Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Should you buy a BMW 1 Series?

BMW has changed much about the third generation 1 Series, but the good news is that the majority of the range has lost none of its appeal. A small number of brand loyalists will bemoan the switch to front-wheel drive, yet only performance fans buying the M135i xDrive will have cause to complain. The rest of the range is as well-built and pleasant to drive as ever, yet with greater practicality and a cabin packed with more tech than many more expensive cars. 

When it comes to speccing your 1 Series, keep in mind that M Sport is the most popular trim chiefly because of the striking looks, instead of extra equipment on offer. If you want the best value, both the SE and Sport are available with much of the same standard and optional equipment. BMW Live Cockpit Professional is worth upgrading to, as is the Driving Assistant pack chiefly because of the extra safety features it offers.

As for engines, the 118d will do everything most buyers will ever ask of it without ever really breaking sweat. It’s economical, refined and delivers a reasonable turn of performance more than adequate enough for long motorway drives. Those after a bit more pace may want to look at the 120d xDrive and the optional adaptive dampers it can be specced with. Alternatively, the M135i xDrive delivers superb performance, if not the same excitement levels as its M140i predecessor. Think of it as BMW's version of a VW Golf R and you're about there.

BMW PCP finance and lease packages are usually highly competitive meaning you should be able to bag a 1 Series for similar monthly payments to a ‘less prestigious’ brand, or make a saving over models such as the costly Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Company car rates will also be favorable thanks to low CO2-emitting diesels such as the 116d and 118d, while an entry-level petrol version shouldn’t be far away. Just note that the 118i, while temptingly affordable, won't manage the same kind of fuel economy figures as the others, ranging somewhere between 35 and 42mpg in our time driving it.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto is offering the BMW 1 Series for £231 per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.

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