BMW 1 Series Review (2011)

BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series Review

BMW 1 Series ReviewBMW 1 Series Road Test

The new 1-Series has all-independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and multilink at the rear.

Ride and Handling

Like its predecessor, the new 1-Series has all-independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and multilink at the rear. A test route on rural roads around Berlin showcased the way this car rides and handles, and the verdict is mostly favourable. As is the norm for BMWs, the 1-Series has an even front-rear weight balance, and it deals with the bends with composure and a tidy agility. The standard suspension set-up is a touch softer than ideally suits the car, so the optional adaptive suspension with dial-in Comfort and Sport settings is worth having.

Ease of Use

There is a smidgeon more rear passenger space than before, to address feedback from existing 1-Series owners, but back seat knee-room is still relatively restricted in the new car. Access is not too bad, though, past reasonably sized rear doors. The boot is quite shallow, and its 360 litres capacity is modest, but that stretches to a very useful 1,200 litres when the rear seats are folded.

The driving experience is high calibre, but maybe not quite as engagingly pin-sharp as it should be with that badge on the nose. Although a step up from the previous model, it is not quite as perky and alert as we would like. Electric power steering makes the car lighter for parking than the old model, and steering feel is improved, but it does not provide quite as precise a feedback as it ideally should.

Comfort and Refinement

Cabin comfort and quality has improved noticeably over the first generation car, and the decor has been given an injection of character. Encouraged by the success of the personalisation programme devised for the BMW-owned MINI, a similar theme has also been adopted for the 1-Series. The test car's Urban trim is intended to appeal to a generation of iPhone and iPad users, with its trendy-looking contrasting seat panels and high-gloss inserts on the dashboard and door panels. Noise levels are mostly low, and what you hear from the engine is an agreeably growly sound, but wind noise occasionally intrudes.

BMW 1 Series ReviewBMW 1 Series Road Test
BMW 1 Series Road Test Data
Model ReviewedBMW 120d Urban
Body TypeHatchback
ColourVermilion Red
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph7.3 Seconds
Top Speed 142mph
Transmission8 Speed Automatic with paddles
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Extra Urban60.9mpg
Insurance GroupTBA
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3 Years / Unlimited Mileage
Price (when tested on the 22/08/11)24,720

The information contained within this BMW 1 Series review may have changed since publication on the 22 August 2011. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local BMW dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018