Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Improved rear passenger kneeroom
  • Headroom in the back remains too tight
  • Boot space is comparable to Mercedes A-Class

The previous BMW 1 Series waded into battle with a smaller-than-average boot space and rear passenger room – something that the German brand has worked to improve with its successor.

The five-door-only 1 Series is 34mm wider and 13mm higher than its predecessor yet, unusually, also comes in 5mm shorter. This latter measurement is owing to improved packaging from the front-wheel drive powertrain and rotated engine (so it’s now transverse-mounted, meaning it's positioned across the engine bay rather than lengthways), allowing the car to be shorter without compromising passenger or boot space.

As a result, kneeroom for rear seat passengers is up by 33mm – and it really shows. It’s a marked improvement over the previous-generation car, if not quite as generous as what the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf offers. Headroom, however, is still a little disappointing despite the car’s taller profile. Perched on the rear seats, you’ll feel like the base is positioned high meaning that anyone over 5ft 9inch will find their head touching the roof lining.

The middle seat, too, is best limited to kids or smaller adults – partly due to the chunky central tunnel running through the car’s cabin. Cabin storage, meanwhile, is adequate in the back and plentiful in the front thanks to generously proportioned door pockets and a pair of nicely sized cupholders.

Will it fit in my garage?

As outlined above, the 1 Series’ width may have increased significantly but it’s still no wider than a Volkswagen Golf. However, it is a little longer, meaning it’s well worth taking careful and exact measurements of your garage before committing to a 1 Series. Note, too, that it’s also taller than your average hatchback – so bear in mind the height at which your garage door mechanism sits at.

The optional Reversing Assistant should also help with narrow garages, automatically backing the car out following exactly the same path as it entered with.

Will my luggage fit in it?

Boot space is up 20 litres over the previous 1 Series, coming in at 380 with the rear seats in place and 1,200 with them folded down. This compares favorably with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (370-1,210 litres) and matches the Volkswagen Golf in the former category (380-1,270 litres). The minimum width of the luggage compartment has also increased, while an electronic tailgate is fitted to the 1 Series for the first time. Lifting heavy bags in shouldn’t be too tricky thanks to a minimal loading lip and a space free of major intrusions.

BMW 1 Series safety

  • Five star Euro NCAP rating
  • Standard collision and pedestrian warning
  • Suite of driver assistance aids

Crash testers at Euro NCAP gave the 1 Series a full five star rating. The 1 Series’ platform has been tried and tested on other five-star safety rated models (including the MINI Clubman and BMW X1) and features the usual array of hi-tech safety aids, including:

  • Standard collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function (includes cyclist detection)
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Driving Assistant pack, featuring lane change warning system (blindspot monitor), proactive driving assistant, rear collision warning and cross-traffic warning
  • Cruise control and adaptive cruise control with stop & go function
  • Head-up display featuring driving, sat-nav, media and telephone information
  • Park distance control (front and rear parking sensors), a rear-view camera, parking assistant (automatic parking) and reversing assistant (capable of automatically reversing out of tight spaces by retracing the vehicle’s route in)

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the BMW 1-Series Hatchback.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Cruise control
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Sports seats

M Sport equipment

M Sport standard equipment
  • Leather seat trim
  • Sports seats
M Sport optional equipment
None available

M135i equipment

M135i standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
M135i optional equipment
None available

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Remote locking
SE optional equipment
None available

Sport equipment

Sport standard equipment
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Sports seats
Sport optional equipment
None available

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The BMW 1-Series Hatchback was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2019
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 83%
Child Occupant: 87%
Vulnerable Road Users: 76%
Safety Assist: 72%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.