2020 BMW 1 Series (& M135i) revealed – everything you need to know | What Car?

2020 BMW 1 Series (& M135i) revealed – everything you need to know | What Car?

The new BMW 1 Series has just been revealed
– and we’ve got all of the important information you need to know about it. But before we get
stuck into it, don’t forget you can buy a 1 Series through whatcar.com and hopefully
save some money in the process – head to our New Car Buying section to find out more. And
subscribe to our channel, because we’ve got a full video review of the 1 Series coming
up very soon. The BMW 1 Series always stood out from the
crowd. While the majority of its family car rivals were front or four-wheel drive, the
1 Series was offered with a more sporty rear-wheel drive set up since its launch in 2004. Not anymore. The all-new 1 Series has gone mainstream in
its third generation and joined the front-wheel drive masses. But despite losing its unique
selling point, BMW is hoping the 1 Series will be as sporty as ever to drive. It’s only available as a five-door model,
and is wider and taller than the car it replaces. It’s slightly shorter in length and has
less space between its front and rear wheels. But, don’t start thinking there’s less
space inside for your passengers – because there’s more room head, knee and elbow room,
and more space in the boot, too. In fact, the new 380-litre 1 Series boot is bigger
than you’ll find in its Audi and Mercedes rivals, and matches the big-selling Volkswagen
Golf. Elsewhere inside you get analogue instrument
dials as standard with a 5.1in screen in the middle for infotainment and navigation information.
Upgrade to the Live Cockpit Professoinal and that will all turn into a 10.25in digital
screen which puts a whole host of information right in front of your eyes. You also get
a separate infotainment screen running BMW’s excellent iDrive system. And we are pleased
to inform you that there is still a rotary dial to control it all with – but you still
have the option to use touch, voice or gesture controls, depending on specification. As for the exterior design, it sports a substantially
larger grille – although it’s still not quite on the same level as the X7 and 7 Series
grilles – and on the side of the car you can see that traditional low forward bend at the
back, which BMW calls the ‘Hofmeister kink’. But, after these exterior changes, which family car do you think looks best? The BMW 1 Series? Audi A3? Mercedes A-Class? Or Volkswagen Golf? Cast your vote. The UK engine lineup kicks off with a 138bhp
1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine in the 118i. But, diesels are still expected
to account for a big chunk of sales. Buyers have 116d, 118d and 120d diesels to choose
from. Lower-end models get a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, with an eight-speed
auto as standard on the 120d. At the top of the range there is the 302bhp
all-wheel drive M135i hot hatch to rival the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A35. However,
the 335bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine used in the previous generation M135i can’t actually
fit in the new car. So, it gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine instead. It might be
down on power and torque, but BMW says it real-world performance will be similar because
the new car has a stiffer chassis that’s also 20kg lighter. It’s 0-62mph time is
only 0.2seconds slower than before, with an equal limited top speed of 155mph. And while the 1 Series will launch with only
petrol and diesel engines, a hybrid version is expected to join the lineup in 2021, using
the same 1.5-litre petrol engine and 87bhp electric motor as the existing plug-in hybrid
Mini Countryman – although BMW is targeting a full electric range of closer to 50 miles,
rather than the 26 miles the Countryman can manage. Now for the important bit: pricing. The 1
Series starts from £24,430, which is a slight increase on today’s five-door 1 Series.
That makes the BMW more expensive than both of its key German rivals, but discounts should
level the playing field, especially if you buy on a PCP finance deal. So, head to whatcar.com to see how much you can save on a new BMW 1 Series. So, what impact will this switch from rear-wheel
drive to front-wheel drive have on the 1 Series? We’re driving the car soon, so make sure
you subscribe to our channel to find out first.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. OMG. Looks absolutely terrible. It reminds me of a KIA. And only 5 doors. And of course the FWD switch. What a disaster dear oh dear. I bet some accountant in Munich will be pleased that they are finally saving money using the MINI platform. Not sure why people should be buying into this scam and a buy a BMW now though…?

  2. BMW Enthusiast:
    BMW: We're going to make a front wheel drive car!
    Also BMW Enthusiast: Wtf?

  3. My first BMW was 1 series and i loved it. Rear Wheel Drive is what made it special. Now its just another average hatch. Buy a golf and save some money and you wont look like a fool.

  4. Real Bmw car enthusiasts look for the great experience a RWD 50/50 balanced car should offer to a driver and are willing to pay a premium price for it. This new 1 series caters to the masses who are clueless about what a dynamic driving experience is really about. This new car is built on a cheap platform (mini), is aimed at mass consumers and it costs as much (if not more) than a real BMW. This is what happens when automotive companies are ruled by the marketing department at the detriment of engineers and designers and the only industrial goal is the pursuit of global financial investment, delocalization, homogenization, market monopolies and increasingly higher revenues for CEOs and managers: all cars look the same, no matter the brand.

  5. Bmw fans will love it…not..
    Anyway it’s not worse than an audi a3 or a VW golf, it also looks good.
    So they will loose some fans but there will be more people looking for a practical car that will buy it. I have a friend that bought the 2 series mono-volume and another friend that bought the new x1. They don’t give a sh… on how they handle (actually they explain their cars drive very nice 🙄)but they liked how they looked and the interior space.

  6. It is an incredibly risky gamble for BMW to move from RWD to FWD, and also dropping the 3.0-litre 6 cylinder in favour of a less powerful 2.0-litre 4 cylinder. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if BMW have made a costly mistake or not. Given, there are a lot of BMW fans out there who are going to stick with BMW even after such a big change. Time to see how resilient these fans really are.

  7. FWD 1 series, 4WD 3 and 5 series …. I think bmw is choosing profits over driving experience and pleasure…. that is sad for such a glorious past 🙁

  8. Hopefully us f2x generation owners cars will keep its value better.
    The 2 series really needs to keep its rwd especially with its m2

  9. Never mind all that, are the grills fake or real?
    One more fake grill and i'm going to loose control..

  10. My advise is, stay away of this brand, i have a 2016 i120 with 26,000 miles and 6 months after the warranty expired started with engine triouble, and to make a long story short, they had to replace the engine head, and to be fair after a long fight, they gave me 60% discount in parts and labour, but the dealer didn´t honor this discount and charged for the labour almost full price, and BMW did nothing about this. The cost of the repair was $2,800.00 USDThis company doesn´t really stands after their products, and don´t really care about their customers.

    I was determined not to buy another BMW again, but after seeing the new 1series they just make my life easyer.

  11. BMW forgot their enthusiast customers completely with this thing. Sorry, but I am not upgrading. Would even get an electric car instead of this.. guess I will step up from mine to a Tesla Model 3 or something.

    This thing reminds me of the disgusting thing that no one calls a BMW (except that it has the badge, non-deservingly) 2-series Active Tourer 🤮

  12. How the hell can they make it front wheel drive are they just STUPID???? its what I love about my 1 series! Screw you bmw for pulling a apple on us! why are all these good brands doing this stupid shit now. Apple removes SD card and usb ports no more magsafe and bmw ditches RWD.. world war 3 is next!!!

  13. Always loved the 1 series with its long bonnet and rear wheel drive, hugely disappointed in this though.

  14. For girls who like the colour and want to say they drive a beamer.  20 inch wheels on  it and join the FWD 160D  A class looser club. bling bling.

  15. The important bit isn't the price… it's the bit about a front wheel drive BMW 4 cylinder with a 135M badge on it…. which is slower than the previous model… which also means that I will never own one and I will recommend to everyone that I know that they should look elsewhere…. Shame on you BMW… Shame!

  16. Really Stupid question to ask if you are Bmw fan always Bmw or Mercedes fan will be merc
    This question bit like Man U fan sporting Man City in the champions league final

  17. Funny how you didn't include a Mazda 3 or Infiniti Q30 when asking about its looks. Both wipe the floor for design drama than the cars shown.
    Frankly all cars shown were dull as ditchwater.

  18. Looks like a Focus, probably Focus is better and cheaper as well…1 series was never that good and too expesive…not many has changed it looks like.

  19. That straight line slit along the nose of the VW puts it out of the running for me. The fewer straight lines a car has, the better.

  20. Why will I pay more for the m135i, when i can get a more powerful 6 cylinder engine, rwd, and faster M140i… Everyone in the market for a 1 series should buy the M140i immediately

  21. I am now convinced that we will see a fwd M car in the next 3 years… Same for the 2 series.. I would not at all be suprised to see a cheap to make expensive to buy fwd 2L 4cyl 2 series

  22. Like the way the new BMW 1 Series looks? Vote in our poll at 2:11 to decide which is the best looking family car: the new BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class, Audi A3 or Volkswagen Golf

  23. OK BMW now to redeem your mistake we want a M140i or M1 with a L6 and possibility to have a « pure » version with manual gearbox and RWD

  24. Looks meh! all 3 of their competitors look better ! There's nothing that differentiates this car anymore from the rest. From a BMW fan .

  25. Congratulations to BMW, these headlights are practically a copy of the Mercedes A-class headlamps in both size and shape, and the double kidney has a disproportional size. Ending the traction on the rear axle is a crime the sportiness and dynamics that BMW has already accustomed us, not to mention the fun in driving. Now we do not have a BMW M but rather a mercedes class A with the BMW badge, it's a shame and a farewell to a spectacular car ever since. Better buy a FIAT bravo.

  26. We own 3 six cilinder BMW's, all without turbo. That's great fun. Don't need a four cilinder BMW, unless it's a E30 M3.

  27. What an ugly looking pile of shit. They have killed the unique selling point of rwd. FWD is a hideous set up. Will be sticking with the 2nd gen.

  28. I think you did enough damage with the supra… but this? You bmw guys deserve to go to the hall of shame…..

  29. You should not blame BMW for going this route. Our democracies demand car manufacturers to comply to very strict fuel consumption and CO2 emissions rules. Therefor BMW has to minimize the amount of cars using powerfull in line 6 engines. It's what our governments want.

  30. Don't really mind the looks. Am on the fence about the Front wheel drive, though.

    Anyone know the name of the last track playing at the end. Really like it.

  31. Hi,

    Can you please reply which one feels quicker on straight road e.g. autobahn: BMW M135I or Golf R?
    Thank you

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