BMW 1 Series 125i Coupe M Sport Review
Compact flash

Story by Raymond Lai, pictures by Azfar Hashim
11 Jul 2008

First the hot hatch market, and now the premium coupe sector – BMW’s 1 Series aims to fill almost every other niche for compact cars

Exterior & accommodation

Like it or not, BMW’s 1 Series is here to stay, and there’s not just one variant of the controversial looking small BMW out there. We’ve driven the hot three-door 130i hatch recently, and now it’s time to get our hands on the 125i Coupe.

Honestly, I’m not a fan of this baby BMW’s looks - the headlamps look too big for the compact body while the multiple surfaces along its flanks look rather messy. But I’d have to say that if there’ one 1 Series body style that looks decent to me, it has to be the Coupe, especially in the white shade of the test car here - the Coupe’s overall proportions somehow look more resolved than the hatchback models.

Other than that cross eyed face, the rest of the car seems to take design inspiration from the larger 3 Series Coupe rather than the 1 Series hatch. The rear looks pert, and blends in well with the overall look of the car. Also, there’s the lowered M suspension and the M body styling package to give the car a further purposeful stance.

Well, the Coupe could well have just altered my conceptions about the 1 Series’ controversial looks.

The Coupe’s interior is as compact as the hatch’s but you tend to be a tad forgiving as this is a Coupe after all. Our test car came with red leather trimmings and a black dashboard, and this particular colour combination somehow gives the standard 1 Series’ cabin ambience a huge lift. The black coloured surface did a good job of actually hiding the quality of the materials used, some of which feel a tad hard to the touch. The front seats are shared with the 130i’s and feature side bolsters that can be electrically adjusted according to preferences. Sorry, no electrical adjustments seats here – you still have to set it manually using the levers.

The boot is well sized and shaped for such a compact car. Better still, it even offers 60/40 split-fold rear seats that can be operated by a convenient lever within the boot.


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Engine Capacity 2996cc
Engine Type Inline 6
Power 218bhp @ 6100rpm
Torque 270Nm @ 2500rpm
Power to Weight 144.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 243 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type FR


Body Type Coupe
(L x W x H)
(4360 x 1748 x 1423) mm
Wheelbase 2660 mm
Kerb Weight 1505 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 53 L