The BMW 1 Series is unusual among premium hatchbacks for being rear-wheel drive, which is put to good use in this powerful 335bhp BMW M140i; rivals such as the VW Golf R and Ford Focus RS need heavy, cost-swelling four-wheel-drive systems to lay down all their power.
The M140i also complements this with stiffer M Sport suspension and more powerful M Sport brakes that further improve its performance credentials.
There’s currently no full-blown M car in the BMW 1 Series range, which makes the BMW M140i the flagship model. It aims to take some BMW M division performance expertise and combine it with the high-quality sheen and practicality of the regular range.
Three-door and five-door versions are available, but those plumping for the cheaper three-door won’t find themselves contorting to access the rear seats, and both versions have well-sized boots and 60:40-splitting and folding seats as standard.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions of the M140i, and to see how it compares with those rivals.