BMW 1 Series Road Test (2012)

BMW 1 Series (Interior) (2012)

BMW 1 Series Review

BMW 1 Series ReviewBMW 1 Series Review  | Part Two

The cabin is well-planned with excellent instrument clarity and an intelligent layout.

Comfort and Refinement

The cabin is well-planned with excellent instrument clarity and an intelligent layout. The standard sports seats are quite firmly upholstered but huggy enough to hold you on the corners when you are making liberal use of this car’s lively performance. The driving position is not ideal as it is just a bit off-set from a straight line carried from the pedals up through the steering wheel. Access into the front of the car is good, but it is a bit more restricted into the back seats via the relatively slim door space.

The back seats are not upholstered quite as comfortably as we would like, they are just a bit on the hard side. Rear seat knee-room and head space is not over-generous, but it is not too bad either.

General refinement is pretty good for the type of car this is. Engine noise is not particularly noticeable at normal speeds, but it becomes a bit louder when you press on to use the performance a bit more liberally. It is has an agreeably sporty note though.

Safety and Security

This is a Euro NCAP 5-star car so its safety provision is well catered for. There are front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags front and rear. There is a category 1 Thatcham alarm system with remote control and engine immobiliser. A crash sensor system automatically activates the hazard warning lights, central locking release and battery cut-off in the event of a collision. An array of electronic safety aids includes traction control, stability control, brake drying , dynamic brake control and cornering brake control.


The 125d comes well equipped with M Sport standard kit including a DAB radio, CD player and connectivity for MP3 and Bluetooth. You also get the latest generation BMW iDrive control system which, if you haven’t used a recent one, is much improved over the somewhat cumbersome original.  Cruise control, rear parking sensors and an electric sunroof are options.

  • Volkswagen Golf GTD
  • Ford Focus ST
  • Vauxhall Astra VXR
What We Liked
  • Combination of hot performance and good economy
  • Quick off the mark
  • Reasonable CO2 output
  • Good driving dynamics
  • Smart styling
What We Disliked
  • Firmness of ride sometimes jars over a coarse surface
  • The risk to your licence, it’s so very tempting to drive quickly
What We Would Like To See
  • A more compliant ride without compromising the handling

With its desirable badge and lively performance, the BMW 125d is assured of success. It looks good and it drives with gusto. It is good fun and has the distinction of being the pinnacle of BMW’s 1-Series diesel range. It won’t dent your conscience too much, either, with its good fuel economy and reasonable CO2 emissions. Well worth considering if you want hot hatch performance with a prestige badge. But bear in mind that the 120d is also a lively performer for less money.

24 July 2012 Sue Baker
BMW 1 Series ReviewBMW 1 Series Review  | Part Two
BMW 1 Series Road Test Data
Model ReviewedBMW 125d M Sport Auto
Body Type5-door Hatchback
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph6.5 Seconds
Top Speed 149 mph
Transmission8-Speed Automatic
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban49.6 mpg
Extra Urban67.3 mpg
Combined58.9 mpg
Insurance Group31
Euro NCAP Rating5-Stars
Warranty3 years / unlimited miles
Price (when tested on the 24/07/12)£29,310

The information contained within this BMW 1 Series review may have changed since publication on the 24 July 2012. 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