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5 things to know about the BMW 1 Series

5 things to know about the BMW 1 Series


The latest generation of BMW’s entry level model is better than ever.

The 1 Series has proved a massive sales hit for BMW. As a premium brand, it’s an aspirational brand for many car buyers, and this handsome hatchback is the most affordable way into its cars.

The current 1 Series has been on sale since 2019 and has seen a few updates since to keep it fresh. If you’re considering buying one, here are five things you need to know.

It has a new look

The old 1 Series looked good, but it’s design quickly became dated, so for the latest model it’s been given a thorough reworking. It looks completely different to its predecessor, with an almost crossover-like appearance.

The front end has had the biggest change, moving towards BMW’s trend for a larger ‘kidney grille’.

It’s front-wheel-drive

Historically, BMW has preferred the dynamic benefits that come from rear-wheel-drive, but for the 1 Series it has moved to a front-wheel-drive setup. This has benefits in packaging, meaning the interior is far more spacious than before.

Those who want a little more all-weather grip can also get an all-wheel-drive version, while those looking for improved handling can opt for an M Sport suspension.

More interior space

That increased cabin space has benefits in multiple ways. The most obvious is the boot capacity, which has increased 20 litres to 380 litres, while folding the rear seats down increases this to 1,200.

However, it’s also easier to get in, with more knee room and headroom for rear passengers, while everyone has more elbow room.

New engines

There are petrol and diesel options, with most having relatively low power and being focused on efficiency. However, the top-spec M135i has about 300bhp and all-wheel-drive, and is designed to be the most performance-focused.

The entry-level petrol is a 118i with 134bhp, while the diesels range from 114bhp to 187bhp.

New hot hatch

Although the 1 Series has long been offered in hot hatch guise, the new 128ti is the first time the firm has offered a front-wheel-drive performance model.

It has received positive reviews in the media, boasting a 261bhp 2.0-litre engine, sporty styling and a tuned suspension.

Published: Wednesday 02, Jun, 2021
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