BMW 1 Series review

Manufacturer price from:£22,450
What Car? Target Price:£20,787
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BMW 1 Series
Review continues below...
10 May 2015 22:00 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:06

In this review

Overall rating

What Car? says...

Could ‘unique’ be one of the most overworked and erroneously used words in the English language? Perhaps. It means one of a kind, yet countless times you’ll hear someone rumbling on about something or other’s rarity by stating it’s “pretty much unique”. That’s like saying your wife is “slightly pregnant” or your pet budgerigar is “a little bit dead”.

Anyway, why the language lecture? Well, it just happens that in the family car class the BMW 1 Series is unique. In a sea of front and four-wheel-drive rivals, including everything from the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf at the more common or garden end of the market to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3 at the swankier end, the 1 Series is available with rear-wheel drive. That makes it genuinely one of a kind.

The hype says that it should be sportier to drive as a result. But is it? That’s what we’re here for, so keep clicking through our review to find out everything about driving and owning a 1 Series, which is the best engine and trim to buy and how it stacks up against its rivals.

And when you are done, visit our New Car Buyer page, where What Car? will offer you the very best deals on not just the 1 Series, but most other new cars on sale, too.

 

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There are 8 trims available for the 1 Series hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
SE
Gets the essentials, including air-con, 16in alloy wheels, a 6.5in colour screen, sat-nav, Bluetooth and audio streaming, digital radio, a multi-function steering wheel, auto lights and wipers and...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,787
Average Saving £1,663
View Trim
SE Business
Adds LED headlights, cruise control and rear parking sensors to SE. Only available with the entry-level 116d, though...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£20,879
Average Saving £1,671
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Sport
Largely designed to enhance the exterior appearance, Sport models come with 17in alloy wheels, sports seats with a greater range of adjustment, changeable ambient lighting in the interior and a bes...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£21,709
Average Saving £1,741
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M Sport
This has standard LED headlights, climate control, 18in alloy wheels, lowered, firmer suspension and an aerodynamic bodykit that is designed to make the car look meaner. It’s a lot of money, though...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£23,278
Average Saving £1,872
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M Sport Shadow Edition
Adds a few more extras including privacy glass, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a Harman Kardon stereo to the regular M Sport trim...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£25,030
Average Saving £2,020
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M140i
Like all 1 Series, the M140i comes with a 6.5in infotainment screen with sat-nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and auto wipers and headlights. You also get 18in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, lea...View trim
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£32,864
Average Saving £2,376
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M140i Shadow Edition
The most obvious changes over the regular M140i include dark grey wheels, a black framed grille, dark headlight surrounds and tinted rear lights. More useful are the rear parking sensors, cruise co...View trim
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£34,106
Average Saving £2,469
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M140i Championship Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£37,685
Average Saving £2,715
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