I love the smell of vanilla. I’m addicted to it and will happily sniff the bottle for hours. Then I decided to drink it out the bottle. Bad idea. Its smell doesn’t translate aptly across to your taste buds. It’s horrific. This, I often feel, is so sad. Why can’t things be what they seem to be?

Every once in a while a car comes along that is so majestic in its looks and sound that you wonder whether it’s going to be a “vanilla smell” drive? Great but when the going gets driving, the driving becomes horrendous.

Ladies and gentlemen I’d like to inform you that the new 1-Series Coupe smells like Vanilla and tastes the way you expect it too. This car is majestic and awesome with cookies and a cherry on top.


With prices starting at R350, 000, and this particular one at R411, 000, with the Motorsport detailing, some may consider this too expensive. Bah humbug to them. A Beemer with a straight six engine that has heralded the revival of ‘Old School’ and made me believe in the “Sheer Driving Pleasure” slogan that BMW emit. That is priceless. So priceless that I sat down and thought about what I’d give up to own this beastly beauty. I thought about the apartment – turns out I need somewhere to sleep; my parents – someone needs to feed me now and then; my pc – not worth enough and I don’t have any dogs or cats to offer. What are the big things in life that societies claim just the “best thing…?” Children.


Which got me doing some basic maths. Kids are expensive. There’s the hospital fees for them to join the world, their diapers (in the bad months up to R1 200 alone) their doctors fees, visits to hospital, things you need to buy to baby proof your house, all the clothing and this carrier, that feeder and a round-a-bout rocker. The list is endless and the buffalos add up. I haven’t even added in a day care yet. The average Jo does not have the capital to lay out just under half a mill for a car straight up. Most of us mere mortals purchase them through a bank manager. Average HP is over 4 years. My maths has figured that a child over 4 years amounts to roughly the same price as a 1-Series Coupe.

This car is so epic that I’d hold off on the children for 4 years and drive this rather……..and it doesn’t get sick on you.


I previously used the words beastly beauty which, in my opinion, is perfectly suited. As pretty as a picture, it ain’t for your son/daughter. This is a true driver’s car and engineering masterpiece. The build is flawless, low to the ground, wide, streamlined body for maximum aerodynamics and with BMW distributing the weight in an even ratio of 50:50 over the axle providing ample flex and flow through corners. I personally felt that I needed to pay my respects and strive to get the most out of it.


Some people may argue that the engine in the 125i is too low tech to merit the price tag attached to the badge. I disagree. This engine, which is built with light weight materials, coupled with the BMW systems come together for a fantastic back to basics drive. No unnecessary turbo nonsense here to keep you from the belly of the beast. It’s pure raw car. All you have to do is gently bury your foot down and absorb the 170kW and 370Nm of power and torque. I say gently for a reason, being a rear wheel drive you can’t rough house this 1-Series Coupe in a ruby player fashion, you have to rough house the way you would with a lady. At all times you need to remember she can turn on you and then it’s LeTanya from the Bronx bringing you down.


LeTanya comes out in the gearbox if you think you’re too smart for her sassiness. The standard gearbox is the automatic 6 speed. The version I drove had paddles which are optional. Them paddles can get you into trouble. Shift down one too many gears too eagerly and you get a sudden bit of bite and that beastly raw power. Thankfully the DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) at this point realises you’re a hooligan and helps the car gain maximum traction on whatever roads you decide to bestow the 1-Series’s driving genius on.

Thanks to all the various BMW driving systems you now think you could give Nick Heidfeld a run for his team position.


At this point I’d like to thank the PTB (Powers That Be) at BMW for not making Cruise Control a house standard on the 125i. That would’ve run the risk of ruining the charm and driving experience completely in my eyes. The rule of ‘eating is cheating’ becomes – ‘cruise control is for them who don’t like to experience control.’


Fuel wise it is a bit of a guzzler with BMW claiming 8.9-litres per 100km. The average figure I got was closer to 12 when putting the beast through her paces, though I did manage an 8 on some consistent highway driving. The tree huggers are going to have a fit with the carbon emission figure of 207g/km. So what? They have 3 children. 1 child’s carbon footprint over a year will greatly exceed that of the 1-Series. They also drive an old car that burps its emissions with the force of an eczema break out upon the ozone layer. Maybe they should’ve forgone the last child and got a 1-Series Coupe… I’m just saying.

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