This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 1-Series Hatchback review.

The driving position is quite low, adding to the sporty appeal of the 1 Series. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, which makes finding a comfortable driving position easy. BMW’s iDrive – a system used on its larger cars to control functions like satellite-navigation, ventilation and entertainment with a single dial was an option.Although initially confusing, this is a feature that’s very useful.

The three-door version has a shallower rear window than on the five door, so visibility seems to suffer more if choosing this version.

Room in the back fell short of that offered by the equivalent Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 Sportback – there’s not really enough room for three adults and it’s short on head and legroom. The back seats are also quite tricky to access, because of a high sill, however the rear seat backs split 60/40 and fold flat on to the fixed rear bench to extend luggage space.

Look for an ES model or higher for air-conditioning, and electric rear windows were optional on all models below the 120i and 120d.