BMW 1 Series review (2011 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on BMW 1 Series review (2011 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
BMW 1-Series

BMW 1 Series review (2011

What: BMW 1 Series

Where: Germany

Date: July

Price: From £19,375


Summary: Second-generation BMW 1 has courted controversy with its but the rest of it is less divisive. BMW has complaints and enhanced the good it’s still not quite the ‘please everyone’ package, but is now a able all-rounder. It even better than feared,


First of all, good the new BMW 1 Series is better looking in life. The launch images general dismay, but the reality is not the droopy, wide-eyed, flat-nosed some had feared. When it on sale this September, it have people fleeing for the

OK, it’s not the car’s strongest but at least it’s not unashamedly Good job: BMW has, as all its cars, high hopes for longer, wider new 1 Series, is already a top-10 best in the UK. It’s a key car that’s important to get


BMW’s approach has therefore to pinpoint and improve on the aspects so in the original 1 Series. This car always smacked slightly of developed on a budget, in a rush. of that this time: thrown everything at the new 1 Series giving it, in doing so, the quality and clout of a 5 Series.

BMW has even a new range of trim ‘lines’, to it stand out in a market increasingly personalisation: the new Urban trim offers 6,500 options the questionable white wheels and accents in the images). Overall, a very ambitious programme for a new whose validity rests on one is it any good?



Tech-laden Turbo petrol engines the technical interest at launch. 116i and 118i motors are the latter producing 170hp also averaging 47.9mpg. an intriguing engine with performance, a whine at low revs and a at high ones.

It’s impressive when running at low revs, something turbo don’t normally do well. does, pulling from 2,000rpm and allowing high to be selected early, improving and noise levels. It has a high-tech and is now a realistic alternative to the all-conquering

The trio of 116d, 118d and diesels are carried over today’s models, albeit The 120d test car (7hp and 22 lb ft of more than before) smooth, swift and sophisticated, it was also vocal during Indeed, neither engine is for refinement (wind whistle mask this at speed. ).

The manual gearbox is satisfyingly and direct. The alternative 8-speed is even better. Only pulling away in first is it anything other than smooth and intuitive.

It ALWAYS has the gear ready and, as it no more fuel than the is highly recommended.

Ride and


The current 1 Series handles but rides poorly. Fixing was one of the project’s top priorities. BMW’s too, with merit.

The new car is far more absorbent and smooth-riding the original, with cushioning and over roads that aggressively jostle those in the old There’s a taut edge, but not a harsh one.

But what the handling? Well, no, it’s not as raw as Enthusiasts will moan, as it trades traditional hydraulic for electric power steering. OK, isn’t as packed with but it’s still extremely and satisfyingly weighted, with no or engine power corruption.

also much lighter today’s car when parking.

The new BMW with more sophistication Building on its unique rear-drive in the class, the 1 Series is well and pure, with an alert that’s much tidier and It’s more agile before which, combined the better-matched spring and damper makes it more fluid on roads.

BMW 1-Series

If the standard car is too soft (a that could never be at the current 1 Series), BMW offers a stiffer sport suspension If that’s too stiff, there’s a new that combines both Adaptive M Suspension, whose dampers offer the choice of and Sport settings. It’s adding both control and it does what BMW promises.


The 1 Series has always had a disappointing and existing customers will the new one a huge contrast. Better means it is considerably more and attention to detail is much Again, the layered, ‘3D’ adds interest, and details the oversized door handles and panel dials are neat.

The pack’s Apple-style white accents are appealing.

It is packed technology. BMW wants to offer the advanced car in the premium compact so has filled it with 5 Series auto-brake cruise control, beam assist and a speed sign reader are available as is in-car internet with BMW apps for safely using and Twitter on the move.

The interior is and the central colour display monitor looks like a flat screen TV) is a standout The tangible advantage over comes from such technology, though: finish is premium-level, but not a match for the detail in a VW or Audi A3. At least stowage is far better, even if the thin door bins do clatter you throw stuff in.

Packaging constraints remain. drive means the boot is and a bit short, although it’s than a Golf overall. importantly, rear space isn’t great.

With more knee room, passable once occupants are in the flat bench is hard): troublesome is actually getting in, narrow openings making it particularly for those with big

Economy and safety


Another BMW win. Every diesel 62.8mpg and emits sub-120g/km CO2 although choose the 120d and this improves to 64.2mpg and Next year, a 116d cracks the 70mpg barrier and beneath the 100g/km CO2 barrier.

The petrols have the biggest improvements, of up to 10% over the current The 116i averages nearly and only just fails to hit the CO2 mark. All engines and all gearboxes standard stop-start and an in-depth ECO PRO teaches even more driving – showing how miles extra it gave you time you fill the tank.

The MSN Cars verdict

With the 1 Series, BMW has cured (most of) the of the original and enhanced the good it’s thus greener, comfortable and refined, is easier to offers better quality and buyers the potential to laden it tech from a 5 Series.

The big was the styling, but while seeing it in the is not definitive, it does indicate you reserve judgement. It is better in life than the images had us Yes, really – and the of it is at last the shrunken 5 Series the could never claim to be.

for yourself in September if it’s a look.

BMW 1-Series
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