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Expert Rating

BMW 1 Series

Our unique Expert Ratings combine scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

Summary


The BMW 1 Series is a medium-sized five-door hatchback. This model is the third-generation 1 Series, which was launched in the second half of 2019.

Unlike previous models, the latest version is front-wheel drive rather than rear-wheel drive. This has been controversial among BMW enthusiasts, but less so among actual 1 Series customers. Additionally, this generation is only available as a five-door hatchback, with the three-door version being dropped.

The BMW 1 Series has received generally good to very good reviews from the UK motoring media. The more performance-oriented titles have lamented the switch to front-wheel drive, claiming that it has made the car less enjoyable to drive. However, more consumer-oriented titles have been more praiseworthy, highlighting the increased practicality and efficiency of a conventional front-wheel drive layout (which is why every other mid-size hatchback is built that way).

Reliability seems to be good news for BMW 1 Series owners. In its first appearance in the annual What Car? reliability survey in 2021, it placed third out of 24 cars in the family car segment (by comparison, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class was dead last). Top of the chart for the last two years has been the previous-generation 1 Series, so it looks like very little tends to go wrong with the 1 Series.

Key specifications


Body style: Five-door hatchbatck
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £29,915 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2019
Last updated: N/A
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Car Keys

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Company Car Today

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Daily Mirror

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Evo

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Fleetworld

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Honest John

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Motors.co.uk

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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Safety rating


Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: October 2019

83%

ADULT OCCUPANT

87%

CHILD OCCUPANT

76%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

72%

SAFETY ASSIST

Eco rating


The BMW 118i 1.5-litre petrol manual received a 2.5 star rating from Green NCAP in February 2021. We are currently updating our Euro NCAP database, as the organisation changed its rating system and we need to change our database accordingly to be able to display the new scores.

Green NCAP said: “The BMW 118i has a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.5 litre engine, with direct fuel injection. Such an arrangement might in the past have resulted in high particulate emissions but the gasoline particulate filter takes care of such matters in the BMW.

“The car scores well in the Clean Air Index but is let down by emissions of ammonia, NH3. This pollutant is not regulated by legislation but in Green NCAP’s tests it limits the car’s scores. Energy efficiency is where the BMW scores best, with a index value of 5.6. Control of greenhouse gases is also good and the index of 4.7 gives an average just below what is needed for three stars.

“As it is, the BMW 118i emerges from Green NCAP’s tests with a very creditable 2½ star rating.”

This rating only applies to the 118i 1.5-litre petrol manual version of the Audi A3 Sportback, and does not imply similar ratings for other engine and gearbox combinations in the range.

Security rating


Thatcham Research logo 150x65px

Rating: Superior | Good | Basic | Poor | Unacceptable
Relay Attack: Pass

Date: 2019

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW 1 Series has received

2021

  • What Car? Awards – Best Family Car Interior

2020

  • Fleet World Awards – Best Lower Medium Fleet Car
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Premium Lower Medium Car

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the BMW 1 Series, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Giulietta | Audi A3Citroën C4 | Fiat Tipo | Ford Focus | Honda Civic | Hyundai i30 | Kia Ceed | Mazda 3 | Mercedes-Benz A-Class | Mini Countryman | Peugeot 308 | Renault MeganeSEAT Leon | Skoda Scala | Skoda Octavia | Toyota Corolla | Vauxhall Astra | Volkswagen Golf

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites