The new 2015 1 Series line-up, due here in March, also gets new three-cylinder and four-cylinder engines, plus tweaked interior design incorporating BMW’s latest ConnectedDrive infotainment technology.
It’s the revised front end that’s the most welcome aspect. The ugly headlights of the current 1 Series are replaced by sharper, flatter units, between which a new kidney grille and larger air intakes sit. Bumpers are new too, with bigger and more shapely air intakes.
Rear lights also now sport the ‘L’ design of BMW’s saloons, completing the transformation; the rear lights are LED units and, for the first time, LED headlights are now available.
Inside, all 1 Series receive the iDrive infotainment system as standard, complete with 6.5-inch freestanding display, while climate control, Professional radio and rain sensor are all now standard too, and interior quality is upped with more chrome trim and gloss black surfaces.
Engine choices include a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo for the first time; the new 116i uses the engine from the MINI Cooper to produce 109hp and 133lb ft of torque. It will do 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and average over 56mpg.
The new 1.5-litre three-cylinder 116d EfficientDynamics restores BMW’s diesel eco leadership, with combined economy of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of just 89g/km. It’s the most fuel-efficient conventional-engine BMW on sale.
Other engines are now taken from BMW’s new engine family, including a total of five new diesel motors that are smoother and sweeter than before.
If economy is less of a concern, the M135i’s six-cylinder turbo received a 5hp boost to 326hp; in xDrive guise, it reaches 62mph from rest in just 4.7 seconds. It’s offered as a six-speed manual or eight-speed Steptronic automatic; the auto now has shift profiling linked to the sat nav system for predictive gearchanges.
BMW will launch the new 1 Series in UK dealers on March 28; prices start from £20,245 for the 118i SE three-door.