Pros - Superb handling, well built, fast, good fuel economy. Superior build quality and safety features.
Cons Very little. Rear space limited.
The smallest and most affordable vehicle in the BMW range has proved a huge hit since its launch in 2004. This 5-door hatchback replaced the 3 Series compact range. During its first full year on the market in 2005 the BMW 1 Series became one of BMWs most successful cars with 149,493 units sold. BMW launched the 1 Series as the only rear wheel drive in its class. By 2006 BMW sold 22,033 1 Series in the UK, 19 per cent of all BMW sales. A compact model, it was powered by both gas and diesel four and six cylinder engines. A three-door hatchback model was added in 2007 and along with revised 5 door versions a coupe and coupe convertible variant are also being planned.
The revised five-door BMW 1 Series went on sale in March 2007 with the three-door following in May. It features the same class-leading dynamics as before but with increased performance, improved economy and emissions solutions, powered by engines offering increases in output by up to 20hp. Emissions have been cut by up to 21 per cent and fuel consumption by up to 24 per cent. These technologies are showcased in the record breaking 118d, BMWs most economical car ever with an impressive 60.1mpg, and they are included on nearly all of the 1 Series range from April, 2007. The redesign includes refreshed interior and exterior styling featuring a larger kidney grille for improved airflow to the engine. The lower front spoiler has also been re-profiled to create a larger air intake. While the spoiler protrudes further it also creates a more pronounced, sporting look. At the rear a restyled bumper gives the impression of a wider, lower more sturdy car, while the rear lamps have also been redesigned to accentuate width.
Auto Start-Stop - the system automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary.
Electric Power Steering.
Air-conditioning power supply and various ancillary devices disconnect from the drivetrain when not in use.
High-precision direct injection petrol engines enhancing the engines efficiency and significantly reducing fuel consumption.
Standard six-speed manual gearbox with automatic optional.
Integrated torsion damper that reduces energy losses and ensures even shorter reaction and gearshift times.
Steering wheel mounted paddle shift to activate the changes.
Near perfect 50:50 weight distribution and its unique front-engine, rear-wheel drive arrangement.
Advanced suspension set up using an all-aluminium front axle and lightweight steel five-link rear suspension.
(DSC) brakes as standard. Combines ABS and Automatic Stability Control and includes Cornering Brake Control. DSC prevents the car from over steering or under steering, simply by reducing engine power or applying the brakes specifically on individual wheels as required.
The BMW 1 Series has been awarded five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test. Protection comes from the extremely stiff structure, crumple zones and energy absorbing materials. Six airbags with the front two being intelligent dual stage airbags. For childrens safety, ISOFIX child seats are standard on the two outer seats in the rear and the front seat. The front passenger airbag can be deactivated as required.
These turn the main headlight beam in the same direction as the steering wheel for optimum illumination on winding roads. This function is provided by a special mechanism moving the bi-Xenon modules in accordance with the cars steering angle, lateral acceleration and road speed.
In addition to this the BMW 1 Series also comes as standard with Cornering Lights function. Following the same principle as the Adaptive Headlights this function is activated at speeds up to 25 mph and uses the foglights to turn to their extreme position facing left or right depending on steering input to illuminate kerb edges and side turnings.