The 125i is probably one of the most underrated cars on the road. Your average buyer will more than likely opt for the diesel or go full-out and buy the 135i, thus skipping right over the 125i, missing the hidden gem all together.
The 125i is powered by a 2.0 Turbo charged 4 cylinder, rated at 160kw and 310nm. Sure, but why call it a 125i if it’s only a 120? Well most BMW’s are now powered by smaller engines, boasting impressive figures and I guess that the badges just stuck. The 125i’s power levels are on par with that of the previous 2.5 6 cylinders from yesteryear.
Our test unit was delivered in a very bright Valcencia orange and was fitted with BMW’s optional M-pack, which comprises of a sportier bumper with larger panels, bigger side sills and a rear bumper that incorporates the diffuser. The 125i is also riding on some really good looking M-Sport 18” wheels.
The interior, which is typically 1 series, has seen a few tweaks here and there with sorter panels, a bigger IDrive infotainment system, revised controller and the beautiful M steering wheel which is part of the M-sport package. A Harmon-Kardon audio system will make sure all your favourite music will be crystal clear and thoroughly enjoyed.
The 125i, being rear wheel driven makes, for a fun drive and never feels underpowered. Enable Sport Plus, which firms up the dampers and disables the traction control, a lot of fun can be had with relatively no repercussions. The BMW will always be seen as a true drivers car, compared to that of the Golf GTI, which is obviously front wheel driven. My only complaint is lack of space for drivers taller than 1.9meters. For that you would have to consider the 3 door version, which has bigger doors and would make entering and exiting the vehicle a little bit more forgiving.
When comparing the 125i to the likes of the GTI, ST, RS Megane and the OPC, the 1 series matches very nearly in price and should not be overlooked when it comes to looking for a hot hatch that perhaps offers a little extra in the comfort department and for that the 125i is a wolf in sheeps clothing, waiting to pounce.
The BMW 125i retails at R465 973 and features a 2 year unlimited km warranty and a 5 year 100 000km maintenance plan.
For more info, www.bmw.co.za