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Thread: Second-hand BMW 1 series; what to choose, what to avoid?

  1. #1

    Second-hand BMW 1 series; what to choose, what to avoid?

    My oldest has been saving since he was a young lad for '...one day I'll be driving my own BMW'. And I must say that he has done a remarkable job. School, sailing, working and saving. He nearly has the money for a 1 series.

    Currently, he's going up and down the coast (100 miles single trip) twice every week for his sailing training. Currently, he's using my VW Up! But my wife -and as always she's right- considers a VW Up! not to be the most suited car for those trips, safety-wise. So she's willing to cover the last part to get my son in his beemer. Insurance-wise it's not a good idea to put him in an M-series. On the other hand, insurance in Holland for young drivers isn't over the top like in the UK.

    Hence the question: what to choose and what to avoid? 114, 116, diesel or petrol. Packages vary here and in the UK and not all pre-owned cars in a certain price range have all the goodies one desires. A towbar -or the possibility of adding one- is essential. (I remember our company car BMW 320d EDE with an ultra-smooth and ultra-efficient engine. But it was impossible to hook something behind it. The factory specs were not suited for a towbar).

    Tips, tricks, do's and don'ts please!
    Last edited by thieuster; 20th October 2019 at 17:07.

  2. #2
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    The only experience Iíve had of a 1 Series hatch is when the wife had one as a company car, the boot was truly tiny! The rest of it was fine.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Be wary of 4 cyl diesels,they have a self destruct option.

  4. #4
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    N47 2.0d engines 2006 to 2014 ate their timing chains apparently, but it’s a weak point and not as widespread they would have you think

  5. #5
    Try to avoid the 114i. Really slow.

    If you can go for sport or m sport trim level although SE trim is usually cheaper. ES trim is very spartan.

    Unlike BMW'S of old the last two digits of the model number dont represent the engine size.

    Dont overpay the new 1 series has just hit the market so prices are likely to drop.

    Finally the facelift ones post 2015 6 are much improved in many areas. You can tell them from the positioning of the rear badge.

  6. #6
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Wife has a 2008 2.0 petrol cab, she really likes it. A bit of a harsh ride on our rotten roads, a bit thirsty as she drives it in a spirited way (I need to choose my words carefully if she stumbled on my account here).
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    Not sure that a rwd car would be a good idea for a young lad, especially with winter fast approaching.


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  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    I now have the 116d and have previously had then 118d and itís a much more rounded engine

    The 116d is a bit underpowered really imo


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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stuie-t View Post
    Not sure that a rwd car would be a good idea for a young lad, especially with winter fast approaching.


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    Thatís true!

  10. #10
    Master Filterlab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    Be wary of 4 cyl diesels,they have a self destruct option.
    My girlfriend’s 123d has just done that. Swirl flap breakage, inlet manifold melt down (literally). 1x dead engine.

  11. #11
    Master
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    I drove a 123d coupe for over 200k miles before it started to have some issues, in the 5 or so years I had it, it was very reliable. Things wore out of course, from memory; brake calipers on the front started sticking, dpf needed refurb (after 180k), water pump failed (after 170k) and a couple of sensor failures in short succession made me decide it was time to get rid. Other than the things mentioned it was just the usual consumables. It went like stink too but was capable of returning itís stated 54.3 if I was very light footed.

  12. #12
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    Mimo,

    If I recall correctly then values of second hand cars are much stronger on the continent it might be helpful if you have any into on the likely age / mileage that your selecting from.

  13. #13
    Master
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    The only experience I’ve had of a 1 Series hatch is when the wife had one as a company car, the boot was truly tiny! The rest of it was fine.
    Be wary of 4 cyl diesels,they have a self destruct option.
    Not sure that a rwd car would be a good idea for a young lad, especially with winter fast approaching.
    All the above are true, N47 also leaks oil from the pump.

    Also if he is tall he may find he bangs his head on the A pillar when he's getting in.

    I've had 3 BMWs, E36 325i coupe, E46 318i Sport, 118D SE.
    The last 2 put me off BMWs forever, I wouldn't have another.

  14. #14
    Today a short trip around town for some 'tyre kicking'. It's clear that BMW wants the new 1 Series on the streets asap. The amount of cars is enormous and on top of the, there's also Germany only 60 miles to the east with an unlimited amount of cars for sale. Selling the Up! won't be a problem. I can sell that car in minutes: a friend is looking for an Up! He already made me an offer.

    Menno

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    Be wary of 4 cyl diesels,they have a self destruct option.
    Yes, a friend has one and it's it been nothing but problems!

  16. #16
    It's going to be a petrol-powered car. Apart from the warnings here, it has also to do with Dutch road tax for diesels

  17. #17
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    The Up! is more than capable - no need to spend money in this case.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    I had a 118 m sport as a courtesy car, managed 2 hours and took it back. Needed far smoother roads than around here and basic for the price.


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  19. #19
    My oldest and I went for a test drive in a 118i (MY 2019, but not the newest model, 18K kms on the clock). The local dealer really wants to sell those cars. His p/e offer for the Up! was 60% higher than the VW dealer's. Price is alright, but it comes with a 3 yr full warranty and 5 yr/100k kms free maintenance scheme. (Before the trip to the BMW dealer, I went to the VAG dealer for an idea about the part exchange offer I could expect. No matter what I had in mind: new or pre-used Audi, VW or Seat, the offer was pretty low!)

    When we came in, we stopped at the 8 Series Coupe and behind that car, the new 7 Series. Overwhelmingly expensive off course. After a few minutes, the sales rep spotted us and we took the 118 for a test drive. I should have filmed that. The smile on his face is only matched by the smile he had when he became the national sailing champion.

    When he found out that it's my son's first car and (largely) paid by himself, he pulled all the levers. Pomp and circumstance. Long story: they went out on a trip in an 8 Series Coupe that was outside. As if he needed to be convinced...

    Now it's time to step back and have a deep breath. Time to figure out how much insurance is etc. and a rethink of his plans. When all's clear and he can afford it, it's time to take the next step.

  20. #20
    Master
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    Again that N47 Diesel engine is notorious.. I am currently driving around in a 5 series with one and am paranoid about it. Itís also astonishingly unrefined compared to the 6 cylinder Diesel engines I have to say in terms of how it sounds.

    Based on that I would suggest a petrol motor really unless you really need the economy (which isnít that impressive either.. itís thirstier than my outgoing E39 with the 3 litre 6 cylinder M57 motor...)

  21. #21
    The one we saw today is the 118i (petrol)

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicaneuk View Post
    Again that N47 Diesel engine is notorious.. I am currently driving around in a 5 series with one and am paranoid about it. Itís also astonishingly unrefined compared to the 6 cylinder Diesel engines I have to say in terms of how it sounds.

    Based on that I would suggest a petrol motor really unless you really need the economy (which isnít that impressive either.. itís thirstier than my outgoing E39 with the 3 litre 6 cylinder M57 motor...)
    The 6cyl petrol is the way to go but in the circumstances not the one for a first car.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    The 6cyl petrol is the way to go but in the circumstances not the one for a first car.
    After this afternoon's spin with the sales rep, he'll start saving for an 8 Series Coupe!

  24. #24
    Craftsman andymonkey's Avatar
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    I had a MY63 116i M Sport two door. Great car, felt like real quality. Capable enough engine with it only being a 1.6, economical and quite quick when pushed.
    Expensive when new tyres were needed though with it having run flats.



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  25. #25
    Master de30m's Avatar
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    Think the 118i is the 1.5 3 cyl engine as used in the mini cooper

    Iíve had both cars are courtesy cars in past couple of years and it is a nice torquey engine for the size and even though being a petrol turbo, nicely economical and doesnít feel like a small / base model engine like the same in other similar cars.

    I had an m135i which I really loved, but in most cases other than power the 118i drove just as nicely as the top model.

  26. #26
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicaneuk View Post
    Again that N47 Diesel engine is notorious.. I am currently driving around in a 5 series with one and am paranoid about it. It’s also astonishingly unrefined
    I swapped my F11 for the G30 with that in mind

    The N47 engine ceased going into cars in Sep 2014 replaced by the B47.

    I now have the new G30 5 Series and the difference in refinement against my March F11 is astonishing,so quite on start up.
    Last edited by hilly10; 23rd October 2019 at 07:10.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    After this afternoon's spin with the sales rep, he'll start saving for an 8 Series Coupe!

    Beautiful car Menno I sat in one a few months ago when my 5 Series was in for the EGR Recall

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by stuie-t View Post
    Not sure that a rwd car would be a good idea for a young lad, especially with winter fast approaching.


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    Completely agree with this.

    Best wishes,
    Martyn.

  29. #29
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilly10 View Post
    I swapped my F11 for the G30 with that in mind

    The N47 engine ceased going into cars in Sep 2014 replaced by the B47.

    I now have the new G30 5 Series and the difference in refinement against my March F11 is astonishing,so quite on start up.
    Mine is an E61 (Touring). I like everything else about it if I'm honest.. the interior feels so modern compared to my old E39 and the quality does feel comparable but the motor is like a bag of bolts. It sounds terrible!

  30. #30
    Signed the deal. Including a meet with the marketing office of the dealer (one of the biggest in the country) about sponsoring my oldest's sailing adventures. They suggested it themselves. I couldn't believe my ears, tbh. That was not what convinced us. The p/e offer for my Up! was too good to let go.

    Menno

  31. #31
    I recently visited a bmw dealership for the first time whilst looking at various cars and found myself strangely unmoved by the experience. I think youíre either a bmw person or not, Iíve never had one and my visit didnít persuade me. Theyíre mostly quite pretty, but thereís something a bit Ďthrusting and hair gelí about the brand that puts me right off. What stunned me were the high prices and the low spec in comparison to eg VW - and I couldnít see where the extra money goes tbh. Not undermining the thread or your son - well done to him- but isnít it odd how some brands appeal to some people and not to others?!


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  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    I recently visited a bmw dealership for the first time whilst looking at various cars and found myself strangely unmoved by the experience. I think you’re either a bmw person or not, I’ve never had one and my visit didn’t persuade me. They’re mostly quite pretty, but there’s something a bit ‘thrusting and hair gel’ about the brand that puts me right off. What stunned me were the high prices and the low spec in comparison to eg VW - and I couldn’t see where the extra money goes tbh. Not undermining the thread or your son - well done to him- but isn’t it odd how some brands appeal to some people and not to others?!


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    I totally agree with you. Our first BMWs were company cars. Simply too expensive to buy with money from your own wallet. The one we've been discussing all week is exactly a year old and the original sale price when new was € 37,000. Always used by BMW Netherlands, never sold to a customer. Now, one year later and 18k kms (11k mls) the asking price is less than € 25,000. That's as expensive as preowned 2018 VW Polo / Seat Ibiza! That made it - in this case - more interesting. Add to that the nearly € 3000 p/exchange offer in favour of the BMW and the fact that the 2yr warranty / 5 yr free maintenance starts now (because it was a car from BMW themselves) makes it and interesting offer.

    As I wrote before: here, young drivers have to pay more insurance premium than older, but it's not over-the-top expensive.

    All that made us decide to buy it. Only chance we have is that my wife (who's in the US at the moment) wants a weirdly coloured leather interior...
    Last edited by thieuster; 24th October 2019 at 16:03.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Signed the deal. Including a meet with the marketing office of the dealer (one of the biggest in the country) about sponsoring my oldest's sailing adventures. They suggested it themselves. I couldn't believe my ears, tbh. That was not what convinced us. The p/e offer for my Up! was too good to let go.

    Menno
    Wow - result :)

  34. #34
    The car comes without a set of winter tyres. The sales rep made me an offer for a set, but I was not convinced. So, this morning, I went to two local tyre fitters and asked them for a price: 4 black steel wheels, 4 Continental run-on-flat winter tyres and TPMS (mandatory here on cars after 2015). Exactly the same set-up as the BMW offer. Both were unable to match BMW's offer! I showed them BMW's offer and one of the fitters told me: "Not good for my business when a premium brand like BMW is cheaper than a specialist!"

    TPMS = Tyre Pressure Monitoring System; I hadn't heard about that, but hey my cars until now are/were all older than the MY15!

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