Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:07 pm

2015 BMW 1 Series - 118d Review

We headed to the Cotswolds with BMW to get our hands on the all new, with ‘all new’ being the operative phrase, BMW 1 series, and although aesthetically it might not look that different on first glance, believe me there is a lot to talk about.

The model we had our wicked way with was the BMW 118D Sport hatchback.

– 2.0 L

– 143 bhp, top speed 132 mph

– 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds

– 62.8 MPG

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The 1 series comes in a range of different trims with both petrol and diesel engines. There’s very little to debate with the popularity of the 1 series, across the range they make up for 25% off all BMW sales with a staggering 65% of 1 series owners being new to BMW, and after driving it we can see why it’s so popular. The 1 series fits perfectly as the entry level BMW and the ideal way to get a taste of BMW before moving yourself up the ranks to the 6 series (regarding you have the money to spend).

BMW 1 Series Looks

So what’s new? Well to say “extensive” design changes is a bit much I think, but what we have got are a few body design changes and a lot more for your buck on the standard edition models. Overall, the look of the 1 series is far more sporty, moving away from the drooping aesthetic of it’s predecessor, there’s no question that the 2015 face-lift looks a hell of a lot better. Matching with other recent BMW releases the 1 series has adopted the same headlight and tail light designs that curve around the bodywork in an L shape, there’s more sculpting in the overall shape of the car and bodywork which gives it a little more prominence on the road. Alloy wheels now come as standard on all models with sizes ranging from 16 to 18 inches over the standard, sport and M Sport editions.

BMW 1 Series Updates

What you get for you money is one of two main talking points with the new 1 series. What you get on the lower spec models is more than BMW have ever offered before, and more than any other car manufacturer for that matter. Full single zone A/C, alloy wheels, parking assist, navigation and more, are all as standard with the new 1 series models. All editions boast new engine technology that, without going into the technical, offer better all-round performance for reduced consumption and lower emissions. Can’t argue with that.

BMW Connected

The real winner of the show however is the BMW Connected updates. Connected infotainment systems in both BMWs and MINIs have been impressive for over a decade, but the technology and capabilities of the new Connected update is potentially paving the way for future in-car technology. Continuing with the in-car SIM and connection to the Internet, we have all of the same features available, reading emails, news, weather etc, that we’ve have come to know. However, the big change comes with the newly launched BMW Connected Drive Store. What this means is that whatever features you don’t have as standard, that includes what are on board in pre-owned vehicles can be downloaded and self-updated onto the infotainment system from inside the car, in moments. We’re talking about an App store for your car with features including navigation updates, emergency calls, concierge service, Napster music streaming and live traffic information available across the board. What this effectively means is that, depending on whether the hardware is there (new models), you can pick and choose which services you want for your car and it works over a pay by month or yearly subscription, meaning that you have options over how you pay and how long you need the services for. BMW connected Drive Store means you no longer have to fork out for higher spec models in order to get the needed infotainment features, this has to be the future. We are VERY impressed.

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BMW 1 Series Drive

The biggest bragging right the 1 series has over it’s competitors is the rear wheel drive. Driving the 118d was an enjoyable experience, stability, acceleration and impressive handling provide you with more controlled fun than you would expect and its pace and power will make you think you are driving something far bigger. Noise wise, nothing to complain about, it’s fairly quiet and the diesel engine only really roars when pushed hard, but having said that the improvements in peak torque means that you don’t really have to go mental on the throttle to get up to speed quickly and when overtaking. I feel like a bit of broken record saying this, but I just can’t seem to get along with the BMW clutches. I’m in two minds, part of me loves how rigid it is and how there’s so little room for error on gear changes, whereas the other half of me wants a little more give and for it to feel a little more old school, however the general consensus away from my picky self, is that it’s liked.

BMW 1 Series Review

There’s no argument that it costs more than competitors like the VW Golf or Audi A3, but its value is under no question. The extra technology and the usual added extras that come as standard in the 2015 BMW range, make up for the extra cost without a doubt. In my opinion the BMW Connected Drive Store is more than worth the extra buck, as customisable, technological extras available at the click of a button, with the option of turning them on and off and paying only for when you want them, is not something I’m going to look lightly on. Bravo BMW. As for drive, the 118d gives you what you need and a little more for good measure making it a worthy candidate for its market.

BMW 1 Series 118d Price

The BMW 1 series start at £22,560 with an added £1000 getting you a sport model and an extra £2700 getting you an M sport edition.

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