Long term tests

BMW 1M Coupe: Long term test

The fantastic BMW 1M Coupe joins the evo Fast Fleet.

> Click here for the evo review of the BMW 1M Coupe.

How long does it take for greatness to make itself known? For some, like Vincent van Gogh, too long. For the 1-series M Coupe, it’s after your first half-mile drive. Few cars feel so good, so immediately. It really is a fabulous machine – full of up-and-at-’em verve and spirit, but creamy and compact and perfectly liveable with. Talismanic too – this is the first turbocharged (proper) M-car and it bodes well for Ms to come.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

However, this complicates the long-term- test proposition because there’s only one way the BMW 1M can go, and that’s down. Simply put, this great car can’t get any better, can it? What if its spirit is diminished by reliability niggles or its stiff ride becomes unbearable after a couple of months? What if its steroidal aesthetic ages badly?

Well, we’e going to find out. Over the coming months evo’s 1-series M will be subjected to my commute every day – a 70-mile blast on B- and A-roads. It’ll be thrashed mercilessly on evo track events, take in a few continental cruises and undoubtedly find its way into a few more tests, including evo Car of the Year (where I think it will excel).

Advertisement - Article continues below

Our 1M cost £45,340. That’s the basic OTR price of £40,020 plus £5320-worth of Bluetooth, BMW Assist (including an ‘online portal’ giving news and Google local search), DAB radio, Harman/Kardon surround sound, USB audio interface, satnav, voice control, heated seats with adjustable lumbar support, metallic Valencia Orange paint, tinted glass and folding mirrors. Standard equipment includes 19in Y-spoke alloy wheels, two-zone air-con, leather and Alcantara with orange stitching, cruise control, heated washer jets, headlight washers, rear parking sensors, xenon headlights and LED lights at the rear. An auto/twin-clutch gearbox is not an option – it’s manual only, and that’s fine by me.

As I write this, I’ve taken the 1M on just one long journey, to the south of England with the family. With my 20-month-old son Isofixed in the rear, and the boot swallowing his buggy and a small suitcase, off we travelled. It wasn’t exactly the thrill of driving. The M25 swallowed us for a couple of hours, then I rode up a kerb and knackered a wheel trying to avoid a wandering bus. Saying that, I grabbed a blissful 15 minutes pushing the 1M hard on a fabulous B-road and it was one of the best 15 minutes of my life. In fact, on my return I emailed BMW and asked if we could keep the car for longer than the planned six months. Much longer...

> Click here for the evo review of the BMW 1M Coupe.

Running Costs

Date acquiredJune 2011
Total mileage2919
Mileage this month315
MPG this month29.4

Most Popular

BMW M3 saloon

2020 BMW M3 tech specs revealed – choice is the word for BMW’s sports saloon

BMW’s next M3 to be available in manual or auto; with and without all-wheel drive
1 Jul 2020
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £10,000 – evo garage

The evo team picks their favourite used performance cars
1 Jul 2020
Audi e-tron

New 496bhp Audi e-tron S revealed – Audi’s first high-performance EV

The Audi e-tron S has picked up an extra electric motor for a total of three in new EV flagship
1 Jul 2020
Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

New 318bhp Volkswagen Tiguan R to join Arteon R and Golf R

The popular Volkswagen Tiguan has been updated, and revealed in new R and e-hybrid forms
30 Jun 2020