Make / Model Search

New models - BMW - 1 Series

Driven: Refreshed BMW 1 Series rolls in

1 for the money: BMW has added value to the 1 Series range by upping the standard equipment list and slicing prices on some variants.

BMW looks to catch up to Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class with updated 1 Series


Click to see larger images

12 Jun 2015

BMW Australia has launched the mid-life update for its 1 Series range this week, while admitting it has a tough job ahead in bettering its third-place standing in the competitive compact prestige market.

The German car-maker has introduced refreshed styling to its nearly four-year-old hatch range, while adding extra standard gear and dropping the price in a bid to make the range more appealing against strong competition from Audi’s top-selling A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

BMW Group Australia chief executive officer Marc Werner said the new 1 Series would present compact prestige buyers with a compelling option.

“The smaller segment has a lot of volume potential for us, at the moment we don't like to be number three, if you look at the significant upgrade here it doesn't deserve to be number three,” he said.

“That's why we deliberately decided to improve the competitive position of this car. The price-point of the 118i at $36,900, it should be very appealing in particular to those not in a premium brand car.”

Mr Werner said he expected the new 1 Series would bring a lot of new customers to the German marque from mainstream brands as well as other the prestige car-makers.

“It should really be one of the conquest drivers for us.”“The 125i is also at a fantastic price-point to attract Golf GTI customers for example. Overall 1 Series is one of our conquest models, more than 80 per cent of it is conquest sales, it's good to get people into the brand,” he said.

So far, the second-generation 1 Series has brought 7887 sales to the BMW brand since it launched in late 2011, but in recent years, sales have slipped well behind the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

The 1 Series has captured 757 sales year to date, making for a 10.8 per cent share of the segment, while the A3 has found 1945 homes for 27.7 per cent share and Benz has shifted 1754 units of the A-Class for a 25 per cent share.

BMW’s other compact offering, the 2 Series Active Tourer, has overtaken the 1 Series in the premium small-car segment, with 823 sales to the end of May, grabbing an 11.7 per cent share of the segment.

The exterior has been updated with a broader kidney grille, larger air intakes and more slim line headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED tail-lights.

The 118i retains the same 100kW/220Nm 1.6-litre direct-injection variable-valve twin-scroll turbo engine as the now-absent 116i, with a 0-100km/h time of 8.7 seconds and an official combined fuel economy figure of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres, but BMW Australia has confirmed that it will be available with the same 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit from the 2 Series Active Tourer in the last quarter of the year.

As the range now starts with the 118i, it takes on the old 116i’s $36,900, plus on-road costs pricetag, which includes a reversing camera as standard, along with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless start, 40/20/40 splitfold rear seat, 360 litres of boot-space (rising to 1200 with seats folded), heated exterior mirrors, cloth trim, real-time traffic information for the satnav, rear parking sensors, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a sports steering wheel and the eight-speed auto – although if you ask BMW nicely there is a six-speed manual available for special order across the range.

The 1 Series also has the automatic emergency call system as part of the safety system that includes six airbags, stability and traction control, an electronic differential lock and a five-star ANCAP crash test rating.

The 118d possesses a similar features list but starts from $40,300, a drop of $2600 over the outgoing model, and it is still propelled by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel offering 110kW (up 5kW) and 320Nm from 1500-3000rpm, with a frugal fuel figure of 3.8L/100km.

The 120i has been slotted into the range following the revamp of the entry-level model, and for a $41,900 asking price the wheel size grows to 17 inches and the features list includes an auto-dimming centre mirror, fog-lights, dual-zone climate control, upgraded instrumentation, phone and interior lighting and Sensatec (man-made ‘leather’ in BMW-speak) over the entry grade.

It also uses the 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbo petrol engine, but with 130kW and 250Nm being produced for a 7.2-second 0-100km/h time, but drinks PULP at a rate of 5.7L/100km.

Sports-oriented additions to the features list of the 125i have been accompanied by the addition of M Sport suspension, brakes and body add-ons, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels.

It has risen by $900 to $48,900, which includes a 2.0-litre direct-injection twin-scroll turbo four-cylinder delivering 160kW and 310Nm for a 6.2-second 0-100km/h sprint time and 6.5L/100km fuel-use figure.

Also added to the features of the sportier 125i are variable-ratio sports steering, auto-dimming external mirrors, upgraded brakes, LED headlights (an option on the lower grades), front parking sensors and suede/cloth trim.

The range-topper will be the M135i, which has dropped from $64,930 to $62,900.

For the extra asking price it gets five additional kW, rising to 240kW of power and 450Nm of torque (between 1300-4500rpm) from the three-litre turbo six-cylinder.

BMW claims a sprint to 100km/h is achieved in 4.9 seconds, while fuel economy sits at 7.5L/100km.

Also on the highlights list is leather trim, M alloys (but still 18-inch), the M Performance adaptive suspension, adaptive function for the LED headlights, upgraded sat-nav screen size, digital radio reception and a speaker upgrade to the infotainment system.

The German car-maker does not offer capped-price servicing, instead retaining the condition-based servicing system with a service package at an additional cost of $1140.

BMW 1 Series pricing*
118i (a)$36,900
118d (a)$40,300
120i (a)$41,900
125i (a)$48,900
M135i (a)$62,900
*Excludes on-road costs.

Quick tests

Read more

GoAuto can help you buy a new 1 Series

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

BMW models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here