In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a 118d tow a caravan? We will proceed with a full review of the BMW 1 Series: engine, design, technology, behaviour on the road and main competitors.
Can a 118d tow a caravan?
With a maximum towing weight of 1500 kg, the BMW 1 Series 118d can tow any small to medium-sized caravan or trailer. The 118d is perhaps among the best engines of the series.
The car is more comfortable than ever, but it still remains extraordinarily agile. The weight distribution is typical BMW of 50% with 50% between front and rear. If you opt for the variable sports steering, which costs extra as an option, you will string one of the most pleasant steering systems in the world.
BMW 1 Series: The concept
The 1 Series was a car seen as a kind of intruder in the BMW range at first and treated with greater reluctance than the X5, for example. It seemed impossible to implant BMW DNA on such a small car, but in the end, the 1 Series won, recording sales above expectations. BMW delivered about one million Series 1 cars between 2004, the year the model was launched, and the end of 2011.
Therefore, it was necessary for the new generation to be a new hit and to solve the problems of the first one: the slightly strange design, the space for the feet and the size of the trunk, plus the relatively old-fashioned range of engines.
For the most part, BMW has done a good job and, in addition, BMW Lines debuts on this new 1 Series, i.e. some aesthetic equipment lines that are an alternative to the well-known M package. That is, you can buy your car either standard or with a package. Urban, Sport or M. BMW Lines are also taken over by the new 3 Series, launched more recently.
BMW 1 Series: Design
The car in the test has the Sport aesthetic package, the first recognition of which comes from the two intake openings in the muzzle of the car, which are black and have few blades. In the case of the Urban version, they are silver and have several blades.
The 1 Series has never been a very beautiful car, and now it looks uglier than ever. At least that’s the feeling it leaves you at first sight. But after seeing it in reality and repeatedly, you even end up liking it a lot. He’s like a co-worker who you find unpleasant, but with whom you have a good chance of becoming friends if you know him better over a beer.
BMW 1 Series: Technology, comfort and amenities
That’s because the BMW 1 Series is a very successful car and brings at a relatively acceptable price level features and an interior design found only on the brand’s expensive cars.
The 1 Series is the second BMW model, after the 6 Series, which is equipped with a “floating” navigation screen. Basically, the display is no longer clogged on the dashboard as with the old BMW models, but as if applied on the dashboard, and the display’s graphics and resolution have been greatly improved.
BMW 1 Series interior: The audio system sounds excellent and transmits vibrations to your lungs without anything else in the car vibrating. It’s the most pleasant surprise I’ve had in Series 1. A complete, refined musical experience…
You can even listen to internet radio: the Web Radio function. Regarding Web Radio… Yes, it’s nice to be able to search for music by genre and watch high-calibre foreign stations, but the problem is the telecommunications infrastructure.
In cities, I can easily listen to Web Radio in MP3 quality (128 kbps), but in the suburbs, it is almost impossible to use Web Radio even at the lowest quality. The interruptions are frequent and the complexity of the sound is so low that it is not worth torturing your ears.
In order to have Web Radio, the car takes data traffic from the mobile phone. For the iPhone, there is very advanced armrest support, which ensures a fixed-grip and even cooling the terminal. On the phone, you can even install a BMW application that shows you, wherever you are, how many kilometres the car has and how much fuel you have in the tank.
An issue of comfort in the old generation was the limited space for the rear passenger legs. Optionally, the rear seat backrests can be folded individually. That is, you can have two seats in the back and the third seat, in the middle, folded, to insert the skis and snowboards. The trunk now has a volume of 360 litres, 30 litres more.
BMW 1 Series: On the road
Definitive for BMW is the pleasure of driving. Here Series 1 of this test comes with both good and bad.
The good news is that the car is more comfortable now, but it still remains extraordinarily agile. The weight distribution is typical BMW of 50% with 50% between front and rear.
If you opt for the variable sports steering, which costs extra as an option, you will string one of the most pleasant steering systems in the world. Only on Porsche cars have I encountered a somewhat comparable sensation. Even the bigger BMW cars are not as pleasant and direct, because they have more of the air of sports limousines, not of a kart with rear-wheel drive and precise steering. Hats off to BMW 1 Series and steering system!
BMW 118i, like the one in the test, comes with the already known 1.6-litre petrol engine on the MINI, developed by BMW together with PSA Peugeot Citroen. It’s perhaps the best engine in its class.
There is also a weaker version, 116i (entry range). Urban consumption hardly exceeds 12 litres / 100 km, and if you do not exceed 90 km / h in extra-urban BMW 118i consumes even 5 litres / 100 km.
At 130 km / h instant consumption is below 6.5 liters of gasoline / 100 km. These are very good figures for a 170 horsepower (HP) engine put on a car over 1,400 kg. Up to speeds of 150 km / h, consumption does not exceed 10 litres / 100 km.
For the maximum efficiency and fulfilled wishes there is the Eco Pro button. Through it, you can set the car to be more economical or sportier. The modifications are operated starting with the injection system and up to the heating level in the seats and the air conditioning installation.
In the most eco-friendly way, the display for instant consumption becomes a blue band that tells you how economical you drive. All the car’s power-consuming systems, including heated seats, go into a less wasteful mode of operation.
The most dramatic is the decrease in power as if the car had lost about 30-40 horsepower. The Start & Stop system, which should stop the engine at traffic lights, works when it wants to. Anyway… very, very rarely.
But it’s hard to drive this car “old style”, especially since it has 170 horsepower and reaches 100 km / h in 7.4 seconds!
The biggest downside goes to the manual gearbox. It works hard, hangs and vibrates at idle.
BMW 1 Series: Competitors
The BMW 1 Series has long been its head in the premium compact segment and remains so from a point of view. It is still the only premium compact car with propulsion (rear-wheel drive).
A3 was and is without a doubt the most formidable rival of the 1 Series. A new rival appeared was the Lexus CT200h, and more recently, at the Geneva Motor Show (March 6-18), the new generation Mercedes-Benz Class A.
Of all, Class A seems to be the only model among those listed. It can cause serious problems for the 1 Series, if not the new A3 will be considerably more accessible than the two.
BMW 1 Series is not a cheap car, but at least you know that for this money you get a complete and well-made car, and in the 5-year warranty, overhauls and consumables are free. It is very important that BMW understood the disadvantages of the old generation and has now made a car that looks better from all points of view.
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FAQ on Can a 118d tow a caravan?
Can a BMW 1 Series tow a caravan?
Yes, the BMW 1 Series can tow a caravan. The towing limit varies between 745 kgs for an unbraked capacity and 1500 kgs for a braked capacity. To be sure how much your model can tow, check the owner’s manual.
Can a BMW tow a caravan?
A BMW has a strong towing capacity between 745 and 3500 kg, depending on the car model. To be sure how much your model can tow, check the owner’s manual.
Can a BMW 3 Series tow a caravan?
A BMW 3 Series can tow a caravan effortlessly. As long as the caravan’s weight doesn’t exceed 85% of the weight of the car, you can trust your BMW 3 Series to tow it.
Can a BMW 328i tow?
A BMW 328i can tow any trailer weighing up to 900 kg or 2000 lbs, as long as you have a trailer hitch installed.