The all-new BMW 1 Series starts a new era, the third generation of the compact model comes as the perfect synthesis of agility and space. With the new BMW front-wheel-drive architecture, it combines driving pleasure and dynamic with increased interior space. Sporty, cool, safe and classy, with a new design and modern connectivity, the new BMW 1 Series looks to be a strong competitor in a premium compact class. Innovative chassis systems and cutting edge technologies, plus driving dynamics components, arm the BMW 1 Series with a level of agility that drivers will clearly recognize as characteristic to the premium brand. The development process has seen BMW put all the experience with front-wheel-drive technology from other models into the new 1 Series. As a result, a driver gets dynamic levels unseen in front-wheel-drive cars, that sets new standards in the premium compact class.
Comparing to the first two, the third-generation offers significantly more space with little change to its exterior dimensions. Passengers in the rear are the main beneficiaries, available as a five-door only, 1 Series is five millimetres shorter than its predecessor and wider by 34 millimetres while its height has increased by 13 millimetres. At 2,670 millimetres, the wheelbase is 20 millimetres shorter than that of the second-generation model.
The new front design of the BMW 1 Series is another interpretation of iconic BMW features, the signature BMW kidney grille is now larger. For the first time in the class, the two kidneys merge in the middle. In the sports top of the line M135i xDrive, the grille’s classical bars are replaced with a prominent three-dimensional mesh inspired by racing cars. The headlights are now angled and give the car a fresh and youthful feel.
The all-new BMW 1 Series stands out with the BMW shark nose, wedge shape and a slim window graphic ending in the C-pillar with traditional Hofmeister kink. A small number of precise lines and boldly sculpted surfaces give the premium compact athletic appearance. The defining elements of the rear end are its broad-set lower section and the tapering effect further up. The wide, two-section rear lights enhance the impression of a planted stance on the road and have a very modern look. The optional full-LED rear lights provide a whole new take on the “L” design with a single, slim light element with a striking sweep to the side. Expressively shaped surfaces and eye-catching tailpipes with a well-sized diameter set the seal on the sporting appearance of the rear section. The BMW 1 Series is available with an array of new light-alloy wheels starting from 16 inches up to 19-inch as an option.
The panoramic roof lets more light into the interior, where more room and a feeling of spaciousness join high-quality materials and modern details. These include backlit trim strips, that come in three designs with switchable colours to create translucent effects. Grouped control clusters for the heating & climate functions and the various driving functions provide ease of use and deliver additional comfort and convenience.
Access to the infotainment features of the new BMW Operating System can be using gestures if the relevant option is specified. There are two displays, each has up to the 10.25-inch screen. The new display design of this option mimics the newly designed BMW kidney grille. The central, touch-screen, Control Display is angled towards the driver in typical BMW style and is optimally positioned in their field of view. The full-colour, 9.2-inch BMW Head-Up Display is available as an option allows the driver to view information without taking their eyes off the road.
The interior of the all-new BMW 1 Series is much roomier than its predecessor, especially in the rear compartment. Getting in is easier and knee room for the rear passengers has increased by 33 millimetres. The rear offers a full 19 millimetres of extra headroom if the outward-opening sliding panoramic sunroof is specified. Rear passengers also enjoy 13 millimetres more elbow room, while the driver and front passenger can look forward to an extra 42 millimetres in this respect. The load compartment capacity of 380 litres is 20 litres bigger, and folding down the rear seat increases this to 1,200 litres. And electric tailgate operation is offered on the BMW 1 Series as well.
The Advantage model has joined in the new BMW 1 Series line-up of three other equipment lines, which differ from one another in both exterior and interior details. The Luxury Line model accentuates the comfortable side to the car’s character with the help of body applications in Aluminium and upholstery in Dakota leather. The Sport Line model has Black accents, window graphic in BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line and sports seats, and the M Sport model with accents in Aluminium, front apron with specially shaped air intakes and BMW M rear apron in High-gloss Black. The BMW M135i xDrive, flagship model stands out with features including a mesh-design BMW kidney grille, angle-cut tailpipe tips in Cerium Grey and a BMW M rear spoiler in body colour.
The third generation of the BMW 1 Series brings the debut of BMW’s cutting-edge new front-wheel-drive architecture. Benchmark driving dynamics for the segment and a far more spacious interior are the result. A five-year process of development has seen all the experience amassed over recent years with front-wheel-drive BMW Group models come together with a transfer of technology to the BMW core brand to create a proper BMW with a character all its own. Whether front-wheel-drive or equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive, the new 1 Series has taken its agility to a level above its predecessor. Its fast and precise responses are clearly perceptible and serve to enhance the driving experience. An important factor here is the ARB (actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation) technology familiar from the BMW i3s, which is now making its debut in a combustion-engined vehicle and allows wheel slip to be controlled much more sensitively and swiftly than before.
A standard feature of the BMW 1 Series, ARB uses a slip controller that is positioned directly in the engine control unit rather than in the control unit for the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system. Eliminating the long signal paths means that information is relayed three times quicker, while the driver perceives wheel slip being brought under control up to ten times faster. Actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation works in close tandem with the DSC system to bring about a clear reduction in the power understeer normally experienced in front-wheel-drive cars. The ARB technology is assisted in its task by BMW Performance Control (yaw moment distribution). This feature also included as standard on the 1 Series, gives it more agile handling by applying the brakes as required at the wheels on the inside of the bend before the slip threshold has been reached. The result is neutral steering behaviour. Besides the standard suspension – which already has a dynamic set-up and is specially tuned to the different engine variants – and the M Sport suspension with a 10 mm reduction in ride height, the all-new BMW 1 Series can also be specified with the Adaptive suspension with VDC (Variable Damper Control) as an option. This particular variant lets the driver choose from two different damper response settings – Comfort or Sport – using the Driving Experience Control switch. All-new BMW 1 Series models from the entry-level engine upwards are equipped with a multi-link rear axle. ARB technology and BMW Performance Control are likewise included in the BMW 120d xDrive and BMW M135i xDrive, which feature intelligent all-wheel drive as standard. Standard specification for the M135i xDrive also includes a newly developed mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential, which gives the car an even sportier edge by creating a locking effect between the front wheels.
The differential is integrated into the standard-fit eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission and also features a Launch Control mode that already puts the full peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) on tap in first and second gear. The even sharper response of the M Sport steering in the BMW M135i xDrive produces a further noticeable increase in the car’s agility and gives it an even bigger appetite for corners. And the M Sport brakes offer excellent fade resistance and abundant reserves of stopping power at all times. The M Sport steering and M Sport brakes are also available as optional extras for other BMW 1 Series models.
Customers can order their new BMW 1 Series with a choice of three- and four-cylinder engines from the latest-generation BMW EfficientDynamics family. A host of detail improvements give them better fuel economy, lower emissions and, in some cases, more powerful than before. Three diesel engines and two petrol units are available, developing from 85 kW (116 hp) in the BMW 116d to 225 kW (306 hp) in the BMW M135i xDrive. The new engine powering the latter model is the most powerful four-cylinder unit in the BMW Group line-up. The BMW M135i xDrive dispatches 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a mere 4.8 seconds (4.7 seconds with M Performance package, available from 11/2019) on the way to a governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Despite these impressive performance figures, combined fuel consumption is just 7.1 – 6.8 litres per 100 km [39.8 – 41.5 mpg imp] and CO2 emissions come in at only 162 – 155 grams per kilometre. All the engines available for the BMW 1 Series meet the strict Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard, while the BMW 116d is already Euro 6d-compliant. The petrol engines are equipped with a gasoline particulate filter and the diesel with a diesel particulate filter, NOx adsorption catalyst and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology.
The BMW 116d, BMW 118d, and BMW 118i come as standard with the further-developed six-speed manual gearbox, while the state-of-the-art seven-speed dual-clutch Steptronic transmission can be specified as an option for the BMW 116d and BMW 118i. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission – available as an option for the BMW 118d and standard on the BMW 120d xDrive – and the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission of the BMW M135i xDrive boast further improved smoothness and acoustic properties. Intelligent connectivity allows both automatic transmissions to adapt their shift strategy to the route and traffic situation at hand.
A large number of innovative driver assistance systems fitted in the BMW 1 Series have been taken from models higher up the BMW range to make their debuts in the premium compact class. Depending on the system in question, camera images and data gathered by radar and ultrasonic sensors are used to monitor the vehicle’s surrounding area and either alert the driver to hazards or minimize the risk of an accident by means of corrective braking and steering. Standard equipment in Europe includes collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, which also alerts the driver to the presence of cyclists. Also fitted as standard is the Lane Departure Warning system with active lane return, which is operational from 70 to 210 km/h (44 – 130 mph). Options include Active Cruise Control usable up to 160 km/h (99 mph) – on cars with automatic transmission and Stop & Go function – plus the Driving Assistant, which comprises the Lane Change Warning system, rear collision warning and crossing traffic warning.
The BMW 1 Series provides assistance with parking in the form of the optional Park Distance Control (PDC), rearview camera or Parking Assistant. The latter enables automatic assisted parking in spaces that are either parallel or perpendicular to the road, as well as automatic manoeuvring out of parallel parking spaces. Celebrating its premiere in the premium compact class is the innovative reversing assistant, which stores the steering movements for any section the car has just driven forward along at no more than 36 km/h (22 mph). The system is then able to steer the vehicle in reverse – for distances of up to 50 meters at up to 9 km/h (5.5 mph) – along exactly the same line it took when moving forward.
The BMW 1 Series is available with the option of two new smart features that have previously only been seen in BMW models higher up the ladder: the BMW Digital Key and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Available as an option, the BMW Digital Key enables users to lock and unlock the vehicle from a smartphone using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, rendering the conventional car key surplus to requirements. Holding the smartphone up to the door handle opens the car – even if the phone battery is dead. The engine can be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the smartphone tray or wireless charging tray. The driver can share the BMW Digital Key with up to five other people or use the BMW Key Card with the same functionality. The BMW Digital Key is available for top-spec NFC-compatible Samsung Galaxy models running Android 8.0 and above.
Another new element has been added to the control and operating concept for the all-new BMW 1 Series in the form of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant first unveiled in the BMW 3 Series Sedan. The Intelligent Personal Assistant is a genuine BMW expert and is familiar with virtually all the car’s functions. After waking the system with the prompt “Hey BMW”, drivers can operate their car and access its functions and information simply by speaking. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is a digital character with his own personality, who can learn routines, preferred settings, and habits – and subsequently, apply them in the appropriate context or engage in casual conversation. One unique feature over other digital assistants is that drivers can give this one a name of their choice.
Connected Navigation services allow internal and external information to be factored into route planning. Drivers of the BMW 1 Series will be able to send destinations from various apps straight to their car’s navigation system, store them and synchronize them with the car. The Parking Space Assistant proposes various parking options to the driver in good time before the destination is reached. This service includes providing information on the nearest multi-storey car park as well as suggesting routes that offer a particularly good chance of finding a parking spot close to the destination. The existing On-Street Parking Information and PARK NOW services are integrated intelligently into the process. In selected cities, it is even possible to pay parking charges automatically.
The new BMW 1 Series lets drivers use a variety of operating methods, depending on the situation and personal preferences. In addition to the usual buttons on the centre console and steering wheel, other frontline control elements include the iDrive Controller – with touchpad from BMW Live Cockpit Plus upwards – and the standard 8.8-inch Control Display with touchscreen functionality. BMW Live Cockpit Plus also adds a navigation system and intelligent voice control with online speech processing. BMW Live Cockpit Professional, based on the new BMW Operating System 7.0, brings together the fully digital display and operating system (including two 10.25-inch displays) with maximum connectivity and customizability. Standout features include an adaptive navigation system and a hard-drive-based multimedia system. There is also the option of controlling the functions using seven different gestures.