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How to cut your running costs

  • Price 19,375-23,480
  • On sale September
  • MPG 47.9-74.3, CO2 99-137g/km
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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Eco Pro is a fuel-saving mode triggered by the new and standard-fit Drive Performance Control switch by the gearlever, which allows you to alter the car's behaviour.

Settings include Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and, on certain models, Sport Plus, which adjust the accelerator response, gearshift points of the automatic gearbox and the feel of the optional variable-ratio Servotronic steering and adaptive suspension systems.

The most intriguing and financially rewarding of these is Eco Pro, which BMW reckons can save you as much as 20% on your fuel bills by also economising the operation of the air-conditioning, seat heaters and other energy-draining systems.

You can track your efforts via the optional infotainment screen, energy-efficient driving rewarded in a graphic display, as with Honda's hybrid vehicles.

BMW's emphasis on fuel economy generated 'a fight for every gram' says Zimmerhackl, in the quest to save weight. The new car weighs much the same as the old one model-for-model, but it's 85mm longer, wider and has more equipment.

Part of the weight battle has involved optimising the body for strength its overall rigidity is little different from the outgoing model's, but the shell's strength is more strategically located. That enables the suspension to work better and more quietly.

All of which should make the 1 Series a more civilised, grown-up car.