The 2015 BMW 1 Series: Should You Buy One?

According to BMW, around two million 1 Series models got sold since the range’s introduction ten years ago. Those are quite impressive statistics. And it goes some way to show that the German car maker has done well targeting the compact luxury car market.

The latest incarnation of the range for 2015 is set to make waves in the market this year. BMW claim that the new range takes the best bits of the 1 Series predecessors and makes them even better! But is that a claim that is true to form, or is just marketing talk?

If you’re after a luxurious compact car, the question remains: should you consider the new 2015 BMW 1 Series? In today’s review, I give you a walk through of the model’s latest features to help you decide.


As you’d expect, the new 1 Series takes its styling cues from its predecessors. It mixes them in with the looks of today’s current models. The cabin is set back, the bonnet is long and the car’s overhangs are short.

There are a few subtle differences between the new model and the outgoing one. First, take a look at the front of the car. It features a new lower apron and incorporates larger air intakes. The familiar “kidney grilles” get an overhaul, as does the horizontal bar at the top.

To help you see more of the road in low-light conditions, the new BMW 1 Series includes LED DRLs (daytime running lights). Many of today’s modern cars feature DRLs as standard. You can thank (or blame) Volvo for setting this trend!

If you’re a fan of LED lighting, BMW has, for the first time, given buyers the option of specifying full LED headlamps! That means you can now get a shiny new 1 Series with low and main beam lights powered by LED lighting technology!

And if you want to treat yourself further, you can even ask for adaptive LED headlights. The days of driving cars with candles for headlights are now long gone!


Interior and refinement

One of the primary selling points about any car is its interior, believe it or not. If you have to spend extended periods on the road in your car, you need to ensure it’s as comfortable as possible. The last thing you want to do is drive a car and later get out of it with back and muscle pain!

The car you buy must also feature the latest technology innovations from the motoring world. BMW is a company that we all know spends a lot of time and money developing some useful technology for its cars.

BMW’s 1 Series might not be the top of the range lineup. But one cannot deny that the company ensure all their models feature a plethora of comfort, luxury and technology. The interior of the new BMW 1 Series is no exception to this rule.

For a start, take the driver-focused dashboard and centre console. As standard, it comes with the firm’s Radio Professional and iDrive operating systems. A freestanding 6.5-inch touchscreen display is the main focal point of the dash.

There is the familiar iDrive controller wheel on the centre console. And there’s also the direct menu control and favourites buttons there too. One can also specify an upgrade to the “Professional Navigation” system. It boasts an 8.8-inch slimline display.

Looking at the rest of the dashboard, you can’t help but notice the design and styling refinements BMW has made. The air vents and radio controls have a chrome surround. And the keypads for the audio system and HVAC controls are set against high-gloss black panels.

All models feature a plethora of goodies as standard. These include climate control and a multifunction steering wheel with tilt and rake adjustments. The BMW Radio Professional audio system comprises of a CD player and DAB digital radio. Six speakers, Bluetooth audio streaming and AUX-in capabilities are also part of the deal.

You also get the usual refinements that you see across the range. Examples of which are keyless engine ignition, electric windows and heated mirrors. There are three trim levels available on the new BMW 1 Series. They are SE, Sport and M Sport.

In addition to the above features, the Sport model comes with sports seats and Alcantara upholstery. You also get an M Sport leather steering wheel. Meanwhile, the M Sport model offers an “aluminium hexagon” interior trim.

Because the new range is only a recent update, you aren’t likely to find any used bargains from places like Big Motoring World just yet. But it’s likely you’ll start to see some on the used market as dealers aim to sell off pre-registered stock.


Let’s face it. A review of a new BMW model range isn’t complete without giving you the lowdown on what power plants are available for it! Today’s BMW engines are all known for their performance and eco-friendly properties. For instance, all the engines meet Euro 6 targets for emissions.

So, what engines can you expect to see in the new BMW 1 Series? The petrol options are as follows:

  • 118i – 1.6-litre petrol. 136 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds. 125 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 120i – 1.6-litre petrol. 170 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 7.4 seconds. 136 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 125i – 2.0-litre petrol. 218 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds. 154 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • M135i – 3.0-litre petrol. 326 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 5.1 seconds. 188 g/km CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, here are the diesel offerings:

  • 116d – 1.5-litre diesel. 116 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 10.3 seconds. 94 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 116d EfficientDynamics Plus – 1.5-litre diesel. 116 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 10.4 seconds. 89 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 118d – 1.6-litre diesel. 150 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 8.3 seconds. 104 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 120d – 1.6-litre diesel. 190 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 7.1 seconds. 114 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 120d xDrive – 1.6-litre diesel. 190 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds. 119 g/km CO2 emissions;
  • 125d – 2.0-litre diesel. 224 brake horsepower, 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds. 121 g/km CO2 emissions.

All petrol and diesel models are available with six-speed manual or eight-speed Steptronic gearboxes.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.