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BMW 1 Series (2011-15)

Overall Rating

4 stars

Second generation BMW 1 Series with its unique rear-wheel drive car delivering a sporty drive whilst also offering a comfortable ride.

  • Increased space
  • Fuel efficient engines
  • Stylish good looks
  • Basic standard options
  • Added extras increase cost significantly
  • Main dealer servicing costs
Road Test

Increased in size the elegant and dynamic styling of the BMW 1 Series is 83mm longer, 14mm wider and 30mm longer in the wheelbase than its predecessor creating a larger cabin. The drivetrain layout improves the 1 Series' handling, but is also reflected in its design, with typical BMW proportions: a long bonnet and wheelbase, and a set-back cabin. Inside is high quality and angled controls provide ease of driving and the added room results in a further 20mm of legroom for rear passengers. Boot space is larger with 360 litres or by lowering the standard 60/40 split rear seats this can be increased to a maximum of 1,200-litres, with the added benefit of a flat load surface. Engines come with a choice of two, new generation, four-cylinder petrol engines and three, redesigned, four-cylinder diesel units. The 1.6-litre unit is of all-alloy construction and features a twin-scroll turbocharger, a High Precision Direct Injection system, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control. In addition, the new engine features BMW's EfficientDynamics technologies, which aims to continually increase driving enjoyment while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The BMW 118i 170hp will sprint from zero to 62mph in just 7.4 seconds, going on to a maximum speed of 140mph. The efficiency has a combined fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg, and CO2 emissions of just 137g/km. The BMW 116i's four-cylinder TwinPower 136hp takes 8.5 seconds to reach 62mph from a standing start, and 130mph top speed with a combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg, and CO2 emissions of just 132g/km, going up to 134g/km when teamed with the eight-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 120d 184hp equate to a 0 to 62mph time of just 7.2 seconds, and a maximum top speed of 142mph 62.8mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 119g/km. The BMW 118d 143hp accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 8.9 seconds, with a maximum speed of 132mph, 62.8mpg on the combined fuel cycle and emits just 118g/km of CO2. The BMW 116d offers a blend of performance and economy with a maximum output of 116hp, the 0 to 62mph dash is completed in 10.3 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 124mph. This performance is matched to a combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg, with CO2 emissions of 117g/km. Transmission comes as a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission which is available in Sport configuration, featuring more dynamic gear changes and shift paddles on the steering wheel. BMW have improved and added efficiency to their engines whilst providing sharper looks and more space.

Need To Know

Best Models: 118d

Worst Models: none

BMW 1 Series (2011-15)
Star Ratings


4 stars


4 stars

Quality & Reliability

4 stars


4 stars


4 stars

Running Costs

3 stars

Value for Money

3 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

4 stars
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