Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

New BMW 1 Series


The all-new, second-generation BMW 1 Series will be the first production BMW to break the 100 g/km CO2 barrier thanks to the 99 g/km and 74.3 mpg BMW 116d EfficientDynamics .

However you’ll have to wait for this model. In the meantime, at launch the 116d will emit 117 g/km CO2, the 118d 118 g/km, and the 120d 119 g/km – yet all will achieve the same 62.8 mpg – suggesting a little bit of fixing has been going on with setting the emission levels.

The BMW 1 Series range will feature EfficientDynamics technologies, featuring the use of intelligent energy management systems, including Auto Start-Stop function in both manual and automatic transmissions – the latter a first-in-class with eight speeds.

An ECO PRO mode, activated using the Drive Performance Control (included as standard), is a new feature on BMWs that adjusts various on-board systems to maximise efficiency. When in ECO PRO mode the throttle response is adjusted to encourage a more economical driving style. The extra economy created in ECO PRO mode is fed back to the driver, with the in-car displays showing the additional number of miles achieved.

The new 1 Series will also continue to offer rear-wheel drive handling, being the only car to do so in this class.

The styling of the front of the current 1 Series isn’t universally liked; the new car appears very similar overall to the current model, but the front looks very different – yet it’s still a design that may take a bit of getting used to.

As is usual with all new models, the 1 Series has grown; the second-generation BMW 1 Series is 83mm longer, 14mm wider and 30mm longer in the wheelbase, giving rear-seat passengers an extra 20mm of legroom, as well as providing an additional 30 litres of luggage space.

BMW’s iDrive system is available as standard on cars with SE specification and above, comprising of a controller on the centre console, Favourites buttons and a freestanding, high-resolution 6.5 inch flatscreen monitor. This display is used for all information, entertainment, telecommunications and navigation functions, if satellite navigation is specified.

The new BMW 1 Series is available from launch with a choice of two, new generation, four-cylinder petrol engines and three, redesigned, four-cylinder diesel units.

For the first time, a BMW 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has been fitted with TwinPower Turbo technology.

The new 116i’s four-cylinder TwinPower engine develops 136 hp at 4,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 220 Nm between 1,350 and 4,300 rpm. Acceleration from 0-62 mph takes 8.5 seconds, with a maximum speed of 130 mph. The 116i has combined fuel consumption of 49.6 mpg, and CO2 emissions of 132 g/km.

The BMW 118i produces a maximum output of 170 hp at 4,800 rpm, and a maximum torque of 250Nm. Peak torque is attained between 1,500 rpm and 4,500 rpm. The 118i gets from zero to 62 mph in 7.4 seconds, going on to a maximum speed of 140 mph, along with a combined fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg, and CO2 emissions of 137 g/km.

Modifications to the 2.0-litre diesel engine include aluminium crankcases, reduced engine friction, thermodynamically optimised turbochargers with variable turbine geometry and next-generation common-rail injection.

The new BMW 116d has a maximum output of 116 hp and peak torque of 260 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500rpm, 0 to 62 mph is completed in 10.3 seconds, with a top speed of 124 mph. It has a combined fuel consumption of 62.8 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 117 g/km.

The 118d has a maximum output of 143hp at 4,000rpm, with peak torque of 320 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. It accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 8.9 seconds, with a maximum speed of 132 mph, and manages 62.8 mpg on the combined fuel cycle and emits 118 g/km of CO2.

The new 120d has an increase of 7 hp over its predecessor, taking maximum power to 184 hp at 4,000 rpm. Torque is also increased with an additional 30 Nm available, equalling 380 Nm between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. These figures equate to a 0 to 62 mph time of 7.2 seconds, and a top speed of 142 mph. The 120d manages 62.8 mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 119 g/km.

The new BMW 1 Series is available with either a six-speed manual or a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The auto is available in Sport configuration, featuring more dynamic gear changes and shift paddles on the steering wheel.

The new 1 Series has a wider track than its predecessor, by 51 mm at the front and 71 mm at the rear, along with a range of electronic systems. These include optional Variable Sports Steering; Driving Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and an electronically locking rear differential as standard. DTC is activated in DSC Off mode, applying brake force to either rear wheel in the advent of wheelspin to maintain traction through a corner.

The new BMW 1 Series goes on sale in the UK on 17 September 2011. Prices start from £19,375 for a BMW 116i ES.