2020 BMW 1 Series is still on top of its game
The latest version of the BMW 1 Series is a revelation, and it is much better than the car it replaces.
The third-generation 1 Series is a premium family hatchback that comes in front-wheel drive only.
Yes, BMW has dispensed with rear-wheel drive and here that is a good thing – it creates space in the cabin, makes the bonnet shorter and gives family car drivers a vehicle they will know how to handle.
Switching to front-wheel drive will disappoint a lot of BMW fans but it makes it a more attractive and practical car to take on rivals, such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
The 1 Series is also available in four-wheel-drive for those who enjoy stronger grip and better control on slippery surfaces.
The BMW 1 Series impresses
In the cabin, the BMW 1 Series impresses, and it is one of the segment’s best.
Everything is driver-focused, and it looks like a premium creation with extensive use of smart materials.
The front seats are very comfortable, particularly in the models with leather seats, and there's either an 8.8-inch iDrive infotainment display, or a 10.25-inch display plus a digital instrument panel in the top models.
The infotainment system is easy-to-use, and the digital instrument display is impressive.
The cabin is still a spacious offering, though tall adults may not agree in the rear seats, and the car comes with five doors as standard.
New 1 Series offers practicality
The new 1 Series offers practicality with a boot size of 380-litres which will, with the rear seats folded flat, expand to 1,200-litres.
Behind the wheel, the car has a nice stance with little body lean when driving on winding roads.
The overall feeling is one of refinement and it is a great motorway cruiser - it certainly feels as composed and rewarding to drive as the latest BMW 3 Series.
1 Series engine line-up
The BMW 1 Series engine line-up has the choice of petrol and diesel engines – with the promise of a hybrid to come.
The petrol 118i is a 1.5-litre offering with three-cylinders that produces 138bhp to help propel the 1 Series to 62 mph in a reasonable 8.5 seconds.
The engine is the same as the one found in the Mini Cooper models and it is a responsive and impressive unit.
It is refined and quiet when driven around town and delivers good response on motorways.
Impressive 1 Series M135i
There's also the option of a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 302bhp in the impressive 1 Series M135i.
The 1.5-litre diesel unit delivers decent performance though the 1 Series is probably best with the 2.0-litre unit for the 118d model and it produces 148bhp.
The reason why this may be the better choice is that the turbocharger delivers a better response across a wider rev range.
Also, its top speed is 134mph and its 0 to 62 mph time is 8.4 seconds.
The engines are mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a smooth-changing six-speed automatic transmission.
Impressive levels of economy
Along with performance, the engines for the 1 Series also deliver impressive levels of economy.
For example, the 1.5-litre diesel engine returns 63mpg with emissions of 119g/km, while the larger 2.0-litre diesel unit returns 60mpg and emissions of 128g/km.
The petrol engine returns 47mpg with emissions of 140g/km.
The petrol unit is worth considering for company car drivers with a BiK benefit rate in the mid-range, thought the diesel engines deliver better economy and performance.
The 1 Series is a contender
The first impression from the revamped cabin is that BMW really is serious about making the 1 Series a contender in a competitive segment.
The cabin impresses with all of the buttons within easy reach and it is a comfortable place to spend time.
Equipment for the 1 Series includes LED headlights, cruise control and parking sensors.
Other models feature a new body styling kit, sport seats with contrast stitching, heated front seats and the M Sport has a completely new interior and exterior, along with a sport suspension.
Options for the new 1 Series include various convenience items, exterior lighting, heated seats and mirrors, a remote tailgate, a head-up display and parking assist.
BMW 1 Series is a stylish and practical family hatchback
Essentially, the BMW 1 Series is a stylish and practical family hatchback that may well surprise potential owners with the new front-wheel drive setup because it is one of the best BMW’s currently to drive. It’s also a great car for comfort and refinement and worth checking out. Check out the used BMW 1 Series cars for sale on DesperateSeller.co.uk to find one that’s perfect for you.
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