BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines Review: It's an M Sport, need we say more?

Updated Feb 25, 2021

User's: 5.0/5
The BMW 118i with M Sport variant is quite a departure from the normal BMW 118i. Let's find out more in this BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines Review right here!

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Engine
  5. Ride and handling
  6. Safety
  7. Specs
  8. Price
  9. Conclusion

1. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines Review: Introduction

BMW, as you dear readers might already know, has been around for a while and has been known for relevant and fashionable car models like the BMW 3 Series (first manufactured in 1975) and the 5 Series (1972). The 1 Series, despite having the “1” designation, was introduced only in 2004. 

Now on its third generation (also known as F40) the entry-level model range (for the premium brand, that is) mostly consisted of rear-wheel drive vehicles. Here in the Philippines however, the only available variant from this BMW series is the 118i M Sport F20 hatchback. The F40 Series 1 is still yet to be released here.

Despite being “entry level,” the BMW 118i M Sport is by no means less of a BMW than its brothers from other vehicles series. It still looks sleek, feels nimble, and, most of all, comfortable. If you are still skeptical, you definitely need to read BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines review done by's car experts. Let's check it out!

2020 BMW 118I M Sport

This 1 Series specimen is definitely a hot hatch

2. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Exterior

At first glance, what immediately comes to mind are the words “hot hatch.” In other countries, the 118i is still being sold without the M Sport package and it still looks great. But when side by side with the M Sport variant, the base 118i just looks -- very plain. 

2020 BMW 118i M Sport front view

Here's the front of the 118i M Sport. From this angle alone, you can glean a lot of differences from the base model

Now with the M Sport trim, the BMW 118i comes with a larger front air intake, wider side intakes, and a slightly different lower bumper which gives the illusion of a much wider vehicle. Take note however that these vents are not just shown and are actually there for a myriad of purposes. This is a German-made car, after all.

BMW 118i M Sport 2020 rear view

It rides low and comes with sport suspension, making it great for the track and twisty mountain roads

On the sides, you get awesome side skirts which of course match how the front bumpers look, and you also get a pair of larger wheels which ties up the sleek, aggressive profile of the BMW hot hatch.

Also, in general, 2020 BMW 118i M Sport exterior seems to sit a bit lower than the base model as such, you can also surmise that it gets a sport suspension system. This setup reduces body roll and increases grip. Towards the rear, the exhaust tips are lined with just the right amount of chrome.

2020 BMW 118i M Sport's rear

While a low ride height improves handling a lot, you now have to watch out for bumps and humps


BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series

₱ 2,690,000

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto

₱ 590,000 – 745,000

Kia Rio

Kia Rio

₱ 920,000 – 985,000

3. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Review: Interior

When it comes to the interior, a base 118i is already decent. It is comfortable, you can easily reach the satisfaction when using buttons, and you won’t get confused by the controls and the instrument panel. So overall, pretty good stuff.

The M Sport trim takes it up a notch. You get Alcantara leather-clad seats, steering wheel, and gear knob. Now as for the seats themselves, the base 118i has normal yet comfortable seats while the M Sport trim has sportier, bucket-type seats in the front that are guaranteed to keep you planted during spirited driving. 

In general, the BMW 118i M Sport interior promises a comfortable riding experience as you do get a lot of practical goodies like keyless entry, a remote trunk opener, a lot of cup holders, automatic climate control, and even air quality control.

2020 BMW 118i M Sport steering wheel

Note the M Sport logo and the carbon-fiber finish surrounding the AC vents

The BMW 118i 2020 with M Sport variants also get a very delicious, glossy black trim and M Sport badges for the controls, interior door panels and on the dash which you might notice is a little skewed to face towards the driver.

While we here in the Philippines did not receive the manual variants of the BMW 118i M Sport, countries that did also got a special addition -- a short shift kit which reports say are very satisfying to use. But let us talk more about that later.

Other features of the BMW 118i M Sport on the inside include a touchscreen infotainment system with a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux ports, radio, and a CD player. There’s also the excellent addition of voice-activated controls which adds more accessibility to the already very accessible hot hatch.

>>> BMW cars for sale at affordable prices

4. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Engine

While other vehicles of its size and most hatchbacks in general here in the Philippines use an inline-four, the BMW 118i M Sport comes with a 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline-three. The only other hatchback or vehicle from a major car brand here in the country that uses an inline-three right now is Mitsubishi for its Mirage and Mirage G4.

This makes the 118i one of the weaker-powered BMWs in the market at 136hp and 220Nm of torque. But those figures are simply astonishing considering that the 118i only has three cylinders, and a small body to sling around.

BMW Turbocharged Inline-3

Here's the 118i M Sport's small but punchy three-cylinder engine

The one gripe we have about the 2020 BMW 118i M Sport though is that BMW didn’t give us the manual variant. Considering that the vehicle in question is an RWD, and the M Sport trim supposedly has a very excellent short shifter kit, it could have been such a wonderful weekend toy to fool around with. It could have really done well as a touge/hill climb car or even a track day car too.

Just think about it: all those drifts, heel-toe shifting, and of course, there’s the satisfaction of being involved directly with the operation of the car.

One more special thing about the BMW 118i engine is the titillating experience of executing a perfect shift though the coordination of your hand, eye, and ear – a complex yet extremely rewarding experience that you could not get simply in an automatic vehicle. As a consolation though, we get Steptronic with paddle shifters.

2020 BMW 118i M Sport's automatic shifter

While some of you might not like it, the Steptronic does its job rather well

>>> Widen your search with our cars for sale section for more car deals.

5. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines Review: Ride and handling

As we complain a little bit about the lack of a manual variant, we do acknowledge that the currently available BMW 118i is a really good car.

It handles itself well in tight city streets and will gladly stretch its legs on the highway. And with regards to the automatic transmission, it does shift smoothly and is quite malleable with the number of driving modes that it comes with.

With the Eco Pro mode, you do get 5.2 liters per 100 km. That’s around 19 km per liter on average. That’s pretty great for a hot hatch. Now when you turn on the sport mode, now that's a different story and you'll definitely feel it. The suspension gets stiffer, the throttle response lighting quick, and the automatic shifting goes through the gears a little later.

BMW 118i M Sport drift performance

Take note though that the one available in the here brought by BMW Philippines is an M Sport. It is lowered and has sport shocks so watch out for speed bumps, humps, and potholes. Also, the ride can be quite stiff for some folk out there. But thanks to that low ride height coupled with the rear-wheel drive, the BMW 118i M Sport is really fun to drive.

It has minimal body roll and you will feel as if you are being pushed out from a corner. Be careful though as this car can sometimes be tail-happy, but if you know what you're doing, you're in for some fun.

BMW 118i M Sport 2020

Here's the BMW 118i M Sport doing what it does best, taking on a sharp corner

6. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Safety

Being a BMW vehicle, the 118i M Sport is a very safe vehicle. It owes this fact that it comes with a slew of safety systems and driver assists technologies like an anti-lock braking system, EBD, brake assist, and dual airbags.

Another very high tech safety system that we simply have to emphasize is the dynamic stability control system. This helps the car maintain stability especially on sketchy road surfaces like mud, rain, etc. Also, this will also help keep you safe during some “dynamic” driving situations like avoiding understeer or oversteer, quick recovery after evading an object on the road, etc.

Other driver-assist technologies to include a park distance control, lane departure warning, and an approach warning system. 

7. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Specs

BMW 118i M Sport
Body type
Five-door hatchback
Ground clearance
Number of seats
Cargo volume
380 liters
Engine and performance
Machine type
Turbocharged Inline-three BMW Twin Power
Engine size
1.5 liters (1499cc)
Number of cylinders
Number of valves
Fuel capacity
52 liters
8-speed automatic steptronic w/ paddleshifters
Max power
Max torque
Safety features
  • Driver and front passenger airbags
  • Child safety locks
  • Crash sensors
  • EBD
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Brake Assist
  • Park Distance Control
  • Lande Departure warning
Other features
Front suspension
Adaptive suspension
Rear suspension
Adaptive suspension
Front brakes
Ventilated disc
Rear brakes
Ventilated disc
Tire size
195/55 R16

8. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines Price

 BMW 1-Series Hatchback 118i M Sport

>>> Find cheaper BMW 118i for sale in the Philippines

9. BMW 118i M Sport 2020 Philippines Review: Conclusion

All is told in this BMW 118i M Sport Philippines review, 2020 118i M Sport is a very excellent hatchback that comes with supreme comfort and excellent driving dynamics. While there are a lot of other powerful alternatives out there like the 2020 Honda Civic Type R and the Mazda MX-5 with 2020 version, there’s simply no denying the prestige that comes with driving a BMW.

>>> If you are interested, refer to our BMW dealerships to have the best service.

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar is a graduate of AB English with previous experience working as a freelance writer for varied internet publications in-between his former stints in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and later as a First Aid Provider and Training Staff at the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Since childhood, Cesar has been keenly interested in cars. He has learned the ins and outs of these marvelous vehicles and is a competent amateur mechanic who is keen on sharing his knowledge.

Cesar is perceptive of car culture in general – not only in the Philippines but in global regard, as well. His knowledge ranges from the prevalent stories and trends among car enthusiasts around the world, to closely following the latest local and international developments in the automotive industry.

View more


Cash Value