What is it? BMW’s new 1 Series hatchback, and, aside from a few engines, it’s all new. It’s a bit bigger, looks more sophisticated, comes with revised petrol engines, and fuel-saving stop-start systems for all models. There are also loads of optional high-tech features, including lane departure warning, radar-assisted braking, a reversing camera, real-time traffic information, internet connectivity and applications for Facebook and Twitter.
Also new is a selectable drive mode function that includes an efficient Eco Pro setting, while a free-standing infotainment screen and iDrive system come on all but entry-level models.
What’s it like to drive? The 1 Series is the only rear-drive hatchback in its class, but BMW’s research reveals that many owners are unaware of this more sporty mechanical arrangement. The car’ dynamic character is slightly more obvious this time because the upgraded 116i and 118i petrol engines deliver noticeably more low-down torque, like the lightly revised diesels. This allows keen drivers to balance the car’ path through a bend using the accelerator as well as the steering, which offers improved feel and excellent precision. The result is a car that feels more entertaining. Ride quality has also been usefully improved.
BMW 1 Series gallery
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
Up to the minute news from around the globe