The BMW 1 Series represents the range of premium compact vehicles built by BMW since 2004. The natural successor to the BMW E46 Compact, the first generation of the BMW 1 Series has been marketed in four different body styles: three and five doors, as well as coupé variants. and Cabrio. No other vehicle in the compact segment has offered the formula on which the success of the BMW 1 Series is based. Between the years 2011 and 2017, approximately one million units of the BMW 1 Series have been sold.
Europe is the most important market for this compact BMW since it is where more than 70% of sales have been allocated. The most important markets, according to countries, for BMW and its 1 Series were Germany, Great Britain, and China.
Due to its characteristics, dimensions, and price, the rivals of the BMW 1 Series go through models such as the Volkswagen Golf, the Audi A3, or the Mercedes A-Class. These three vehicles are, together with the BMW vehicle, the main representatives of premium-cut compacts, and yet this is the only one of them all that has a mechanical layout that is out of the ordinary in this category.
We can find alternatives to the BMW 1 Series in other cars on the market such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta or the Infiniti Q30.
The BMW 1 Series is a vehicle that offers rear-wheel drive, a 50:50 weight distribution, longitudinally arranged engines, multi-link suspension built-in aluminum, as well as a wide range of gasoline and turbodiesel engines. The first generation was developed together with the BMW 3 Series (E90). It was launched in the fall of 2004 and shares many parts -more than 60%- at the structural level: chassis, suspension, and electronics, among other elements.
The first generation of the BMW 1 Series was marketed between the years 2004 and 2013. This range of BMW vehicles replaced the BMW 3 Series Compact as the smallest and most affordable vehicle to purchase in the entire BMW range. The BMW 3 Series Compact was a three-door hatchback variant, based on the BMW 3 Series. This model was in production from 1993 to 2004. Initially, it was based on the E3 6 platform but later evolved using the E 46 platform. in 2001.
BMW 3 Series Compact models were initially available with four-cylinder petrol engines. Later, the Series 3 Compact range would be expanded over the years with compressed natural gas engines, four-cylinder diesel engines, and six-cylinder petrol engines. Unlike most competitors of the time, the 3 Series Compact used the characteristic rear-wheel drive, rather than front-wheel drive, of the German manufacturer BMW.
Body styles for the first generation of the BMW 1 Series consisted of a three-door hatchback ( E81 ), five-door hatchback ( E87 ), two-door coupé ( E82 ), and two-door convertible ( E88 ).
The engines available for the first-generation Series 1 range were four-cylinder diesel and four- and six-cylinder petrol engines, naturally aspirated or turbocharged depending on the engine. The BMW 1 Series accounted for nearly a fifth of the BMW Group’s total sales in 2008.
This first generation of the 1 Series E87 established an access point to the range of the German manufacturer below the BMW 3 Series. The BMW 1 Series Coupé (E82) was unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show and went on sale in November 2007. A few months later, the premiere of the BMW 1 Series Convertible (E88) took place. In June 2011, the second generation is announced. The restructuring of the BMW range affects the Coupé and Cabrio variants. At the end of their commercial life, and taking advantage of the presentation of the second generation, they become part of Series 2 in 2014.
This is the third generation
The new generation of the BMW 1 Series, called the F20 , maintains the volumes so characteristic of the model, but without the sharp edges of Chris Bangle’s design. The new generation of the compact BMW has a more rounded and dynamic design. Its proportions grow, both in length and width, and, what is more important, it increases its wheelbase by three centimeters. Thanks to this there is a little more legroom in the rear seats, something that was missing.
These are the dimensions of the BMW 1 Series: it has a length of 4.32 meters, a width of 1.76 meters, and its height remains at 1.42 meters. The wheelbase for the three and five-door bodies remains at 2.69 meters.
In the aesthetic section, the design of the BMW 1 Series stands out thanks to the elongated sideline, the molded side surfaces that accentuate the wheel arches, or the extended forward side sills to underline the dynamic character of the whole. The three-door BMW 1 Series variant has its personality thanks to the trace of the lines along with its bodywork or the doors with frameless windows, which offer an uninterrupted glass surface from the B-pillar to the drop of the roof. In 2015 a new image was released for the 1 Series, much more personal and sporty.
After a few years on the market, BMW designers decide to update the 1 Series line. Of course, these changes affect both bodies. The main changes are seen at the front. The new Series 1 debuts some optical groups, with a sportier appearance, which include LED technology. The front bumper is also updated to offer a more aggressive aesthetic, therefore, the air intakes are now larger.
Even the typical kidneys at the front of the BMW 1 Series now have more character. At the rear of the BMW compact, there are also novelties. The optical groups inspired by those of the Volkswagen Polo are abandoned (remembering those of the latter) and now it has come in the form of ‘L’ that, of course, work through LED technology.
BMW 1 Series 2023 Interior
The interior of the BMW 1 Series is also updated. The equipment of the BMW 1 Series includes the BMW Professional radio as standard and the iDrive controller to operate the menus on the 6.5-inch screen that is integrated into the dashboard. Incidentally, now Bluetooth connectivity and USB connection are part of the standard equipment inside the BMW 1 Series.
In terms of safety, the BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance systems are extended by the active radar cruise control system with the Stop&Go function. In addition, it launches a state-of-the-art parking system that allows you to park in the smallest spaces.
Connectivity is vital for BMW and this is demonstrated by the investment of resources in this section in recent years. The new BMW 1 Series incorporates as standard an integrated SIM card that automatically communicates the car with the emergency services in the event of an accident. This SIM card also allows you to create your internet network to which you can connect the online entertainment system or the real-time traffic alert system.
There are several lines of finishes for the 1 Series: Sport, Urban, and M Sport, they offer an alternative to the basic equipment since they allow the vehicle to be customized according to the tastes of each client.
The renewal also affects the range of engines, with the incorporation of solutions derived from BMW EfficientDynamics technology, which ensures that the new BMW 1 Series consumes less fuel and has fewer emissions. For the first time, the BMW 1 Series can be combined with new three- and four-cylinder engines. The gasoline engines of the BMW 1 Series offer powers between 110 hp and 224 hp. The top of the range is made up of the in-line six-cylinder BMW M140i, which increases its power to 340 hp.
The rest of the range is completed with the diesel engines of the BMW 1 Series, with powers between 116 CV and 190 CV. The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics is the most efficient BMW in the entire range -without taking into account the BMW i- thanks to its average consumption of 3.4 l/100 km and very low CO2 emissions, as you can see in our BMW 116d test.
All BMW 1 Series has a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although they can also be equipped with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox.
The six-cylinder in-line – this is the proof of the BMW M140i – and the diesel versions BMW 120d (190 hp) and BMW 118d (150 hp) can be optionally equipped with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The dynamic capability of the second generation of the BMW 1 Series promises to remain the industry benchmark. Here you have the test of the BMW 1 Series 2015.
- Also Read; BMW M2 2022
The balanced distribution of weights together with its rear-wheel-drive gives it great behavior. Optionally, the adaptive suspension, the M sports suspension with a harder setting, the power steering with variable hardening, or a set of high-performance brakes can be equipped for the most powerful variant.
BMW 1 Series Price
The range starts at 25,300 euros for the access model to the range: BMW 116i. In addition, the BMW Group offers in its network of official workshops a series of fixed prices for the maintenance of the BMW 1 Series. These prices include original BMW parts, with a 2-year warranty, labor, and taxes. Here’s everything you need to know about servicing your BMW 1 Series.