BMW 1-Series Hatchback (11 on) - Review

Review by Simon McBride on
Last Updated: 02 Sep 2014
4.5
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.

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:

£17,775 - £34,755

View all new prices

Used price range:

£9,812 - £29,700

View all used prices

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. 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. 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. Despite the bigger boot, better visibility, improved line-up and more refined feel; however, the company hasn’t gone all sensible. 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...

 The X Drive. So safe in all weathers and no understeer at all on fast bends.  

5 out of 5

Keith Baldwin ,   21 Oct 2014    ... read more

 It's like any other hatchback in terms of practicality... just with a bonus of 320bhp!!  

4 out of 5

Josh White ,   09 Sep 2014    ... read more

 I wouldn't really describe the car as practical. Its quite cramped and has a very small boot space. Its really just a way of getting from one place to another.  

3 out of 5

Shane Strong ,   15 Mar 2014    ... read more

See all Owners' Reviews

Next steps

Best deals on BMW 1-Series Hatchbacks