The BMW 1 Series is available with three or five doors. Whatever you opt for you can expect to find that high quality you would find in any new BMW. The current model, which was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is a vast improvement on its predecessor. Many would see this as one of the best hatch offerings on the market.
As you would find with many BMW vehicles there is a myriad of engine choices on offer. The smallest petrol offering is a 136 bhp 1.5 litre engine. The next step up is a 1.6 litre engine offering a solid 120hp. Then we meet the 125i M Sport, this 2.0 litre engine gives a strong 218hp. If you’re not happy with that and you want to enjoy the slightly more insane things in life you could always look at the M135i. The 3.0 litre engine in this beast should push your head right back into the seat with a not-too-shabby 326hp.
The diesel range offers a lot of choice too. Opt for the entry-level diesel and you’ll find an efficient 1.5 litre engine with 116hp. Take a step up and you’ll meet the 2.0 litre engine offering 150hp. There’s another 2.0 litre option that will bring you power of up to 190hp and the 125d M Sport with a 2.0 litre engine gives you 224hp.
Typical of BMW this is a rear wheel drive car and because it’s small enough, it offers good grip and handles nicely. Sit inside the M135i and you should meet some excellent German dynamics and fun. This is an enjoyable car to drive and it responds well to the road in front of it. Some find the steering to be light but on corners body control is good and there is not much from the body roll department.
As you can see from the stats above, all of the engines pack a nice amount of punch – even the smaller petrol and diesel engines. All of the petrol engines are well-refined and road noise is not a major issue. The diesel range is slightly noisier.
There is a large range of trims available from BMW in all of their models. The 1 series is no exception. All materials are of high quality and there is a satisfaction to driving this smaller BMW. The interior is well kitted out, even from the entry level model. Cars com fitted with DAB radio, SATNAV & real-time traffic information, remote services and USB connectivity. If you’re willing to make a larger investment you can look at installing the internet or even getting a Harman Kardon hi-fi system – but extras don’t come cheap.
To the front there are driver and passenger airbags. Along the sides of the interior there are airbags integrated into the front seat backrests. As standard you will also find tyre pressure monitoring and dynamic stability control.
Like you’d find in the Volkswagen Golf, there is plenty of space to the front of the BMW 1 series – this applies to both the 3-door and 5-door versions. The rear could do with more leg room. The boot space is a bit small but at 360 litres it’s not terrible. If you do need to cart around extra luggage the rear seats fold and the boot’s capacity raises to 1,200 litres.