BMW 1-series: Affordable luxury hatchback

BMW 1-series

BMW have finally entered the compact luxury hatchback segment with the launch of the 1-series in India with ex-showroom prices starting at 20.9-29.9 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi. Unfortunately though, they do not have the first-mover advantage in this segment as their biggest competitor, Mercedes has launched their A-class hatchback which has got back a very strong response. This response has motivated BMW to finally launch the 1-series. So does it live up to the expectations? Well let’s find out!

Engine and Transmission:

The 1-series comes with two engine options. A 1.6L TwinPower 4-cyinder petrol motor producing 136bhp and 220Nm of torque. The diesel  1-series is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine which produces 143bhp of power and 320Nm of torque. This is basically a detuned version of the motor seen in the 3-series and 5 series. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic  gearbox.  The biggest advantage of the 1-series is the fact that it has a rear-wheel drive setup. Thus the fun-to-drive factor is much more when compared to the competition.

Exteriors and interiors:

BMW 1-series interiors

The BMW 1-series continues to carry the family look of BMW with the kidney grill and the long bonnet. The front end with the sharp headlights looks quite interesting when compared to the rear end which is quite simple and boring. This is where the 1-series falls behind the competition as the A-class looks much more futuristic. The interiors on the other hand are typically German. The dashboard, buttons and AC vents look quite similar to the 3-series.  The quality of plastics, panel gaps, fit and finish are of very good quality.

Variants and Equipment:

BMW 1-series exterior

The petrol 116i is available only in the base variant while the diesel 118d is available in Base, Sportline and Sportline Plus trims. BMW should have atleast offered a petrol sport variant as customers will not be too impressed with the lack of features when compared to the diesel variants.  The base variant comes equipped with basic features such as Manual AC , fog lights, automatic headlamps, start-stop button, parking sensors, 6 airbags, ABS and Traction Control. Fortunately BMW have equipped all the trims with essential safety features which is a good move. The Sport gets Climate control, electric sunroof, electric seats i-Drive system and sporty black interiors. The top-end Sportline Plus comes equipped with an Xenon lights, a more advanced version of i-Drive, Hifi loudspeaker system and sporty 17’’ alloy wheels.


BMW have reacted quite immediately to the launch of the Mercedes A-class. The 1-series has just about everything a buyer in this segment needs right from the driver-oriented rear wheel drive setup to good looks, features and equipment. And to top it all the luxurious BMW moniker at a much affordable price make the BMW 1-series  a very good package.


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