New BMW 1 Series continues to polarise opinion

New BMW 1 Series continues to polarise opinion

BMW has just released official details of the all-new 2012 1 Series, after the images (rather predictably) leaked out across the internet on Friday.

The all-new, second generation BMW 1 Series occupies a distinctive niche within its segment, and remains the only rear-wheel drive car in its class. But it also remains somewhat too distinctive, retaining the same breadvan shape as its predecessor and the kind of looks that only a Mother could love… Yes, as before the new 1 Series is a car that will polarise opinions – you’ll either love it or hate it, rather like Marmite or Gruyère cheese.

With a revised range of advanced TwinPower petrol and diesel engines, the new BMW 1 Series offers an even more sporty drive along with increased fuel-efficiency. This is exemplified best by the new 116d ED which becomes the first production BMW to break the 100g/km emissions threshold.

Longer and wider than the model it replaces, with increased space for passengers and luggage, the cabin features a brand new design and is described as being more comfortable and luxurious.

At a Glance



Torque Nm

0 – 62mph Seconds

Top Speed Mph

Combined Mpg*

CO2 Emissions g/km*

Pricing from

BMW 116i








BMW 118i








BMW 116d








BMW 118d








BMW 120d








The 1 Series grows..

The second-generation BMW 1 Series is 83mm longer than its predecessor, 14mm wider and 30mm longer in the wheelbase, creating a noticeably larger but also more sporty car. BMW’s press release describes the new 1 Series design as giving the car the look of a coupé, but unless of course we’re looking at a different set of pictures, it looks to be the same dumpy hatchback as before.

BMW’s recent designs have often proven difficult to capture with a photographers lens, so for now we’ll reserve judgement on its looks until we see one in the metal.

2012 BMW 1 Series

Efficient Dynamics asks questions about the need for Hybrid cars

It’s amazing what manufacturers are achieving these days with the humble internal combustion engine. The headline figure for BMW’s new 1 Series comes from its 116d EfficientDynamics model, which generates an output of 114 bhp whilst producing an average fuel consumption of 74.3 mpg, but at the same time emitting an 99 g/km of CO2. How long will it be before we see a mainstream production car averaging over 100 mpg?

As you’d expect, there’s plenty of trick technology involved in delivering such frugality, Auto Start-Stop, an eight-speed gearbox (the first in its class) and a new ECO PRO mode, activated using the Drive Performance Control (included as standard), which adjusts various on-board systems to maximise efficiency. When in ECO PRO mode the throttle response is adjusted to encourage a more economical driving style. The extra economy created in ECO PRO mode is fed back to the driver, with the in-car displays showing the additional number of miles achieved by driving more efficiently.

Premium Interiors

The interior of the new BMW 1 Series features a fresh and youthful combination of typical BMW design features and new innovative treatments, with surfaces created from high quality, precision-finished materials. The characteristic BMW driver focus is apparent in the angled displays and controls of the central instrument panel, while the interior surfaces are layered with new high-quality materials, giving the interior of the new BMW 1 series an organic look and feel.

As a consequence of the increased length and width of the new 1 Series, rear-seat passengers benefit from a further 20mm of leg room than the outgoing model. There’s more storage space inside the car, with large front door pockets, two cup holders on the centre console and a roomy glove compartment.

Boot space has grown by 30 litres to offer a minimum of 360 litres and by lowering the standard 60/40 split rear seats this can be increased to a maximum of 1,200-litres, with the added benefit of a flat load surface.

The new BMW 1 Series goes on sale in the UK on 17 September 2011, with a choice of three diesel and two petrol engines. Prices start from £19,375 OTR for a BMW 116i ES.