BMW 1 Series Review 2022

BMW 1 Series At A Glance

5/5

+BMW 1 Series now front wheel drive and better for it. Initially from £24,430 for 118i. DCT auto with lower power engines shifts smoothly and pleasantly.

-Very long and complicated list of equipment and options can easily bump price of M135i past £40,000.

New prices start from £25,365
Insurance Groups are between 27–29

The 2022 BMW 1 Series shares a platform with the X1, X2 and MINI Countryman - meaning, for the first time ever, standard models are now front-wheel drive. This brings it in line with family hatchback rivals, and offers more space inside - especially in the rear seats and boot, which now offers 380 litres of luggage space.

It's powered by a mix of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with the range starting with a 140PS 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol badged the 118i.

The potent M135i xDrive features all wheel-drive and a 2.0-litre 306PS four-cylinder petrol - making it a rival to hot hatches likes of the Mercedes-AMG A35 and VW Golf R. It will reach 62mph in 4.8 seconds while top speed is limited to 155mph.

Inside, the new 1 Series features lots of tech as seen in the bigger 3 Series. All but the entry-level models get a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in place of conventional dials, while a 10.25-inch display in the centre of the dashboard can also be specced.

Apple CarPlay is standard for the first year, but will cost you a subscription afterwards - while Android Auto isn't available.

An Alexa-like personal assistant responds to 'Hey BMW' commands, while a digital key lets owners unlock their car using their phone if the Comfort Access option is specified.

Buyers can select from SE, Sport and M Sport trims as well as the range-topping M135i xDrive, each with their own individual style - such as high-gloss black highlights on Sport models and Dakota leather with contrast stitching on the M Sport.

Prices start at £24,430 for the 118i, while the M135i xDrive is available from £36,430. The diesel range is made up of the 116d (£25,480), 118d (£26,640) and the 120d xDrive Sport (£32,470).

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's BMW 1 Series review.

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What's the best small auto car with easy access for the driver?
"After a traumatic injury last year, I now have different needs from my car. I am in need of an automatic with an electric seat to aid getting in and out of the vehicle. I would prefer a small to medium size car but am having trouble finding something suitable. I have £20,000 to spend, what do you suggest I buy?"
You're right, this isn't a feature that you'll find on many cars this size, but it's possible. You can fit the BMW 1 Series with electric memory seats for £750 – with electrical adjustment for height, backrest tilt, seat position and seat base tilt. The memory function means by pressing a button your seat and exterior mirror settings can be returned after someone else drove the car. For £1500, BMW's Comfort Pack 2 bundles the electric seats together with an electric opening and closing boot that you may find handy. The pack also adds keyless entry and a heated steering wheel as part of the deal. Finding a second-hand car fitted with this pack will likely be easier than finding a car with just the electric seats fitted. The Volkswagen Golf can also be had with electric seats. They're an option that's only available on higher-end models – starting with the GTI – in combination with leather upholstery. The option costs £2130 in the GTI and gives you electric adjustment for the driver’s seat height, seat length, seat cushion angle, backrest angle and lumbar support. The VW's seats also have a memory function that returns your seat and mirrors to their original position. Finding these packs on either car will be easier to do at a franchised dealer which will have a comprehensive database of the options fitted to the cars it has in stock – some non franchised dealers do also offer this. Both the BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf have recently been updated and the current new car shortage means both command strong residuals, you may struggle to find a car for £20,000. The good news is that electric seats were also offered on the older models that are in your budget. If you want as new a car as possible, I'd recommend the new Peugeot 208 – it's a small car that's pretty big by the standards of a few years ago. GT and GT Premiums models are available with optional Nappa leather seats that have driver seat multi-way electric adjustment (including electric lumbar adjustment) and a massage function. They're also heated. GT models built in 2021 with around 10,000 miles on the clock are currently on sale for just under £20,000.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Which premium hatchback has the largest boot?
"We're looking to replace a 2015 Mazda 3 with something similar. But we need a bigger boot, especially for two Spaniels. I'm a bit of a brand snob, and so wondered what 'premium' hatchback has the largest or deepest boot with the seats up?"
The Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series will provide 380 litres of boot space - which is around 20 more than you get in your Mazda. You may also want to consider the Honda Civic, which isn't deemed as 'premium' as its German rivals but does provide a useful 420 litres.
Answered by Dan Powell
Which is better, the new Volkswagen Golf or BMW 1 Series?
"I currently have a 2015 Volkswagen Golf with the DSG gearbox, which you have been critical of (but ours has had no trouble). I'm now thinking of a replacement. The new Golf has a DSG gearbox. Is this the same as mine or is it better/more reliable? I'm also looking at the BMW 118i SE, also automatic, but obviously different. Would this be a better option?"
We're receiving very few reports of issues with modern DSG gearboxes. With regular maintenance (i.e. fluid changes every few years) there's no reason why they won't be as reliable in the long-term as a traditional torque-converter transmission. Both the latest Golf and BMW 1 Series are great cars. There are a few flimsy materials in the cabin of the Golf which you won't find in the 1 Series, while we also prefer the infotainment in the BMW. It's more enjoyable to drive, too, if that's important.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I'm looking for a medium-sized hatchback. What's the best model to buy?
"I've got up to £25k to spend. I'm looking at the Volkswagen Golf Mk8 (either the Style or the R). It's a Golf-size car I want, with a diesel engine and automatic gearbox. Is the Golf a better option than a Focus, Astra etc?"
The latest Golf is an excellent car and is unlikely to disappoint – but it's no longer the class leader it once was. If practicality is a concern, look at the Skoda Octavia, while the Ford Focus is a good alternative that's a little more enjoyable to drive. Alternatively, premium contenders like the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class will all feel a bit more special but won't cost a great deal more to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

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