Car reviews - BMW - 1 Series - 5-dr hatch range
The cheaper second-generation BMW 1 Series hatch still handles sweetly
11 Oct 2011
BMW’S second-generation 1 Series – codenamed F20 – has arrived to lure more would-be prestige buyers into the German marque.
The baby of the BMW range retains the brand’s trademark rear-wheel drive – the only car in this compact class to do so – but is longer and wider with a more muscular styling that combines to give the five-door hatchback a more purposeful look on the road.
While the body might be bigger and more spacious, the all-new four-cylinder petrol engine that powers two of the three variants on offer at launch has been downsized and turbocharged to meet BMW’s obligations to curb fuel consumption.
This 1.6-litre engine comes in two states of tune – a base 100kW variant for the new entry-level 116i, and a 125kW for the new 118i. The 2.0-litre diesel engine has been carried over in the 118d, but gets a shot of extra torque.
All engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox or optional eight-speed automatic – another first in this class.
The question is: how does it all come together as a package?
Model release date: 1 October 2011 to 1 May 2015
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1 SeriesReleased: October 2004
Ended: September 2011
Family Tree: 1 Series
THE arrival of the 1 Series in 2004 marked the return of BMW to small-car motoring, but unlike some of its rivals BMW did not dump its cherished rear-wheel drive format just because it was designing a compact car.
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