Review: BMW 1 Series (2019)
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.
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BMW 1 Series (2019): At A Glance
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).
What does a BMW 1 Series (2019) cost?
Buy a used BMW 1-Series from £12,998
BMW 1 Series (2019): What's It Like Inside?
The new front-drive or xDrive 4WD 1 Series are 5mm shorter than the previous rear-drive F20 1-Series, but with transverse engines are much more spacious inside, with 33mm extra rear legroom and a decent 380 litre load capacity.
340mm greater width give the driver and front passenger 42mm more elbow room and the load area is now 67mm wider at 1,020mm between the wheelarches and 1,150mm behind them for golf bags, etc. An electric tailgate is now optional as a standalone extra or as part of the Comfort Pack.
The F40 1-Series offers an array of driver assistant systems, together with BMW head-up display, BMW Digital Key, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Plus.
The driver gets a TFT instrument cluster with satnav instructions between the two dials and, if he specifies a Technology Pack, he also gets a full colour head up display in the screen which, as well as satnav instructions, shows his speed digitally against the prevailing speed limit.
The central Control Display is touchscreen or iDrive operated, while controls for the heating, air conditioning and new hexagonal air vents are grouped together in the centre console below the Control Display. Apple CarPlay is standard for the first year, but will cost you a subscription afterwards - while Android Auto isn't available.
With the Start/Stop button and gear selector lever now also located in the control panel in the lower section of the centre console, all the controls relating to driving functions are clustered together in one area. This includes the iDrive Touch Controller used to control the infotainment system.
The M135i has M Sport seats with integrated headrest design finished in Trigon Cloth/Alcantara Anthracite upholstery.
Child seats that fit a BMW 1 Series (2019)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the BMW 1 Series (2019) like to drive?
- Engines range from 116d to M135i
The BMW 1 Series features the same ‘actuator contiguous’ wheel slip limitation (ARB) technology used in the BMW i3s. It has the effect of significantly improving traction when pulling away, cornering or when driving in the wet. The system works very quickly, in close tandem with the DSC system to significantly reduce power understeer.
The 118i features a 140HP version of the UK Hams Hall built B38 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine as used the MINI, together with a 7-speed dry clutch DCT, as also featured in the MINI. There were no paddles on our car, but it didn’t need them, shifting smoothly and sensibly up and down the gears and offering a very pleasant drive. Ride quality, even on 225/40 R18 tyres wasn’t bad either, but don’t be misled into ordering 19-inch wheels with 235/35 R19 tyres because on them it becomes rock hard.
Despite a significant 306HP from its Hams Hall, Brit-built B48 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine, the M135i is surprisingly calm and docile until you put your foot down, while the xDrive with Torsen limited slip front differential provides significantly more security on greasy roads than the rather frightening old M140i. It’s a very likable car, a step up from a VW Golf GTI TCR, for example, and not massively more expensive until you start digging into the options list. Keep yourself under control and you can actually drive one away for £34,995, well under the £40k limit and the prospect of £465 a year VED from years 2 to 6.
|116d||-||10.3 s||100 g/km|
|116d Automatic||-||10.1 s||100 g/km|
|118d||-||8.5 s||108 g/km|
|118d Automatic||-||8.4 s||109 g/km|
|118i||-||8.4–8.5 s||121 g/km|
|118i Automatic||-||8.5 s||114 g/km|
|120d Automatic||-||7.0 s||117 g/km|
|M135i||-||4.8 s||155 g/km|
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