Value choice: BMW 1 Series 114d ES 3d

  • Should you opt for the 114i or the 116d?
  • 116d returns 74.3mpg, while 114i returns 49.6mpg
  • Lower depreciation costs give 114i the edge

The BMW 1 Series range is huge: myriad engine and trim combinations can make the final selection – once you have settled for this premium hatchback – a rather onerous task.

At the last count there were 65 different versions of the 1 Series and doubtless there’ll be a few more to come.

It’s a nightmare of a spreadsheet and smooth-talking salesmen desperate to maximise their bonuses at the BMW dealerships will try to get you to spend as much as you can, heartily justifying the reasons for going for a higher trim.

It’s a minefield.

Still, it’s not so bad if you have decided that your main priority is to keep your monthly costs as low as you can and in that respect you there’s only two realistic choices: the entry level 114i ES or the 116d Efficient Dynamics three-door versions.

Your instinct, understandably, will be to look up the fuel economy stats for both cars and if you consider this figure alone it’s a no-brainer – you’ll go for 116d. The 116d's claimed average fuel economy is 74.3mpg while the 114i returns 49.6mpg. When you factor in the tax burden of the 116d with CO2 emissions of 99g/km against the 114i’s 132g/km it looks pretty much like a done deal.

Not so fast.

Thing is fuel and road tax costs are only part of the story and when you start to take in other costs such as depreciation the balance starts to tip in the 114i’s favour.

First you have to go to the Parkers Cost of Motoring Tool to get the full picture. This will give you a breakdown of all the monthly costs and allows you to compare models.

The picture becomes crystal clear if you are only going to do 10,000 miles a year over a three-year ownership. If that’s the case the total monthly costs for the 114i are £470.32 while the 116d will cost you £481.57 a month. It’s only when you start to rack up the miles – around 20,000 a year – that the 116d makes more financial sense.

This is all down to the depreciation. Because the 114i’s purchase price is so much lower at £17,300 compared with the 116d’s £20,355 price you stand to lose much less when you come to re-sell if you go for the 114i.

It’s brutal, hard maths. Each week you will be spending more on fuel but you’ll be happy in the knowledge that the 116d owners will be losing much more in depreciation.

So, if you want to keep your running costs at an absolute minimum the 114i ES base-spec three-door beats the lot. Yes, it’s not much fun to drive and equipment levels aren’t exactly generous but it is, and the facts speak for themselves, the cheapest in the range to run.

Find out how much any car will cost you to run using the Parkers Cost of Motoring tool.