BMW 1 Series review

Category: Family car

Section: Introduction

Available fuel types:diesel, petrol
Available colours:
BMW 1 Series 2021 front right cornering
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  • BMW 1 Series 2019 RHD steering wheel detail
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  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior dashboard
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior back seats
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior infotainment
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear left cornering
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior front seats
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior steering wheel detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2019 RHD steering wheel detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 boot open
RRP £25,915What Car? Target Price from£24,425
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Previous incarnations of the BMW 1 Series had something unique to offer the family car class. Something that was more typical of your average sports car, actually: a rear-wheel drive layout, which, it was claimed, maximised its handling prowess to delight all you keen drivers out there.

You might be surprised, then, to learn that BMW ditched that philosophy when it switched to this third-generation model. The current BMW 1 Series has the same front-wheel-drive layout that’s used by other family hatchbacks, although four-wheel drive is also available with some of its pricier variants, including the BMW M135i, which we review separately here.

On paper, then, the 1 Series lost what set it apart from the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class, and that caused bit of an uproar among enthusiasts across the land. But does it really matter? Well, not really; the truth is that previous versions of the 1 Series weren’t actually as good to drive as the hype suggested.

So, with mechanicals lifted largely from the BMW X1 and X2 SUVs, not to mention a whole bunch of Minis, can the latest 1 Series finally lay claim to being the best-handling family car? And does it fix the space and practicality issues that, if you’ve owned one of the previous models, you’ll be acutely aware it suffered from?

That’s what you're about to discover if you keep reading through this review, where we’ll tell you all about how the BMW 1 Series fairs against its key rivals, and which engine and trim makes the most sense. 

And if you do decide it's the car for you, make sure you head over to the What Car? New Car Buying service to see how much we could save you off the list price without any haggling involved. There are some tempting BMW 1 Series Deals.

At a glance

Number of trims5 see more
Available fuel types Which fuel is best for you? diesel, petrol
MPG range across all versions38.7 - 62.8
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max)£1,447 / £2,948
Company car tax at 40% (min/max)£2,895 / £5,896

How much is it?

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