Depending on your flexibility climbing in between the swooping roof line and the high sills can be awkward - the BMW 1 Series is not the easiest car to get into or out of.
Safety and Security
The BMW 1 Series comes as standard with the highest levels of active and passive safety. Familiar systems from other BMW models such as ABS brakes, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Cornering Brake Control are all fitted as standard. BMW's Tyre Puncture Warning System is also fitted, alerting the driver to the possibility of a loss in pressure, while the standard Run-flat tyres ensure the car can be driven safely for up to 90 miles at speeds of up to 50mph, with all tyres punctured.
Another safety feature on the 1 Series is the recently introduced Brake Force Display (BFD). Using a double segment of lights in the rear light cluster, BFD increases the brake light illumination area as soon as the ABS system is activated or the car detects a rapid deceleration. The extra illumination warns drivers behind that the car is braking sharply.
Should the worst happen and an accident occurs, sensors in the Advanced Safety Electronics system cut the fuel pump and alternator, and the battery is deactivated to minimise the risk of fire. Six airbags are standard in the 1 Series with the two front airbags intelligent, dual-stage versions that inflate in speed and size depending on the severity of the accident and work in conjunction with the active seatbelt tensioners. Front side airbags are located in the side of the front seat and AHPS head airbag system protects both front and rear passengers. To protect the smaller passengers, two ISOFIX child seat restraints in the rear are available across the 1 Series range, and can include front seat fixings and passenger airbag deactivation.
A Thatcham category 1 alarm system with remote control is standard.
Comfort and Refinement
Depending on your flexibility climbing in between the swooping roof line and the high sills can be awkward - the BMW 1 Series is not the easiest car to get into or out of. Once you are installed the driver’s seat presents you with a multitude of adjustments and we found it hard to get truly comfortable. If like us you change drivers regularly we would recommend the electric seat adjustment with memory function for the drivers seat (£850 option). However, once you are in place the cabin is a comfortable place to be, the front seats offer superb support and we had no complaints. You can adjust the three spoke sports leather steering wheel for both reach and height. The accelerator, brake and clutch pedals are in direct line with the drivers seat, the added bonus of rear wheel drive.
Head and leg room is good in the front of the 1 Series but there is not a great deal of leg room in the rear and rear seat passengers have to contend with the transmission tunnel between their legs.
You only have to drive the car at night to realise how much BMW have paid attention to the design of the 1 Series. Like its bigger brothers the interior of the 1 Series is lit by a series of LEDs, giving an ambient orange glow to the interior of the car. This extends to cool blue/white LEDs in the door handles, which light the ground around the doors and are operated when you unlock the car.
We were surprised on a car of this price that auto-on headlights and rain-sensitive windscreen wipers were a £75 option, but they worked beautifully.
Automatic Climate Control is standard on Sport models and we liked the residual heat function which enables you to continue to use the residual heat of the engine to heat the cabin for up to 15 minutes after the engine has been switched off.
The level of refinement is high and includes: electric front and rear windows, courtesy lights, smoker package, cup holder (£30 option), storage package (£120 option), illuminated glove box, 2 x lit sunvisors and remote central locking.
How It Looks - Exterior
You either love it or hate it.
Kevin Rice, British-born design team project leader of the new BMW 1 Series said: 'the key to the BMW 1 Series design was to redefine the benchmark with a unique premium product in its category. It communicates BMW's driving pleasure'.
The 1 series seems to have morphed from the design of the BMW M Coupe - Unmistakably a BMW from any angle - there is the distinctive kidney grille and the double headlights, carried across the BMW model range.
We liked the exterior design touches and were seduced by the Aero Body Kit fitted to our car (£895 option - price does not include fitting cost) it gave the car a more aggressive profile, especially with the optional 18” wheels (£1895 option).
BMW 1 Series Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||BMW 120d Sport|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Quartz Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year unlimited mileage dealer warranty|
12-Year unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty
3-Year paintwork warranty
|Price (when tested on the 22/03/05)||£ 21,260|