Archive for The Motor Forum "We are mature men in the highest cadres of our careers"
 


       The Motor Forum Forum Index -> Test Driven
JohnC

BMW 116i

I have one of these as a loan car whilst mine is in for a service. It is the Sport version with manual. I rather like it.
The car has only done about 1300 miles and is a 64 plate but it feels really solid with no rattles or squeaks and a pleasantly compliant but firm ride - very well judged balance I would say. It goes round corners with little roll and the only thing that lets it down a bit was the steering which felt slightly odd coming from a car with a hydraulic rack: small movements of the wheel seem to come up against a slightly false resistance which then disappears the second you apply a bit more pressure - you don't really notice it driving normally but if you are only making small inputs and trying to be precise it feels a bit like someone unseen just holding on to the wheel for a second as a joke.
The stop start and manual are a real pain in the *rse when you are in city traffic as I was this morning. Strangely this isn't helped by the fact that the engine is so quiet that you sometimes aren't aware that it has shut off and then get caught out as everything moves off quickly in front. Having shut off and restarted about 5 times in the space of 100yds of crawling a symbol came on to say that the stop start had been turned off.
The clutch is light and I find the gearchange quite positive, although 3rd to 2nd had me feeling that the synchromesh wasn't quite keeping up with proceedings.
The car is hardly quick but has no trouble keeping up with traffic and in my 25 miles so far, it has averaged just over 35mpg with a good bit of slower city/town driving. It is a very smooth engine but has a bit of a buzz above 5,000 and doesn't really seem to reward by hanging on to the revs - perhaps it is a bit quicker but aurally there is nothing to be enjoyed or gained by extending it.
All in all it is a nice wee car with a quality feel and a very good suspension balance. It was also quiet and very smooth. I am not sure how the prices compare but I think I would rather have one of these than a Mini if you can put up with the looks.
Racing Teatray

There should be a button above the starter button which disables the stop/start function.
Martin

Sport mode disables it too.
JohnC

Racing Teatray wrote:
There should be a button above the starter button which disables the stop/start function.


Found it!
JohnC

Martin wrote:
Sport mode disables it too.


I gave it a minute in Sport mode but with all the traffic around it was a bit of a pain so I switched it back it comfort before I got stopped.
Martin

If you keep your foot on the clutch then it won't switch off either, but getting into the habit of pressing the button immediately after the start button is probably the easiest option.  They should remember your selection (they remember pretty much everything else), but they all revert to comfort with stop/start enabled and auto hold off (in the autos).
Twelfth Monkey

I'm amused by the notion of a 1.6 petrol 'Sport' model!
Frank Bullitt

Never understood why people don't like stop-start; by the time your foot is on the clutch (never mind in gear) the engine is where it should be - if at a busy junction, don't take your foot off the clutch (which you probably wouldn't anyway)
Martin

The E220 Auto has a terrible system with a severe lag that makes it borderline dangerous at junctions in some circumstances.  I don't like the shudder / rattle you get with small diesels when they re-start, as that's the worst bit about that type of engine, so once every journey is enough.  It can be just as bad in petrol engined car, the Meriva I had felt awful when it re-started.
Bob Sacamano

Martin wrote:
The E220 Auto has a terrible system with a severe lag that makes it borderline dangerous at junctions in some circumstances.  I don't like the shudder / rattle you get with small diesels when they re-start, as that's the worst bit about that type of engine, so once every journey is enough.  It can be just as bad in petrol engined car, the Meriva I had felt awful when it re-started.


The Audi CVT is the same.
JohnC

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Never understood why people don't like stop-start; by the time your foot is on the clutch (never mind in gear) the engine is where it should be - if at a busy junction, don't take your foot off the clutch (which you probably wouldn't anyway)


There's nothing wrong with the system and actually it's quite good. It is more the fact that it takes a second or two before you can pull away and if you are too quick, it's easy to end up stalling. Personally, I am not a great fan of sitting with my foot on the clutch for any length of time.
PhilD

JohnC wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Never understood why people don't like stop-start; by the time your foot is on the clutch (never mind in gear) the engine is where it should be - if at a busy junction, don't take your foot off the clutch (which you probably wouldn't anyway)


There's nothing wrong with the system and actually it's quite good. It is more the fact that it takes a second or two before you can pull away and if you are too quick, it's easy to end up stalling. Personally, I am not a great fan of sitting with my foot on the clutch for any length of time.


I've always been a bit clutchy if the wait is short. Is this bad?
Martin

I was told that keeping your foot on the clutch and/or resting your hand on the gearlever are bad things do do as they cause premature wear.  Not sure if that still applies or not, but it stuck.
JohnC

If your foot is on the clutch, the thrust release bearing is under pressure and is up against the pressure plate. People who sit with their foot on the clutch are likely to hear a rumbling bearing later on in the car's life - not the end of the world but something I don't like doing.
Alf McQueef

Similar findings to mine on the steering/refinement front then. Having had both, plenty of times, its a totally different proposition to the Mini - the lower model 1 series may look dull but it has a great interior and genuine big car refinement. The mini feels more "fun" but that soon wears off on longer journeys. The current BMW range has an excellent ride/handling balance across all the models I have tried.

There was no trouble telling the engine was on in the 116d    I let the start stop do its thing personally - I only disable it if the car in question ever fails to fire up, which has happened to me before. In our C Max it works a treat with a refined engine - in the 116d it was unpleasant with the whole car rocking and the gearstick all over the place on restart. The system is fair enough but idling uses tiny amounts of fuel on modern engines (aside from truck engines!) and you need to be stopped for a few seconds before there is any saving - when it cuts off when you need to move again 3 seconds later it is a PITA.

I don't like to sit on the clutch either - or on the brake for long in an auto. Weirdly, in the auto 316i sport I had a couple of weeks ago (which felt surprisingly quick in urban driving) the start stop would activate if you were sitting on the brake, but put the car into "park" as I generally do if stopped at red lights and it would not stop! Very odd - the wrong way around...
Martin

That is very strange!

I know most people don't like electronic handbrakes, but when combined with 'auto hold', you lift your foot of the brake when you come to a stop and the brakes are held on until you press the throttle (Mercedes have had this for years), whether the engine stops or not.  When you park up, all you do is switch off the engine and the gearbox goes into park automatically and the handbrake is applied.  When you start the engine, you just select drive and move away, you don't have to disengage the handbrake.  Simple.
Michael

The 520 I had did that trick. Would have been slicker still if the hill hold didn't have to be manually activated every time you started the car.
Frank Bullitt

JohnC wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Never understood why people don't like stop-start; by the time your foot is on the clutch (never mind in gear) the engine is where it should be - if at a busy junction, don't take your foot off the clutch (which you probably wouldn't anyway)


There's nothing wrong with the system and actually it's quite good. It is more the fact that it takes a second or two before you can pull away and if you are too quick, it's easy to end up stalling. Personally, I am not a great fan of sitting with my foot on the clutch for any length of time.


Perhaps I'm not that quick on the pedals but I've tried stop start in the last generation MINI and various Audi's and if I am ever at the point where I can put the car into neutral it's 'sorted' itself before I get on the accelerator or I just sit with my foot on the clutch if trying to get access to a busy junction, for example, when the stop-start doesn't therefore kick in.

I've alway been told to put the car in neutral and don't sit on the clutch as it puts pressure on the release bearing, unless I'm waiting to make a quick getaway I never do.
JohnC

I had a good bit more time in the car last night in Sport mode and it is really pretty nippy. The engine is a very smooth unit but having done a few more checks on mpg it is really at its best on a cruise. It will easily do 50+ mpg if you are sitting at 55/60 mph on a flattish road but after a bit of a country road run last night my average was down to 29mpg and this morning from cold on a fairly easy journey in to the office with little traffic and then a run back to the garage with traffic but moderately busy with a bit of stop start, it was down to high 26mpg by the time I got there.

I also noticed that the pedals are offset to the right a bit which I know would give me a sore hip/lower back over time.

The ride and handling though impressed me even more last night.

I would still say its a great little car but not as economical as I expected and although not bad, the offset pedals would give me a problem.

       The Motor Forum Forum Index -> Test Driven
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum