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BMW 1-series

(2004 - )  Rating

BMW 1-series

The BMW 1-series features a sharp steering and superb chassis

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
1.6 16V 115 hp 6.3 l/100km Petrol 10.8 s 201 km/h
2.0 D 122 hp 4.7 l/100km Diesel 10 s 201 km/h
2.0 16V 129 hp ? Petrol ? ?
2.0 16V 150 hp 6.1 l/100km Petrol 8.7 s 217 km/h
2.0 D 163 hp 4.7 l/100km Diesel 7.9 s 220 km/h
3.0 24V 265 hp 9.2 l/100km Petrol 6.1 s 250 km/h

Body type Hatchback
Number of doors 5
Number of seats 5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Rear
Length 4 227 mm
Width 1 751 mm
Height 1 430 mm
Wheelbase 2 660 mm
Ground clearance ?
Weight (normal) 1 280 kg
Weight (max) 1 705 kg
Boot space (min) 330 l
Boot space (max) 1 150 l
Fuel capacity 50 l


   The BMW 1-series is produced since 2004. It replaced the 3-series compact, and currently is the smallest and most affordable car produced by the BMW.

   There is a choice of four petrol engines and two diesels. The entry-level 1.6-liter petrol feels underpowered. The best choice would be the 2.0-liter petrol or diesel, delivering 129 and 122 hp respectively.  The hottest 3.0-liter powered model accelerates to 100 km/h (60 mph) in just over 6 seconds.

   The 1-series BMW has a unique rear wheel drive suspension and even weight distribution between the axles. These features give it a good body balance, that is unmatched by it's rivals. It also has a sharp steering.

   The 1-series engines are very refined. Most of them are smooth and the cabin is well isolated from the outside noises. You wont hear many engine road or wind noises driving this car.

   The small BMW is expensive to buy, however it is a near-luxury car. It's running costs are reasonable, and diesel engines are very fuel efficient. Even the petrols have respectable economy figures. Furthermore the 1-series BMWs have a very strong residual values.

   Inside the cabin materials look rather cheap and the cabin itself can't match the level of the Audi A3. However it is the BMW's budget buy, but there should be no concern's as the car's mechanical reliability is very high.

   Drivers of all shapes and sizes will find themselves comfortable in the 1-series. The steering wheel and driver's seat are multi-adjustable. There is plenty of head- and legroom in front of the cabin. However the rear visibility is restricted by the small rear screen and thick pillars.

   Unfortunately the 1-series BMW is not as comfortable for the rear passengers. The rear accommodation is not as generous as in the VW Golf V, furthermore access to the rear seats is awkward. It's boot is average fot the class, but it's practicality is restricted by the suspension elements, intruding into the boot.

   Even the cheapest BMW 116 model comes with six airbags, an ABS and dynamic stability control as standard. Thieves are kept away by the deadlocks and visible VIN numbers.

   The entry-level model comes with the electric front windows, trip computer and a CD player, but unfortunately that only what you get. The SE trim adds alloy wheels, climate control, a multi0function steering wheel and parking sensors. Sports seats and sport suspension is available on Sports models. The top of the range M Sport trim adds a sporty bodykit, larger alloy wheels and an uprated suspension.

   Production of the BMW 1-series still continues. In the near future it's the BMW 1-series convertible is expected.


   Advantages: An excellent driving quality, sharp steering and superb chassis; punchy diesels and sweet-revving petrols.

   Disadvantages: The 1-series is expensive to buy and equipment levels are only average . Rear accommodation is tight and the build quality is somewhat uncommon for the BMW.

   Verdict: A budget, but still reliable and near-luxury buy from the BMW.

   Also consider: Alfa Romeo 147, Audi A3.


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BMW 1-series

BMW 1-series

BMW 1-series

BMW 1-series

BMW 1-series

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