The BMW 1 Series is a compact premium family hatchback designed to rival the likes of the Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf, Volvo V40, and Mercedes A-Class. It’s the only car in this class with rear-wheel drive as standard, and has a wide range of fairly powerful engines – both petrol and diesel – including a mighty M135i hot hatch version.
It’s not the most practical or spacious hatchback, but it handles very well, has an excellent infotainment system and comes with a choice of either three or five doors.
Unlike some premium hatches, the 1 Series rides with a degree of sophistication, too. On smaller alloy wheels it will take bumps, crests and potholes in its stride, especially at low speeds. Only the VW Golf rides with the same suppleness in this class. It's just one of the reasons we think the 1 Series is worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a low-cost company car in the form of the 116d, or a stonking, no holds barred hot hatch in the shape of the M135i.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions on the 1 Series, along with our recommendations for the trim levels and the engines we think you should choose.