Facelifted 1 Series unveiled
It's midlife facelift time for the F20/F21 BMW 1 Series, with new front and rear end looks, an upgraded interior and revised powertrains - including three-cylinder engines - all part of the package.
BMW says the headlights have 'flat geometry' and they now feature LED daytime running lamps, with full LED clusters available as an option for the first time. Wider kidney grilles (standard facelift practice that BMW has been doing for decades) and larger air intakes dominate the front, but to be honest the bigger changes are at the rear, where two-piece L-shaped light clusters are employed to great effect. Still not beautiful, this is arguably the best-looking 1 Series yet.
There's a less radical overhaul within, where the radio and climate control switchgear are upgraded with chrome trim and high-gloss black surfaces. Additional standard equipment for the fresh 1 Series includes automatic air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, BMW Radio Professional and the iDrive operating system with a high resolution 6.5-inch built-in monitor.
Under the bonnet
The two new models in the 1 Series stable bookend the range. The new 116d EfficientDynamics Edition delivers 3.4 litres/100km (83.1mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 89g/km from a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine (as seen in the MINI Cooper D). Those figures, of course, are dependent on picking certain gearboxes and wheel/tyre combinations, but even so it's a healthy set of data. At the other end of the chart, the M135i gets an extra 6hp to take it to 326hp all-in.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on most models, although an eight-speed automatic is optional and factory-fit on the 125d and 120d xDrive. The petrol 1 Series range includes 116i (three-cylinder petrol turbo), 118i, 120i, 125i (all four-cylinder turbos) and the only six-cylinder in the line-up, the M135i. Diesels are the 116d (which can be had as a non-EfficientDynamics Edition, where it can return 3.6 litres/100km (78.5mpg) and 97g/km CO2), the 118d and 120d (the latter available as rear- or all-wheel drive) and the range-topping 125d, with a 224hp/450Nm 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine. It can do 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds and run on to 240km/h, while its efficiency figures are 4.3 litres/100km (65.7mpg) and 114g/km CO2.
The Eco Pro mode in the drive selection set-up is now model-specific, including a coasting function in conjunction with the eight-speed Steptronic auto and Proactive Driving Assistance (PDA) if the navigation system is specified. The PDA tells the driver when to lift off the throttle ahead of corners, turn-offs, roundabouts and speed limits. 'Intelligent teamwork' also allows it to influence the responses of the coasting function, which, when using the engine braking effect, would help to increase efficiency in such situations.
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