BMW 1 Series review

Category: Family car

Section: Costs & verdict

BMW 1 Series 2021 interior infotainment
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear cornering
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior dashboard
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior rear seats
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior infotainment
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front right static
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear lights detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior front seats
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior steering wheel detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear cornering
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior dashboard
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior rear seats
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior infotainment
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 right tracking
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 front right static
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear lights detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 rear detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior front seats
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior detail
  • BMW 1 Series 2021 interior steering wheel detail
What Car?’s 1 Series deals
New car deals
Save up to £1,192
Target Price from £25,689
Save up to £1,192
or from £289pm
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Nearly new deals
From £28,990
Leasing deals
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The BMW 1 Series sits towards the more expensive end of the family car category, closely mirroring the price of the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3. Over three years, the 1 Series will hold on to a higher percentage of its cash price against depreciation than an equivalent A-Class, but the A3 has even stronger resale values.

BMW tends to offer some generous discounts, so make sure you check out the BMW 1 Series deals on the What Car? New Car Buying service. It will provide you with PCP finance quotes, which will include any manufacturer bonuses. The 1 Series is often a lot cheaper per month than the A-Class. 

We’d recommend M Sport trim, mainly for the M Sport suspension. It gets more distinctive styling and a few other luxuries thrown in, including power-folding door mirrors, heated front seats and leather trim.

The 128ti and M135i hot hatches get their own separate trims. The 128ti, for example, gets a bespoke bodykit, black and red exterior trim with matching interior accents, an M Sport steering wheel and lots of go-faster goodies, including a limited-slip differential, beefier brakes and tweaked suspension.

BMW 1 Series 2021 interior infotainment

Reliability

In the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, BMW finished in joint ninth place (with Mazda) out of 30 manufacturers, a fair way above Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

Overview

In the ultra-competitive arena of the premium family car, the BMW 1 Series is right up there, but it's not the best (that's the Audi A3). It delivers a good blend of driver appeal with decent ride comfort and fine practicality, but its main strengths are a top-notch interior and a brilliant infotainment system.

  • Superb build quality
  • Sporty handling
  • Class-leading infotainment system
  • Mercedes A-Class is safer
  • SE trim not that well equipped
  • Road noise at speed
New car deals
Save up to £1,192
Target Price from £25,689
Save up to £1,192
or from £289pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £28,990
Leasing deals
From £271pm