The premium hatchback class is dominated by three key names – the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series. However, if you’re looking for the best driving experience, it’s the latter option that you really want to go for.
For several generations the 1 Series has been impressive in this respect, while the latest car gets more technology than ever, as well as a higher-quality interior as well.
But if you’re considering a new BMW 1 Series, what do you need to know? Let’s take a look…
What engines are available?
Though the 1 Series is yet to be available with an electrified option, BMW offers a great choice of petrol and diesel engine options.
The range kicks off with the 118i – a 134bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine that delivers a good mix of performance and efficiency. After this, the other petrol options are BMW’s hot hatches – the 128ti and M135i.
Both use a turbocharged 2.0-litre unit, with the 128ti producing 261bhp, while the all-wheel-drive M135i kicks out 302bhp. If you want the best performance, the latter option is the one to go for – hitting 60mph in just 4.8 seconds and reaching a top speed of 155mph, though while still returning a near-claimed 40mpg.
Up next are the diesel options, with buyers able to choose from the 116d, 118d and 120d. The least powerful of those is the 116d, which uses a 114bhp 1.5-litre unit, followed by the 118d and 120d that both use larger 2.0-litre units, and produce 148bhp and 187bhp respectively. The 120d is also available with xDrive all-wheel-drive as well.
Where maximum efficiency is concerned, the 116d is the model to go for, with BMW claiming it will return in excess of 60mpg, with CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
What trim levels are available?
A choice of trims are available on the latest 1 Series, with equipment highlights and pricing as follows.
SE – from £25,910
Though SE might be the standard grade, it’s certainly not lacking in equipment, with climate control, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control all included as standard. You also get a large 10.25-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation included, along with an impressive digital dial system of the same size.
Sport – from £26,910
Upgrading to Sport gets you larger 17-inch alloy wheels, along with heated front seats, gloss black accents and dual-zone climate control.
M Sport – from £28,750
One of the most popular 1 Series options, the M Sport brings a racier styling kit, larger 18-inch alloy wheels and leather upholstery. You also get sports seats, extended interior lighting and electric folding mirrors.
128ti – from £33,870
The newest addition to the 1 Series range, the 128ti is the firm’s Volkswagen Golf GTI-rivalling hot hatch. Based on the M Sport trim, it brings revised 18-inch alloy wheels, a larger rear spoiler and red styling accents throughout. It also gets a Torsen limited-slip differential, performance brakes and an ‘M’ steering wheel.
M135i – from £37,090
Sitting at the top of the range, the flagship M135i hot hatch builds on the 128ti with its Alcantara upholstery, revised styling kit and Cerium Grey detailing. It also gets a new performance steering system and a more aggressive bodykit.
What about personalisation?
If you’re looking to make your 1 Series stand out from the crowd, there’s certainly no shortage of options to do so. For starters, there is a range of alloy wheel designs to choose from in sizes up to 19 inches, while you can also take advantage of BMW’s M Performance parts, which includes things such as a bigger rear spoiler, carbon-fibre accents and larger rear diffuser.
A good range of colours are on offer, too, including bright options like Melbourne Red and Sunset Orange, while the hot hatches are available in exclusive colours Misano Blue and Storm Bay (a bluey-grey colour). Various lather options are available, too, alongside different interior trim.
In terms of more regular options, BMW offers a range of packages that bundle together features – such as the Technology Pack that adds wireless smartphone charging, a head-up display and adaptive LED headlightsEnquire on a new BMW 1 Series