BMW 1 Series long-term test review: report 4

The latest 1 Series aims to offer everything a small family might want from their premium hatchback, but does it do a better job than its key rivals? We've got four months to find out...

BMW 1 Series Notting Hill tracking

The car BMW 1 Series 118i M Sport 5dr Step Aut0 Run by Louis Shaw, social media manager

Why it’s here The latest 1 Series is taking on the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class with bold looks inside and out, a switch to front-wheel drive and a raft of new technology – time to see if it fits a modern city-dweller

Needs to Be comfortable on a daily commute, offer good fuel economy – particularly in stop-start traffic – and be easy to park and navigate in the narrow streets of London


Mileage 4151 List price £28,580 Target Price £26,792 Price as tested £37,500 Test economy 32.2mpg


22 January 2020 – Multiple personalities

Like most family hatchbacks, my BMW 1 Series comes with switchable driving modes – Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport in this case. Do they make a difference?

Well, I stay in Comfort most of the time, because it makes the steering nicely weighted and the gearshifts smooth. It’s the most balanced of the modes, finding a useful groove between economy and performance.

1 Series driving modes

Eco Pro serves as more of an interactive guide on how to increase your fuel economy. Once I’d taken heed of its advice, I found I could stay in Comfort and achieve many of the same benefits – minus the dulled accelerator response.

Sport, meanwhile, brings about the most dramatic change: the accelerator pedal becomes more sensitive and the gearbox more alert.

1 Series long-term driving data

Whichever mode you choose, though, don’t expect the 118i to transform to the same degree as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. But each mode does bring subtle changes that allow the car to suit different driving styles.

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