Our overall rating:
The BMW 1 Series is a compact premium family hatchback designed to rival the likes of the Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf and Mercedes A-Class.
It’s the only car in this class with the sort of rear-wheel drive set-up that's more usually found on sports cars, and it comes with a wide range of fairly powerful engines – both petrol and diesel – and is available in either three-door or five-door versions.
True, it's not the most practical of hatchbacks, but it's a lot more spacious than the original 1 Series, which you can read about here.
While both this version, and the previous generation, of the 1 Series have been sales successes, it's likely that the all-new model due in 2017 will be based on the underpinnings of the German firm's 2 Series Active Tourer model, which is front-wheel drive. This platform is also shared with the Mini Hatchback and the BMW X1, and will form the basis for many future BMW and Mini cars.
However, the current rear-wheel drive 1 Series rides and handles with a degree of sophistication, and we think it's well worth considering if you’re looking for anything from a low-cost company car at one extreme, in the form of the economical 116d, to a stonking, no holds barred hot hatch, in the shape of the swift M140i, at the other.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions on all the models in the 1 Series range, along with our recommendations for the trim levels and the engines we think you should choose.
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