New BMW 1 Series in white

New BMW 1 Series revealed: full details of the £24,430 premium hatch

New BMW 1 Series in whiteOrdering for the new BMW 1 Series will open this week with prices starting from £24,430. Deliveries of the bigger, bolder BMW 3 Series-inspired front-wheel drive hatchback start in September.

Sensibly, but controversially, BMW has switched to front-wheel drive for this generation of 1 Series, to meet customer demands. Buyers wanted more space, rather than the more engaging handling of rear-wheel drive. For the first time in 15 years, BMW has responded.

This will, hopes the firm, help it take on its arch rivals: the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Both easily outsold the 1 Series in Britain last year.

The A-Class was a top-10 best seller last year. BMW will want the new 1 Series to do the same.

Bigger new 1 Series

New BMW 1 Series in white

Size-wise, the new 1 Series is actually 5mm shorter than the old car, at 4,319mm. It is 34mm wider and 13mm taller. It has far more interior space; 33mm more rear kneeroom and 19mm more headroom should fix one of the biggest complaints of the current car – its tiny rear seats.

New BMW 1 Series in white

There’s 13mm more elbowroom in the rear, and 42mm more elbowroom in the front will make it feel far roomier.

New BMW 1 Series in white

The boot grows to 380 litres, on a par with a Volkswagen Golf, extending to 1,200 litres with the seats down. It’s 67mm wider and, for the first time, 1 Series buyers can have an electric tailgate.

More tech

New BMW 1 Series in white

A higher quality interior has features such as touchscreen functionality and wireless smartphone charging. High-end BMW Live Cockpit Professional, as seen in the new 3 Series, is available as an option: it comes with a HD 10.25-inch screen.

New BMW 1 Series in white

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is also now fitted. Say ‘Hey BMW’ to operate various functions and controls. It works in a similar way to a home smart speaker.

Various trim materials can be chosen and ambient lighting adds theatre at night. For the first time, the 1 Series can be optioned with a panoramic glass roof – which opens.

A head-up display is also offered in a 1 Series for the first time.

Model variants

New BMW 1 Series in white

BMW is selling the new 1 Series in three core trim lines: SE, Sport and M Sport. There will also be a range-topping M135i xDrive.

SE 1 Series have basic matt black air guides in the front bumper. They get high-gloss black paint on Sport models, which also gain a chrome frame kidney grill with high-gloss struts.

M Sport models have additional aero bodystyling, satin aluminium kidney grill struts and, inside, Dakota leather as standard.

New BMW M135i xDrive

M135i xDrive versions, pictured above, have a mesh kidney grille with the frame finished in Cerium Grey; other details including the door mirrors are also painted Cerium Grey. A high-gloss black rear diffuser and Alcantara M Sport seats with integrated headrests are standard.

How much is the new BMW 1 Series?

New BMW 1 Series in white

The new BMW 1 Series will launch with three diesel and two petrol engines. The entry-level engine, from £24,430, is the 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo 118i, producing 140hp. It does 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and CO2 emissions are down a massive 29g/km, to between 114-123g/km.

The only other petrol engine at launch is the M135i xDrive. Sorry, performance fans, the six-cylinder engine has gone: this one is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, producing 306hp. It does 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and costs from £36,430.

A 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine powers the 116d, priced from £25,480. CO2 emissions are down 5 percent, to as low as 100g/km, and it will average up to 61.4mpg.

118d (from £26,640) and 120d xDrive (from £32,470) both have 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesels. The 118d produces 150hp and does 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds; the 120d xDrive puts out 190hp and does 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds.

To add slight confusion to the buying process, BMW offers three different types of gearbox with the new 1 Series. 116d, 118d and 118i models have a regular six-speed manual as standard. A seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch auto is optional on the 116d and 118i.

Standard on the 120d xDrive and M135i xDrive is an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic; it is optional on the 118d.

BMW 1 Series prices

ModelPowerPrice from
118i140hp£24,430
M135i xDrive306hp£36,430
116d116hp£25,480
118d150hp£26,640
120d xDrive Sport190hp£32,470