Used BMW 1 Series Coupe 2008 - 2013 review

Category: Coupé

The BMW 1 Series coupe is good, but the 3 Series Coupe offers better value.

BMW 1 Series Coupe (04 - 14)
  • BMW 1 Series Coupe (04 - 14)
  • BMW 1 Series Coupe (04 - 14)
Used BMW 1 Series Coupe 2008 - 2013 review
Star rating

What's the used BMW 1 Series coupe like?

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

Unlike some rivals, its 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.


The BMW 1 Series coupe is good, but the 3 Series Coupe offers better value.

  • Sharp, involving handling
  • Solid build quality
  • Well equipped
  • Limited rear leg room
  • Wind and road noise

Inside, you get 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. But the boot is big for a coupe's.

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

Ownership cost

What used BMW 1 Series coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a BMW 1 Series coupe?

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 1 Series 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-).

Our recommendations

Which used BMW 1 Series coupe should I buy?

The 1 Series 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.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here


What alternatives should I consider to a used BMW 1 Series coupe?