BMW 1-Series Hatchback (2011 -) Review

Review by Simon McBride on
Last Updated: 06 May 2015
45
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but you would have to be a bit of BMW fan to believe the original 1-Series was a good looking hatchback. In fact its long bonnet and rounded rear-end made it look as though it had been prodded a little with the ugly stick.

BMW 1-Series Hatchback (11 on)
  • Better looking than the previous model
  • Fun to drive
  • Superb fuel economy with diesel engines
  • Cramped in the rear
  • Deals will be few and far between

New price range:

£20,245 - £33,880

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Used price range:

£8,138 - £31,845

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Summary

Parkers Rating:

4.5 out of 5

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but you would have to be a bit of BMW fan to believe the original 1-Series was a good looking hatchback.

In fact its long bonnet and rounded rear-end made it look as though it had been prodded a little with the ugly stick. The second generation, however, looks much better. The longer and wider profile gives the car a more pleasing figure. The rear of the car looks less squashed and the rear window has been deepened to give the driver more than a letter-box aperture to see through when reversing.

Much has changed inside, too. A redesigned dashboard, upgraded trim and a host of new design details make the interior feel a lot more upmarket and premium-feeling than the previous generation.

Large engine range

There's the ever-impressive line of efficient and clean BMW diesel engines, while new petrol options offer extra pace for enthusiastic buyers.

The most impressive engine in the range is the 2.0-litre diesel found in the 120d. With 184bhp it can accelerate the 1-Series from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds, yet it’s still capable of returning a claimed average of 62.8mpg.

Don’t discount the petrol engines though, as the twin-turbo petrol engines are capable of averaging 49mpg and are quick and refined.

There's also been a bit of an improvement on the practicality front, something the awkward-shaped first version struggled with, and equipment levels have been improved.

Plenty of kit as standard

Despite being an entry level model the 1-Series comes well specified with plenty of kit, including air-con and stop/start. As you’d expect the car is available with an extensive variety of options, allowing customers to personalise and specify their car to meet their requirements.

On offer are extras including upgraded stereo systems, auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof and electric front seats.

2015 updates

The BMW 1 series received a mild mid-life facelift in 2015 which saw engine efficiency improved, updated styling inside and out and more equipment available as standard.

The new engine range brings a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 12 per cent and meets Euro 6 emissions standard, from the ultra-efficient 116d EfficientDynamics Plus to the lively 326hp M135i, BMW is confident customers will find a model to suit.

Design changes have been subtle with the latest car sporting new LED headlights, a revised grille and new tail lamps. Inside there’s new cloth fabric for the seats plus the dials, air vents and buttons in the cockpit have also been refined.

New standard kit includes a SIM card embedded in the car which enables a variety of online services to be used on the move, an updated parking assist system and an expanded range of BMW EfficientDynamics features to help maximise on fuel economy.

The 1-Series is still one of the most engaging cars in its class to drive, and competes strongly against rivals like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Audi A3.

So has the second iteration of the 1-Series come of age? Read the Parkers’ BMW 1-Series review to find out…

Parkers Ratings

Overall

4.5 out of 5

Performance

4.5 out of 5

Handling

4.5 out of 5

Comfort

4 out of 5

Practicality

3.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

3.5 out of 5

Safety

4.5 out of 5

Reliability

5 out of 5

Running costs

4 out of 5

Green credentials

4 out of 5

Buying new

3 out of 5

Buying used

3.5 out of 5

Selling

4 out of 5

Equipment

4 out of 5

What owners say...

 With rear seats folded down I can get golf clubs in, so is okay for me. Boot is decent size for me and my wife. Size of car is ideal for town driving.  

3 out of 5

Derek Crannage ,   08 Jul 2015    ... read more

 It's not all that practical. The front door pockets are well designed though...as is the centre console and arm rest.  

2 out of 5

Mark Alan ,   16 Jun 2015    ... read more

 Boot space is pretty good for a hatchback. Mine has the extended storage so plenty of cubby holes and storage nets throughout to keep any extras for the journey secure.  

5 out of 5

Alexander Eady ,   09 May 2015    ... read more

See all Owners' Reviews

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