Some cars are more than a pleasure to drive.
The new BMW 1 Series that has just arrived in Bermuda for the first time is such a car.
From the push button start to the shark fin aerial on the roof this majestic machine screams class and quality.
And being a BMW it also boasts the very latest in cutting edge technology.
To get an idea of what has gone into making this one of the safest cars on the road you only have to take a flick through the driver’s brochure.
It is 70 pages of mind-boggling technical data and state-of-the-art equipment wrapped up inside a sleek, sporty package.
The new 1 Series is a car connoisseur’s delight.
The F20, as it is also known, starts at a modest $70,000, but you could easily end up spending much more on it.
You can choose between a huge range of external colours, wheel-style, fabric and leather interiors and jazzy accessories — in effect BMW allow you to build the car of your dreams and they just do all the work in the factory.
In Bermuda the new BMW has been classified as an ‘H’ class vehicle. This is probably down to the hatchback shape of the machine as well as the extraordinary amount of space there is up front and in the trunk.
There are three versions to chose from: Sport, Modern and Urban which all vary slightly in design and specifications.
I was lucky enough to take the crimson red Sport model for a quick spin around Hamilton. It was nothing short of breathtaking.
This new BMW sports a 1.6 litre turbo engine and the purr of the engine as you press down on the starter button is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end.
The driver’s seat is comfortable and gently reclining and it is very easy to get the sensation that you are just about to start a Formula One race.
But despite all the power and red stripes that adorn the interior this machine is smooth and graceful.
Its power-steering system makes it easy to manoeuvre despite its size, and as you drive it feels like the car clings quietly to the road with minimum fuss.
The new 1 Series comes as an automatic, but you also get the choice of a Step-tronic function where you can nudge the funky shaped gear stick up and down the gears.
There may not be much call for this kind of accessory in Bermuda, but it is fun to do anyway and it does make you feel a little bit more of a racing driver.
The crimson red colour combined with the striking shape and the large chrome front grill make this an eye-catching car that is guaranteed to turn heads.
But it is so much more than a head-turner.
It is genuinely enjoyable to drive. It’s the kind of car you don’t want to get out of when you get to your destination.
Internally the luxurious black leather and the futuristic dashboard with pop-up computer screen make it a little bit like being in control of your very own Starship Enterprise.
Of course it has electric windows front and back, of course it has back-up sensors for the front and the back and of course it has Blue Tooth capacity.
But it’s the little added extras that make this car exceptional.
It is the felt finish to the storage spaces, the sliding arm rest on the driver’s left side, the figure-hugging front seats, and the back seat air conditioning units that take this machine into another league.
There is also the steel ‘BMW Sport’ metal plates on the inside of the door frame and the central-locking key, which only has to be in the car for the push button start to spark the ignition.
The pop-up computer screen in the central dashboard gives you a virtual picture of the car to help you reverse and park safely.
You can even plug your phone into the computer system or visit the BBC website to catch up on the latest world news.
When it comes to space in this new BMW you will want for nothing.
The is a massive amount of space in the trunk to fit all manner of items whether it‘s kite surfing equipment or just the week’s shopping.
You could easily fit three people in the back which makes this BMW an ideal family car, safe, secure and spacious. The back seats also fold down so you can get the golf clubs in as well.
The new 1 Series is not quite the gas-guzzler you might think it is.
It will cost you around $120 to fill this machine up, but you always have the option of using the ‘Eco’ function which helps you conserve fuel.
From the moment you step into the new 1 Series it is like being transported into another world of luxury and comfort.
Even the click of the door shutting behind you is reassuring.
This new model has only just arrived on the island and is available to buy from Bermuda Motors on Church Street in Hamilton.
Mike Butler, general manager of Bermuda Motors said: “The F20 is a great choice for those who want the convenience of a hatchback but appreciate the technical quality that BMW brings to all its cars.
“The new 1 Series embodies everything that BMW stands for — superb engineering, technological innovation like the fuel-saving Auto Stop Start feature when the engine is idling, and sophisticated optional extras like the ConnectedDrive display.
“And of course owners can choose from a wide range of quality interiors and accessories.”