One of the best premium options for drivers, the BMW 1 Series offers the precision engineering and the fuel economy of the German carmaker’s other lines, but through three and five-door hatchbacks, with options for convertibles and coupes. The combination of low mileage and emissions and excellent handling provide the BMW 1 Series with some key advantages over rivals like the Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Golf, with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines available for the F20 series. What, then, are some of the key features of the BMW 1 Series?
Standard models for the BMW 1 Series come with 1.6-liter engines for BMW 116 and BMW 118 model petrol cars, while the 114i represents an entry vehicle for the brand. An M Sport version of the 1 Series is also available in the shape of the M135i, which can manage 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Notable diesel engines include the 2.0 liter 116d, 118d, 120d, and 123d, as well as the 116d EfficientDynamics, which offers excellent mileage and low emissions.
In terms of handling, the 1 Series was redesigned for its latest generation to be 30 kg lighter, and is sleeker overall – all-independent suspension features for the 1 Series mean that the car handles well on different road surfaces, while dynamic rear wheel drive means that the 116i and 118i models are particularly able to deliver sports-like performance, with Coupe models also available in a range of different engine sizes.
Different steering models are available for the 1 Series, which include Comfort and ECO PRO, with the latter delivering more efficient driving. M Sport trims are available for the different cars in the series, while Convertible models can also be bought alongside Coupes. In terms of efficiency, all engines have been fine-tuned to cut down on mileage, with the 118i capable of 48 mpg and 137 g/km of CO2 emissions. The 116d provides 74.3 mpg, and 99 g/km of CO2, which means that it’s exempt from road tax.
The BMW 1 Series has been particularly praised for its safety features, and achieved 5 stars in the EURO NCAP tests; while including larger engines, on average, than the Audi A3, the 1 Series still manages to be lighter and faster, and capable of being driven using ECO PRO mode to further enhance its already low mileage figures. Extra trims are available in M Sport and Urban, with leather steering wheels and iDrive as bonus options.
In this context, the BMW 1 Series represents an excellent introduction to the BMW brand for anyone that’s considering switching; while you might be able to find slightly faster and more powerful models elsewhere, it’s difficult to beat BMW for engine performance and efficiency, as well as for the extensive range of extra features and customized options that you can add into your individual car. BMW’s Efficient Dynamics program also means that there’s a few car series in the world that have had as much attention paid to performance.