For The only rear-drive hatch in the class scores with a strong combination of performance, economy and emissions. The BMW 1 Series handles well and rides comfortably, too.
Against The steering is too quick and too light, which can make the 1 Series feel nervous at speed. The pedals are offset and entry-level models don’t get Bluetooth.
What Car? says
The BMW 1 Series is one of the best small family cars you can buy because it’s hugely desirable, good to drive and surprisingly cheap to run.
What Car? readers say
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There are 73 BMW 1 Series versions available
Target Price team says:
All of the engines we’ve driven in the BMW 1 Series so far are impressive, with a good blend of performance and efficiency.
Which one you should choose depends largely on whether you’re a private buyer or a company car driver. The sub-120g/km CO2 emissions of the 118d qualify it for low Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax rates, but the star of the show for low running costs is the 99g/km 116d Efficient Dynamics model. Meanwhile, the lower list price of the 116i makes it the sensible choice for private buyers who don’t do a silly amount of miles.
Entry-level ES trim is probably best avoided, but SE models come with Bluetooth and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system – but not sat-nav, which is a pricey option on all models. M Sport trims make the 1 Series look and feel a bit sportier. We wouldn’t bother with Sport and Urban models because they’re a bit too expensive.
Reader test team says:
I have new 14 plate 1 series 120d Xdrive M Sport. Its a great car and the intelligent 4WD is superb, switching drive from F40,R60 at normal driving to…
Had my 118i for 8 months and still gets me up and out for a drive! The best thing is when the car is in sports mode and a country lane beckons. The…
I made the mistake of thinking that if you spend £25K on a new BMW it might be fitted with such basic equipment as satellite navigation. Wrong! If you…
It is hard to choose a new car as there are so many brilliant ones to choose from. So all things being equal you may as well buy the one that is best…