The second generation 1 Series breaks new ground for BMW by becoming the first car in its history to produce less than 100 g/km. The presence of a 99 g/km 1 Series demonstrates BMW's leadership in combining low carbon conventional drivetrains without compromising on their core principles.
BMW's achievement is all the more impressive when you consider the fact the company has stuck with a front-engined, rear-wheel drive set up which is inherently less efficient than front-engined, front-wheel drive. This has allowed BMW to maintain its trademark 50:50 weight distribution and provides a unique selling point in this class.
Power is provided by a particularly advanced 1.6-litre turbocharged unit which produces 116 bhp at 4,000 rpm and 192 lb.ft of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. To extract the maximum fuel economy, BMW has added an ECO PRO setting to the Drive Performance Setting alongside Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
To address criticism of the first 1 Series, the new model has more interior space, higher quality materials and softer suspension. On the road it makes a difference with a much-improved ride and a less claustrophobic cabin. The 1 Series has always been the least driver-oriented BMW and the new one is no different, but it is still offers something unique compared to the competition.
The second generation BMW 1 Series is a more rounded package than the first. The frontal styling remains a talking point but the softer suspension and increased space make it easier to live with on a day-to-day basis. On the negative side BMW hasn't unlocked the full potential of the rear drive chassis and with a list price the wrong side of £20,000 it remains expensive.