Which used BMW 1 Series hatchback should I buy?
The BMW 1 Series was originally available as a five-door only, with the three-door version following in 2007. This coincided with a mild facelift and the introduction of more powerful, yet more economical, engines.
The 113bhp 116i petrol model has just enough oomph, but was greatly improved in 2007, when power was increased to 120bhp. The 118i with 127bhp (later 141bhp) is much punchier, though, and the 120i is better still. The pinnacle of the range is the 261bhp six-cylinder 130i.
There are far more diesel-powered cars on the used market, and the 118d with 120bhp (then 141bhp) is a great compromise of power versus economy. In fact, it's our favourite 1 Series.
From launch, there was also the 161bhp (later 175bhp) 120d, which is powerful yet smooth. In mid-2007, the performance-orientated 201bhp 123d was introduced, and in early 2009, the super-efficient 114bhp 116d went on sale.
The entry-level specification comes with four electric windows and a CD player, but no alloy wheels or air-con. The ES gets those, but the SE also adds climate control and parking sensors making it the version to look out for. The M Sport has a sporty bodykit, but it also has sport suspension that makes the ride even firmer, so it’s best avoided.