New 2019 BMW 1 Series: pics, prices, engine details revealed

Latest BMW hatchback gains more space, lower emissions and new tech. Available to order now

Christofer Lloyd
Jun 4, 2019

BMW has completely overhauled its big-selling 1 Series hatchback, to keep it up to date against popular rivals including the Volkswagen Golf, Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3. It looks vastly different inside and out, gains new in-car kit, extra space and promises improved real-world fuel economy.

The 2011-2019 BMW 1 Series has been one of the UK’s bestselling cars for years and central to this has been the engaging way it drives plus slick in-car tech. While BMW has continued the focus on high-tech kit, the new car looks completely different to the outgoing version, and it features similarly large technical changes under the skin.

Find out about the 2019 BMW 1 Series model range
Discover the 2019 BMW 1 Series engine range
Read about the 2019 BMW 1 Series interior
Check out the 2019 BMW 1 Series technology

If you can’t stretch to the £24,000+ price tag of the new car - or simply prefer the look of the outgoing car, take a look at the best used deals available now on BuyaCar. Substantial savings on nearly new and used 1 Series are available.

Highlights

More spacious cabin and boot
Improved in-car tech with new voice controls
More efficient petrol and diesel engines
New automatic gearbox options
Available to order now, deliveries from September

Key facts

2019 BMW 1 Series price from £24,430
2019 BMW 1 Series on sale date May 2019
2019 BMW 1 Series deliveries September 2019

2019 BMW 1 Series model range

The 2019 BMW 1 Series is available in three trim levels - SE, Sport and M Sport - with a range-topping M135i xDrive model, which includes all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox.

All look different inside and out, with comfort-oriented SE models kicking off the range, Sport models gaining bigger alloy wheels and more supportive seats and M Sport versions looking sportier still with even larger alloys and leather seats for a more upmarket feel.

The new 1 Series is available to order now, with the first cars expected to be delivered in September.

2019 BMW 1 Series engines

Engines start with two 1.5-litre models - the 140hp 118i petrol and 116hp 116d diesel. The petrol is the faster, being capable of accelerating to 62mph in 8.5 seconds - compared with 10.3 seconds for the diesel.

Meanwhile, the diesel should use much less fuel, with up to 61.4mpg fuel economy against a maximum of 47.1mpg for the petrol. A new automatic gearbox is available for both of these models, with a six-speed manual as standard.

Next in line are the 150hp 2.0-litre 118d diesel and the all-wheel drive, automatic-only 120d xDrive with 190hp. The 118d matches the 118i for acceleration, taking 8.5 seconds to hit 62mph, while being capable of up to 60.1mpg economy. Meanwhile, the 120d takes just 7.0 seconds to sprint to 62mph and is capable of up to 51.4mpg.

 

Topping the range is the automatic-only, all-wheel drive M135i xDrive. This features a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces a substantial 306hp - enough to power it to 62mph in a rapid 4.8 seconds. Claimed economy is less impressive at up to 35.3mpg.

Unlike the M140i - the performance version of the outgoing 1 Series, which featured the type of engine you’d expect in an upmarket sports car, a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine - the M135i has a four-cylinder engine, like performance versions of all of its rivals.

2019 BMW 1 Series interior

Though the 2011-2019 1 Series and the original 2004-2013 1 Series were unique in the hatchback market for sending power to the rear wheels - ensuring the steering wheel never tugged in your hands when accelerating - the third-generation model copies its rivals by powering the front wheels, and all four wheels in its most powerful forms.

What does this mean in reality? This format frees up more interior and bootspace, meaning that the 1 Series is a much more practical family car than before. Knee and elbow-room for rear passengers has grown, with greatly improved access to the rear seats. That’s despite the new car being 5mm shorter than before.

The wider cabin means those in the front should be able to stretch out more, too. There’s greater room for luggage, as well, with bootspace standing at 380 litres - 20 litres more than in the old car. The boot is nearly 7cm wider, which should also help with loading large items.

In-car tech has been updated for the new car, too, with a new wireless phone charger option, backlit trim strips that glow at night and an optional opening panoramic roof with electric roller blind for the first time.

What is more similar to the old car, however, is the media system that you can still operate through touchscreen controls as well as a rotary dial positioned alongside the gearstick. Placed high up on the dashboard and angled towards the driver, this should prove less distracting while driving than many other systems.

While the standard system features an 8.8-inch display and 5.7-inch screen amongst the dials, this can be upgraded to 10.3-inch screens on top of the dash and in place of the normal speedometer and rev counter - a system that comes as standard in the range-topping M135i xDrive.

2019 BMW 1 Series technology

The 2019 1 Series gains a raft of new kit over the old model, which first arrived long ago in 2011. This includes the option of a head-up display - which projects your speed and other details onto the windscreen in front of your eyes, so you don’t need to keep glancing down when checking how fast you’re going.

Also new in the 1 Series is the option of a digital key, which lets you use your phone to lock and unlock the car instead of a key - even if your phone has run out of charge. Opt for the upgraded media system and you get improved voice controls. These let you control a number of functions simply by saying “Hey BMW” and issuing commands.

This system can also learn certain routines - such as places you drive to a certain times and suggest certain routes and provide traffic information en route, search for cafes in the area and find free parking at the destination.

In addition to steering wheel buttons, a rotary controller and touchscreen, the media system also allows gesture controls, letting you wave your hand in front of the screen to change settings and skip tracks.

Other new tech on the new 1 Series includes Active Cruise Control - which automatically maintains a safe distance behind the car in front, even if it slows down - and an automatic gearbox that can choose when to change gear by reading the road ahead.

Several collision avoidance systems are also included and these can spot both pedestrians and cyclists. Meanwhile, the optional Parking Assistant system can park the car for you, whether you’re trying to get into a parking bay or parallel park on the street.

2019 BMW 1 Series review

We haven’t been behind the wheel of the new 1 Series yet, but it’s safe to say it’s a substantial departure from the previous model. The emphasis here is on a more practical interior and sophisticated in-car tech over the more engaging drive of the old car.

This should make it a more appealing car to more drivers than the previous model, whether you’re after a practical, affordable petrol version, an economical diesel model, or the rapid M135i version, which now offers all-weather grip thanks to standard all-wheel drive.

Read the current generation BMW 1 Series buying guide

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