The BMW 1 Series was first released to the public in 2004. BMW has marketed the 1 Series as a smaller luxury sedan. In keeping with BMW’s record of classiness, the 1 Series continues the lineage of elegant design. The 1 Series is a rare breed though. Not only does it have rear-wheel drive, the engine is mounted lengthwise as well, a departure from the likes of the Nissan Altima and its longitudinal configuration. The 1 Series took the place of the 3 Series in BMW’s lineup. Major changes were not made until the 2007 model year when a three-door hatchback version of the car was introduced.
The BMW 1-Series is the entry-level model offered by one of the world’s most revered car manufacturers. Innovatively styled and beautifully built, Wbseries Media the 1-Series sits between BMW’s Mini and 3-Series, being unique in its class in having rear-wheel drive. All rivals feature front-wheel drive as this is cheaper to build and easier to package, but BMW has long put driving pleasure first, which is why it has stuck to its tried and tested formula of directing the power to the back.
We think small cars often prove themselves as the best to drive on Britain’s cramped roads, and the 1 Series Coupe reaffirms this: it feels nimble and light on its feet. With such impressive engines available too, it’s a convincing package. The 123d in particular works miracles with its high levels of performance and eco credentials rolled into one. The only downside is the price.
Design-wise, BMWs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but the 1 Series is a bit more sober looking, while still adopting the unmistakeable face of the Munich car maker’s range. Along the side run sleek lines while the rear is all very plain-looking
BMW’s traditionally have well-built and restrained cabins, and the BMW 1 Series Coupe is no exception. The dashboard is as black as a coal face, and there is none of the extravagant dial and switch illumination we’ve seen in many competitors. Everything is purely functional, as you would expect from BMW.
The Coupe might be small, but BMW has seen fit to kit it out with some serious engines. Heading the power race is the 135i with 306bhp, accelerating from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds and making it a true sports car baiter.
- May 2004: The 1-Series hatch is unveiled in five-door form, with a choice of 1.6 or 2.0-litre petrol engines, plus a 2.0-litre turbodiesel in 122bhp (118d) or 163bhp (120d) guises.
- Sep 2005: The 265bhp six-cylinder 130i made its debut, while there’s a new M Sport trim level offered.
- Mar 2007: A three-door hatch is now available along with a high-power 2.0-litre diesel, badged 123d. There are also revisions to the exterior lighting and bumpers of all models.
- Jul 2007: A 1-Series coupé was offered. Buyers could choose between a 306bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol engine (135i), a 120d with a revised 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine producing 177bhp, or a 204bhp 123d.
- Mar 2008: The 1-Series coupé became available in 125i form, with a 2996cc petrol engine.
- Apr 2008: The 1-Series convertible made its debut, in 120i (1995cc) and 125i (2996cc) forms.
- Jul 2008: The 1-Series convertible is available for order in 118d and 123d guises.