- Dynamic design and impressive interiors
- Wide range of engine and trim choices
- Available in three and five door variants
- Economical engines start from 94g/km and up to 78mpg
- Range-topping M140i packs 340bhp punch
THE upgraded BMW 1 Series has arrived. No spectacular changes, just a mid-cycle tweak to keep an already good car fresh and contemporary.
If you read our piece on the updated BMW 3 Series a few days ago you’ll probably see where this is going.
There are a few new options on the list. The standard specification has been tweaked slightly. Underneath it all the updated BMW 1 Series is still a good looking, well built, rear wheel drive, practical hatchback.
You can choose either a three or five door. There’s a wide range of petrol and diesel engines available. Manual or automatic transmission and a good choice of trim levels are also on offer. The options list is extensive and incredibly tempting.
Look at the BMW website and you’ll find 21 variants of the three-door, 23 of the five-door, and two each of the range-topping M140i. What more could you possibly need?
The upgraded BMW 1 Series shares the classic lines of long bonnet, set-back cabin, and short overhangs that give a BMW it’s distinctive look. You also get the rear-wheel drive and balanced weight distribution that makes a BMW such a pleasure to drive.
You get SatNav and touch control as standard on every model. Standard specification also includes BMW emergency call and online services, real time traffic updates for the navigation system, and Bluetooth connectivity. You also get a DAB radio, automatic lights and wipers, and bags of storage space.
In terms of engines there is an option for every conceivable requirement.
Diesel options range from the frugal 116d which offers up to 78mpg and 94g/km to the 224bhp 125d with around 65mpg and 114g/km. Benefit in kind tax rates vary between 17% and 23% depending on the model which should keep company car drivers happy.
The petrol options are a couple of percentage points higher on the BIK scale but still offer reasonable returns on fuel economy and emissions. They start from around 56mpg and 112g/km to 46mpg and 140g/km. Obviously the less economical the figure the greater the performance of the car but if you aren’t too concerned about speed and spend most of your time in city traffic then a petrol variant could be the better option.
If you are concerned about speed then the 340bhp M140i should keep you entertained. It’s not what you’d call cheap to run but nor is it as bad as you might think. 36mpg isn’t too painful, neither is 179g/km. The 34% BIK rate may put many off but if you are comfortable subjecting yourself to the increased tax burden you won’t regret it when you’re behind the wheel.
At the end of the day the conclusion is the same for the 1 Series as it was for the 3 Series. The upgraded BMW 1 Series is a well designed, well built, beautifully balanced driver’s car. They balance economy and practicality with an enjoyable drive, and being a BMW they are understandably desirable.
A BMW is never going to be the cheapest option but if you take advantage of the wide range of leasing deals the premium price tag is less noticeable. In return you get, well, you get a BMW.