2021 BMW 1 Series - Rivervale Review
The latest BMW 1 Series brings a high-tech hatchback to the road with sleek aesthetics and a roomy cabin for passengers and drivers alike.
Previous versions of the BMW 1 Series featured a rear-wheel-drive layout which offered impressive handling aptitude for eager drivers. A unique feature for standard family hatchbacks, BMW has decided to ditch the rear-wheel-drive with their latest 1 Series and make the switch to front-wheel drive.
More practical than ever before with added tech features and a contemporary interior, the new BMW 1 Series is sure to provide a pleasurable driving experience. But will the fact it’s no longer rear-wheel-drive bother those who loved how the old model handled? We review the newest model from the outside in and how it performs on the road.
Rivervale Brand Ambassador Jack The Lad gives us a rundown on his thoughts of the BMW 1 Series, with a test drive around sunny Brighton
On first look…
The first characteristic that captures your eye on the new BMW 1 Series is the flowing silhouette. The 1 Series’ switch to front-wheel drive means the car no longer has its long, spacious bonnet. Instead, the sportier look features a number of angular grooves and precise lines.
The change to transverse engines also means more space which translates to less weight and more efficiency. Plus, you can hardly even tell which end is driven anyway.
Boasting a large grill and 5-door design, this sleeker looking model offers optional extras to refine your car even further. These include 19-inch alloy wheels and a variety of metallic, eye-catching paints including Misano Blue and Storm Bay.
Things are a little more toned down on the interior but BMW’s familiar high-quality style still oozes out of every nook. Full leather seating and steering wheel, clear, round speedo and rev-counter and a 9-inch display form the foundations of the modern interior space.
Sending power to the front wheels rather than the back means BMW can provide a boost to interior space. With a roomier cabin for everyone and a bigger boot too, there’s more space than the old car for all five seats including better leg and foot room. The driver also enjoys plenty of wheel and electric seat adjustments allowing driving position modifications for ultimate comfort.
Out on the road
More importantly, how does the latest BMW 1 Series perform on the road?
The hatchback offers various models with the low-powered petrol and diesel engines being transverse three-cylinder engines while the 18d and 18i and above are four-cylinders.
Just like the previous BMW 1 Series, you’ll be able to make your own choice on automatic or manual with optional four-wheel drive for extra grip. BMW has also added the option of high-tech driver assistance systems which will help you to reduce stress while driving for long periods of time or in heavy traffic.
Whichever BMW 1 Series you go for, it will remain comfortable while out and about in congested areas and busy cities thanks to the light yet precise steering. The new 1 Series will perform just as well at higher motorway speeds as it does on winding country roads or while conducting nippy urban manoeuvres.
With a keyless start, six gears and front and rear parking sensors as standard, the BMW 1 Series driving system is sure to be a smooth experience no matter where you’re driving.
Each model has BMW’s EfficientDynamics technologies including Auto Start-Stop, Electric Power Steering, reduced rolling resistance and Brake Energy Regeneration. Alongside this, other useful additions such as lane departure warning, real-time traffic navigation, gear shift indicator, speed limit assistance and traffic sign recognition ensure a safer driving experience and puts BMW ahead of its competition.
Each model also possesses up to the minute technology including BMW’s personal assistant system, Apple CarPlay and gesture controls.
The latest BMW 1 Series is right up there in the competitive arena of premium family cars. All in all, it delivers a practical car choice with impressive driving comfort that has been ergonomically and stylishly designed.
Up to the mark driving performance, good engine systems, generous room, modern aesthetics, high-quality specs and appropriate in-car technology. If you weren’t too attached to BMW’s rear-wheel-drive then the newest BMW 1 Series is guaranteed to make your driving experience a pleasure.
Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of High Street Vouchers. Each month we pick our favourite comment from the previous month - get involved for your chance to win...
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.