The 2019 BMW 1 Series

The 2019 BMW 1 Series

The new BMW 1 Series hot hatchback is now into its third generation and comes with front-wheel drive for the very first time since it was launched in 2004.

Following on from the 2-series Active Tourer, the 1 Series is the latest model to replace rear-wheel drive (RWD) with front-wheel drive (FWD), a major change from older models. This change in approach means BMW hopes to put their most compact and affordable car back on the map against rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A Class.

More BMW news: Rivervale’s Guide to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

View our quick 2 minute guide of the 2019 BMW 1 Series.

New BMW 1 Series exterior features

For starters, the third-generation 1 Series has a much more aggressive and distinctive grille compared to the previous model and is standard on every 1 series. It follows the design on the new 3 series, with the kidney’s merging in the middle. The front end is completed with new and more horizontally drawn LED headlights, which makes it easy to see at night, too. The lights are slimmer and the grille is wider, giving the new 1 series a more sporty and more modern look.


There are some significant updates at the back of the 1 series, most notably the new rear headlights which come with LED as standard, as well as the exhaust system. From the side view, the bold proportions and agressive styling makes the 1 series look extremely compact, dynamic and agile. In addition, the car is wider (+34mm) and taller (+13mm) than the older model.

Inside the 1 series: interior features, technology and boot space

On the inside, the new 1 series gets a 8.8-inch touchscreen on the dashboard as standard, and you can either operate it via the iDrive controller found in between the front seats or the touchscreen display. Like the 3 series, buyers can opt for the Cockpit Professional pack if they want the bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen, which can also be controlled via gesture controls. Both gesture control technology and the head-up display come available as an option. All models come as standard with air-con, Bluetooth, BMW Live Cockpit Plus, Apple CarPlay, cruise control, LED headlights and front and rear parking sensors.

More BMW news: Rivervale reviews the new 2019 BMW 3 Series


Every model comes with BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant, an artificial intelligence-powered system to help drivers communicate with their cars as they do with their smartphone devices. You must say ‘Hey BMW’ before the system complies with your request. It can put up a destination into the sat-nav and increase the temperature if you say ‘I’m cold’. If you say ‘Hey BMW I’m tired’, it will turn up the air con, the music and the ambient lighting just so you wake up. Every model also gets a sat-nav, and a digital instrument cluster with a clear round speedo and rev-counter. The seats offer sublime comfort, especially if you upgrade to M Sport leather seats with Alcantara upholstery. Adjustable lumbar support comes as an optional extra on all trims, and there’s plenty of steering wheel adjustment on offer, too.

Although the 1 Series may appear more compact and smaller from the outside, there’s actually more room when you sit inside than the older model. There’s more headroom and legroom for passengers to sit comfortably in the back. The boot has increased by 20 litres to 380 litres. In fact, this matches the Volkswagen Golf and beats the Mercedes-Benz A-Class by 10 litres. You get a 40:20:40 split in case you want to fit more objects into the back of the car - for example, a set of golf clubs or luggage for a weekend getaway. Lower the rear seats and the total boot capacity is 1,200 litres, 67mm wider than the old model.


BMW 1 Series models available

There are 3 core models of the 1 Series to choose from. Beginning with the entry level SE and ending with the top ranging M Sport model with Sport in-between.


Examples of the features found on each trim level can be seen in the table below;

 SE Model  Sport Model In addition / replacement to SE modelsM Sport Model In addition / replacement to SPORT models 
 16” alloy wheels  17" alloy wheels  18" M alloy wheels
 Full LED headlights  Illuminated interior trim 'Berlin' style  Illuminated interior trim 'Boston' style
 Full LED rear / tail lights  High-gloss Shadow line exterior trim  Kidney grille in Satin aluminum
 Automatic Air-conditioning, single zone  Dashboard with contrast stitching   M Aerodynamic body styling
 Comfort Go (keyless ignition start Sport design front air inlets, rear bumper in High-gloss black  M Sport suspension
 BMW Navigation with Real Time Traffic Information  Exclusive door sills with BMW signature  Headlining in anthracite
 Rain sensors with automatic headlight activation  Automatic Air-conditioning, two zone  Exclusive door sills with BMW M signature
 Split folding rear seats (60:40)    Sport seats with perforated Dakota Leather upholstery
 Front and Rear Park Distance Control (PDC)     Heated Front Seats
Active Guard Plus: - Speed Limit Information - Lane departure warning - City brake    Electrically Folding Exterior mirrors
Apple CarPlay     Extended lighting with logo projection
Cruise control with braking function    Luggage compartment package
Rearview mirror, automatically dimming   M leather steering wheel

View our BMW 1 Series leasing prices from £280.09 exc. VAT per month

BMW 1 Series engines and front-wheel drive

Every model comes available with manual and automatic gearboxes. BMW have also developed front-wheel drive handling for the very first time, unlike any other 1 series previously. It also comes fitted with what BMW call Contigous Wheel Slip Limitation which is designed to improve traction, cornering and driving in wet/wintry conditions.

“The front-wheel drive BMW 1 Series is great to drive and now has more space, making it a great all-rounder”

Petrol engines

Petrol engines will come with a straight choice between the 134bhp 118i three-cylinder turbo petrol, 181hp 120i four-cylinder turbo and M140i hot hatchback, which has a 335bhp 3.0-litre straight-six and twin turbos.

Diesel engines

For diesels, there are the 114bhp 116d which has a 1.5-litre 3 cylinder engine, the 118d and 120d xDrive models. The latter models both come equipped with the same 2.0-litre-4-cylinder engine but with 141 and 188bhp.

BMW 1 Series Packs

To get your desired spec level BMW offer a range of packs that you can add to your vehicle. Examples of packs on the BMW 1 Series and what these contain can be seen in the table below;

BMW 1 Series packs

Comfort Pack 1 Comfort Pack 2 Technology Pack 2 Technology Pack 1
Extended Interior Light Package Comfort Access Parking Assistant BMW Live Cockpit Professional
Luggage Compartment package Bootlid operation, powered Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging Connected Package Professional
Exterior Mirrors - folding with anti-dazzle Elec Fr Seats + Driver Memory WiFi hotspot preparation Loudspeaker system - harman/kardon surround sound
Elec Fold Exterior Mirrors Steering wheel heating Head-up Display  
Seat heating, front   BMW Icon Adaptive LED Headlights  
    High-beam Assistant  

If you would like to discuss BMW 1 Series car leasing options with an Account Manager – give us a call on 01273 433 480 or request a callback today.

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