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As promised last week the final piece of the new BMW 1-series jigsaw – driving impressions.

While the memorable part was driving the 302bhp M135i range-topper with all-wheel drive, I was also impressed with the quiet smoothness and pulling power of the 118d diesel.

Prices start from €32,100 for the entry-level 118i and stretch to €50,830 for the M135i.

Due on September 28, they expect sales of 300-400 here.

The M135i was fast, assured and brilliantly poised but I would like another, longer drive to ascertain if this new four-cylinder has the hairs-on-back-of-neck character I hoped and suspected it would.

That may seem like a cop out, but it’s not. Traffic was heavy on German roads – even some of the twisty back routes were slow, so it was possible only to glimpse the car’s ability.

What is sure is its blistering pace and ability to cope with huge changes in direction with ease. I’d have liked more hot-hatch sound, something to involve you. Would I buy it ahead of, say, a Volkswagen R? Not so sure.

The diesel was a genuine surprise. It was as quiet as I’ve ever heard an engine. It will be the choice for many Irish buyers. Rightly so.

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