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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Drive and handling, build quality, well equipped

Against Limited rear legroom, wind- and road noise

Verdict Good, but the 3 Series Coupe offers better value.

Go for… 120d ES

Avoid… 135i M Sport

BMW 1 Series Coupe
  • 1. The problem with many coupes is that they're expensive and impractical. However, BMW's 1 Series Coupe manages to be both sensible and stylish
  • 2. The 1 Series Coupe's biggest problem is that the BMW 3 Series Coupe does everything better and needn't cost much more to buy
  • 3. The Coupe's range of engines pretty much follows that of the 1 Series hatchback. The emphasis is on performance, but that doesn't mean big fuel bills
  • 4. Road tax costs are kept down, thanks to low CO2 emissions. The 118d is the cheapest producing just 119g/km of CO2, while the 120d comes in at 125g/km
  • 5. A high rate of tyre wear can be a problem, with rear tyres sometimes lasting for fewer than 15,000 miles
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BMW 1 Series Coupe full review with expert trade views

The problem with many coupes is that they're expensive and impractical. However, BMW's 1 Series Coupe manages to be both sensible and stylish.

Unlike some rivals, this coupe is rear-wheel drive, delivering taut handling and good body control. Despite its sporty nature, the ride remains comfortable on all but the roughest of roads. The engines are refined, but the cabin isn't the quietest, with road- and wind noise both issues at higher speeds.

Inside, the cabin has clearly marked instruments and a quality feel. There's plenty of room in the front and the driving position is excellent. It's a different story in the back, though, where the rear two seats are cramped, even for children. However, the 370-litre boot is big for a coupe’s.

The 1 Series Coupe's biggest problem is that the BMW 3 Series Coupe does everything better and needn't cost much more to buy.

Trade view

The diesel powered models are the most sensible, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun. The 123d is a hoot.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Coupe's range of engines pretty much follows that of the 1 Series hatchback. The emphasis is on performance, but that doesn't mean big fuel bills.

The majority of 1 Series Coupes are diesel powered, with the 174bhp 120d the most popular. It's fast, but efficient, and our overall favourite. If you want more mpg, the 141bhp 118d should fit the bill. The range-topping 123d is the closest thing to a hot diesel, with its twin-turbo 2.0-litre producing 201bhp. Petrol models start with the 168bhp 120i, while the 125i comes with 215bhp and the 135i 302bhp.

Every car gets six airbags, stability control, electric windows, air-conditioning and alloys. Sport trim adds 17-inch alloys, sports seats and front foglamps, while the SE versions get climate control and rear parking sensors. M Sport models have a bodykit, larger alloys and lowered suspension.

Trade view

The 1 Series coupe is surprisingly spacious for it a smaller coupe, but don’t think it’ll double as family transport.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Like other models in BMW's range, the 1 Series uses engine stop-start technology to boost fuel economy. The 118d delivers an impressive average of 62.8mpg, and even the 120d does 60.1mpg. The 123d comes in at 55.4mpg.

The petrol engines aren't that thirsty, either. The 120i does an average of 42.8mpg, while the 125i does 34.4mpg and the 135i 33.1mpg.

Road tax costs are kept down, thanks to low CO2 emissions. The 118d is the cheapest producing just 119g/km of CO2, while the 120d comes in at 125g/km.

The Coupe's sporty nature means it is more expensive to insure than the 1 Series hatchback. The petrol models sit between insurance groups 26 and 34, but the diesels are slightly lower, between groups 23 and 32.

Servicing costs are significantly higher than those of 1 Series hatchback, and more akin to those of the 3 Series Coupe (’05-).

Trade view

The diesel powered models are the most sensible, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun. The 123d is a hoot.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 1 Series Coupe is proving durable, with few complaints from owners.

However, cabin trim problems and rattles can be an issue, with dealers sometimes struggling to fix them. A high rate of tyre wear can also frustrate, with rear tyres sometimes lasting for fewer than 15,000 miles.

The Bluetooth system can also fail, and MP3 integration can play up, too.

When looking at ex-fleet and lease vehicles, make sure the service history is present and that any work has been carried out on time.

Trade view

The 1 Series coupe is surprisingly spacious for it a smaller coupe, but don’t think it’ll double as family transport.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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