed shortly…..

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  1. […] …basic BMW 1 series 116D manual. Somehow I missed one obvious truth, Mercedes and BMW are neck and neck … parcel shelf and wondered where BMW had hidden the interior space.On the outside this is bigger than…See all stories on this topic […]

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