Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

New 1 Series is BMW’s most economical production car

The new BMW 1 Series is now available and features a model line up
that includes the most fuel efficient production vehicle BMW has ever
produced – the 118d, delivering 60.1mpg. The introduction of a
three-door model and a revised five-door come as a range of new
fuel-saving innovations are rolled out across the range.

such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Automatic Start-Stop function and
Electric Power Steering are combined with lower rolling resistant tyres
and a gearshift change indicator to encourage economical motoring.
These innovations are in addition to the use of variable valve
technologies and High-Precision Direct Injection engines on some 1
Series models that boost power output but cut fuel consumption and
The BMW 118d, BMW’s most economical car, manages its
record 60.1mpg figure with the help of an aluminium crankcase to save
weight. Aside from the BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW 118d also has the lowest
ever CO2 emissions of any BMW, recording 123g/km (putting it into the
Band C category for Vehicle Excise Duty).

engines in the new 1 Series range record economy improvements of up to
24 per cent compared to the previous model, while emissions have also
been cut by up to 21 per cent. However the output of the engines have
increased by up to 20hp, with a consequential improvement in
performance figures.

Brake Energy
Regeneration (iGR) makes its debut on the 1 Series. The system uses an
Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC) and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery
to recycle previously lost energy, in turn saving fuel. This is
achieved as the IAC reduces drag on the engine by only engaging when
required to charge the battery, whereas a traditional alternator is
always pulling power from the engine. Additionally, the energy
generated by the engine on over-run (under braking or descending a
hill) was previously wasted. Now this lost energy is utilised by the
IAC to charge the battery. iGR alone is responsible for a three per
cent improvement in fuel economy.

new 1 Series comes with Automatic Start-Stop function to cut fuel
consumption. Standard on all manual transmission models (except the
130i), the system automatically switches the engine off when the
vehicle is stationary and the driver puts the car into neutral. To
restart the driver only need engage the clutch again before pulling
away in the normal manner. The Automatic Start-Stop function can be
manually switched off – which may defeat the object slightly!

use of Electric Power Steering results in a 90 per cent energy saving
compared to a conventional mechanical hydraulic steering system. Power
assistance is now provided by an electric motor that works only when
required, such as turning a corner. Other fuel saving enhancements have
been made courtesy of various ancillary devices, such as the
air-conditioning power supply being disconnected from the drivetrain
when not in use. Even flaps behind the grille improve economy, closing
up for improved aerodynamic efficiency should the engine require less
airflow. The feature also improves cold starting times.

new technology showcased in the BMW 1 Series will have a significant
impact on cost of ownership for customers. For the company car driver
all but two engine variants now sit in the Band C category for Vehicle
Excise Duty. This results in a saving of up to £505 for someone paying
40 per cent tax and up to £278 for those in the 22 per cent tax
bracket. For all owners fuel consumption improvement means a 12,000
miles-a-year driver will save approximately £250 off the fuel bill.

BMW 1 Series models come with Dynamic Stability Control with Dynamic
Traction Control. Unusual but refreshing for a car of this size, the 1
Series has rear-wheel drive and 50:50 weight distribution.

BMW 1 Series have six airbags as standard, the Brake Force Display
function on the rear lights to highlight sharp braking and Run-flat
tyres with Tyre Puncture Warning System.

new three- and five-door BMW 1 Series models are on display at the
Geneva Motor Show in March and go on sale in the UK at the same time.

most economical model is the 118d which has a second generation
common-rail diesel engine with aluminium crankcase, achieving zero to
62mph in 8.9 seconds (9.0 seconds for five door) with a top speed of
130mph. Combined fuel consumption is 60.1mpg (improves by 19 per cent)
and CO2 emissions are 123g/km (down 18 per cent).

most economical petrol model is the 118i which has a new four-cylinder
engine with High-Precision Direct Injection and Bi-VANOS technology
achieving zero to 62mph in 8.7 seconds (8.8 seconds for five-door) and
a top speed of 130mph. Combined fuel consumption is 47.9mpg (improves
by 24 per cent), CO2 emissions are 140g/km (down 20.5 per cent).