Which used BMW 1 Series hatchback should I buy?
Part of the 1 Series’ appeal is its wide range of engines. These start with a compelling 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine borrowed from the BMW Mini, which gives the 118i smooth and sprightly performance and reasonable economy, peaking at 56.5mpg. The 120i and 125i both offer more in the way of power and, ultimately, speed, but not enough to match the hot-hatch pace of the peerless M140i, which can shoot from 0 to 62mph in just 4.6sec and is a real hoot to drive.
Of the diesels, the 116d is superlative in its economy, with the SE trimmed-version hitting 78.5mpg. The 118d is not far behind, with 74.3mpg available in the SE version, and the 120d Sport giving an excellent 65.7mpg. Bought new, these were obviously the premium choice for company car drivers, thanks to their lower tax rates.
Trims on offer start at base-level SE, which gets the essentials but lacks niceties such as parking sensors and sat-nav. Sport enhances the appearance somewhat, with larger alloy wheels and sports seats, while M Sport offers larger alloys again, the option of a firmer and lowered suspension, climate control and an aerodynamic bodykit. The suspension on the M Sport is too firm, however, so it’s worth trying to seek out one on which this option has not been taken up.
Our favourite BMW 1 Series: 116d SE 5dr
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