The third-generation BMW 1 Series has been unveiled and the biggest news about BMW’s entry-level luxury hatchback is its front-wheel-drive (FWD) architecture, the first for the line-up in its 15-year history. It now uses the same platform that underpins the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Grand Tourer, BMW X1, BMW X2, and Mini Countryman.
The exterior has been significantly overhauled, featuring a larger kidney grille and diagonally-aligned headlights. It also has a strong resemblance with the BMW X2 due to its sloping roofline and overall profile, especially at the C-pillar. Large LED tail lights and for the M135i, a rear diffuser highlight the rear fascia of the new 1 Series.
Because of its FWD architecture, interior space has significantly increased. There’s extra 19 mm of headroom, 33 mm of additional legroom, and 13 mm of elbowroom. Additionally, the new car features 380 liters of cargo space, 20 liters more than the outgoing model. As standard, the 1 Series gets a lower version of BMW’s iDrive 7, which uses a 9-inch screen. It can optionally be upgraded to a higher powered one with a 10.25-inch screen that features gesture control, a fully digital instrument cluster, as well as the BMW Assistant voice command system. For the first time ever, a panoramic sunroof can be added.
At launch, the 1 Series will come in 116d, 118d, 120d xDrive, 118i, and M135i. The xDrive AWD is optional except for the 120d and range-topping M135i. A 6-speed manual is standard on the 116d, 118d, and 118i, while a 7-speed dual clutch transmission can be fitted to the 116d and 118i. The 118d, 120d xDrive, and M135i can be had with the 8-speed automatic. The range-topping M135i, contrary to what the name suggests, is not an inline-6 turbo engine anymore. Instead, it uses BMW’s most powerful inline-4 to date, producing 302 hp and 450 Nm of torque, enabling the M135i to sprint to 100 kph in just 4.8 seconds.
Like all modern cars nowadays, the BMW 1 Series can be fitted with various safety and driver assist systems such as collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, a lane departure warning system with active lane return, Active Cruise Control, Lane Change Warning, rear collision warning, and crossing traffic warning. There is also an optional Park Distance Control, rear-view camera, and Parking Assistant function.
The BMW 1 Series will go on sale on September in Europe. With increased space, albeit with a FWD platform, is the BMW 1 Series more appealing to you, or should a BMW 1 Series definitely be RWD?