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BMW 1 Series adds sub-$50K base model for 2022

John Law

BMW has added several new entry-level variants with national driveaway pricing to its Australian model range, starting with the 1 Series hatch

For 2022, BMW Australia has decided to introduce an F40-generation 1 Series hatch without M Sport paraphernalia for the first time, meaning the 118i Sport Line will mark a new affordable entry point for the Bavarian brand.

BMW has set the new grade’s national driveaway price at $48,900, which undercuts the 118i M Sport ($46,990 before on-roads, or roughly $50,900 driveaway) by around $2000. 

The new variant emerges as the fourth in the Australian F40 1 Series line-up alongside the 118i M Sport, 128ti front-drive hot hatch ($56,990 before on-road costs) and the all-wheel-drive M135i xDrive range-topper (from $64,990 before on-road costs).  

BMW 118i Sport Line 2022 rear 34
The 118i Sport Line drops the M Sport kit and gets smaller wheels

This lower price of entry is intended to steer buyers towards BMW’s premium small car against rivals such as the new-generation Audi A3 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatch, while potentially solving the 118i M Sport’s biggest flaw – agitated ride quality. 

BMW has added several other Sport Line models to the Australian range as well, including a 218i Gran Coupe and two variants of the 3 Series sedan. 

What’s new for the 118i Sport Line?

The biggest external differences with the 118i Sport Line include a non-M Sport bodykit, smaller 17-inch alloy wheels and the choice of one paint colour: black metallic.  

Additionally, the lack of M Sport kit means the 118i Sport Line receives a softer suspension setup which should hopefully equate to a more comfortable ride. 

BMW 118i Sport Line 2022 social
The lower-spec model represent a $2000 lower price of entry than the M Sport grade

Inside, BMW has fitted manually-adjustable sports seats with cloth-upholstered centres flanked by leather bolsters. The steering wheel is different to the M Sport model as well, though it’s still leather-appointed.  

Otherwise, the 118i specification remains fairly similar with a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display and 10.25-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

Safety technology includes front AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning. The 1 Series scored five-stars in ANCAP testing in 2019.

Under the bonnet is a charming 1.0-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder producing 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque – an engine that should be very familiar to Mini Cooper owners. Grunt is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 118i Sport Line will become available towards the end of March priced from $48,900 driveaway.

BMW 1 Series: prices in Australia

All prices (except 118i Sport Line) are before on-road costs.

  • 118i Sport Line: $48,900*
  • 118i M Sport: $46,990
  • 128ti: $56,900
  • M135i xDrive Pure: $64,990
  • M135i xDrive: $69,990

*denotes national driveaway pricing