BMW 1 Series (2019) Review

BMW 1 Series (2019) 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.

The 2020 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 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 the 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).

BMW 1 Series 2019 Road Test

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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
What mid-size hatch is best for regular, long motorway trips?
"I’m travelling quite far, regularly across the UK next year for work, January to July each weekend. I’d like a 4-wheel-drive, Golf-sized car. What car should I buy?"
How about a BMW 120d xDrive? It'll be a very comfortable and efficient choice. Think twice about whether you really need four-wheel-drive, though – it limits your options and will increase your running costs unnecessarily if most of your journeys will be on the motorway. A Volkswagen Golf or similar with a set of winter (or all-season) tyres could be a good option.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should I use a float charger?
"I've just heard about battery float chargers, is this another way of saying trickle chargers? I'm looking to buy one for my dad, who owns a BMW 1 Series and have heard that CTEK are the best? Any help would be really appreciated."
Float chargers will automatically turn on and off as it detects the battery level dropping or reaching full capacity. These are best if you're planning on leaving the car plugged in for a long time without checking on it. Trickle chargers require checking and turning off when the battery is fully charged. We rate CTEK chargers highly.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Are there any three-door hatchbacks to replace my old Audi A3 with?
"I have an old three-door Audi A3. I was thinking of buying a three-door Volkswagen Gold but understand these are discontinued so I'm concerned that three-door hatchbacks are becoming rare. I want another three-door of similar size as this is the easiest for a dog to get in and out of; a much gentler gradient onto the back seat and wider area in the footwell with the front seat folded forward. What do you suggest?"
I don't think you'll find a new three-door car the same size as your A3, I'm afraid. The three-door Golf is being discontinued but some dealers still have pre-registered examples in as-new condition in stock, so that might be your best option if you act quickly. You could also consider nearly-new examples of the outgoing BMW 1 Series.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a BMW 1 Series (2019) cost?