BMW 1 Series Road Test (2011)

BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series Review

BMW 1 Series ReviewBMW 1 Series Review  | Part Two

Across the 1-Series range, all models come equipped with a BMW Business radio with single CD Player fitted as standard kit.

Safety and Security

Every 1-Series from the base model upwards comes equipped with four airbags as standard equipment. An anti-skid programme, Dynamic Stability Control Plus (DSC+) is also part of the car's standard armoury. There is also Drive Performance Control with ECO PRO that encourages careful driving behaviour by monitoring fuel usage and telling you at the end of a trip how much fuel you have saved.

There is also a worthwhile choice of driver assistance safety options, that is unusually comprehensive for a car this size. It includes High-Beam Assist, Adaptive Headlights that light the way round corners, Park Assist, Reversing Assist Camera, Lane Departure Warning including Collision Warning, cruise control with a brake function, and a speed limit adviser.


Across the 1-Series range, all models come equipped with a BMW Business radio with single CD Player fitted as standard kit. Sound quality and ease of usability are very good. From SE models upwards, there is also a Bluetooth hands-free facility with a USB audio interface.

  • Audi A3
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Volvo S60
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
What We Liked
  • Better looking than its ugly duckling predecessor
  • A bit more room, less weight
  • Auto Start-Stop standard on all versions
  • Choice of engines, two petrol, three diesels
  • Strong performance from two-litre turbodiesel engine
  • The only rear-wheel-drive car in its class
What We Disliked
  • Not quite as much driver satisfaction as other BMWs
  • Body styling still a bit ungainly
  • Quite pricey for its size
What We'd Like To See
  • A bit more rear seat kneeroom

This second-generation BMW 1-Series has less controversial styling than the quirky-looking original model. The cosmetic improvements clothe a car that has undergone a fundamental overhaul, and drives better as a result. It still has some packaging issues, though, and it is not quite as much fun to drive as its rear-wheel-drive layout invites you to expect.

22 August 2011 Sue Baker
BMW 1 Series ReviewBMW 1 Series Review  | Part Two
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