2020 BMW 128ti: performance, specifications, price and economy

New BMW 128ti hot hatch goes on sale with 265hp, a 155mph top speed and the VW Golf GTI firmly in its sights

James Allen
Dec 8, 2020

BMW already makes a high-performance version of the 1 Series, in the form of the 306hp M135i model. However, what if you’re after a less extreme sporty 1 Series that still has good power and performance? Then the new BMW 128ti could be the car for you.

While it’s not as powerful as the M135i, the 128ti’s 265hp turbocharged petrol engine means it has plenty of power - and also means it can stand up on-paper to other hot hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Ford Focus ST and the Hyundai i30N.

BMW quotes some pretty good performance figures for the 128ti, too. A claimed 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.1 seconds is competitive against what its rivals from VW (6.2 seconds), Hyundai (6.1 seconds) and Ford (5.7 seconds) can manage, and the 155mph top speed means the car has more than enough straight-line pace for the public road.

The new BMW 128ti is available to order now with prices starting from £32,995. However, considering the car is available with quite a few extra items, the cost can rise quite a bit if you go overboard when you’re going through the options list.

Quick facts

  • 265hp and 400Nm of torque
  • Claimed 6.1-second 0-62mph time
  • 155mph top speed
  • Front-wheel drive automatic only
  • Prices from £32,995
  • On sale now

2020 BMW 128ti power and performance

While it doesn’t have quite the same firepower as the 306hp M135i version of the BMW 1 Series, the 128ti is nevertheless a pretty powerful car. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine produces 265hp and 400Nm of torque, which means the BMW is in the same ballpark as other fast family hatchbacks like the VW Golf GTI (245hp/370Nm) and the Ford Focus ST (280hp/420Nm).

That power and torque means the 128ti also has plenty of performance for the road - according to BMW, the car can accelerate to 62mph from a standing start in 6.1 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. It’s also quite efficient, considering the car’s power and performance, as BMW claims fuel economy of up to 46mpg for the 128ti.

In contrast to its all-wheel-drive-only M135i sibling, the 128ti is only available with front-wheel drive. The gearbox line-up is limited to an eight-speed automatic, too - though there are gear shifter paddles on the steering wheel, if you’d prefer to change gears yourself. 

2020 BMW 128ti specifications and in-car tech

The sporty BMW 128ti is based on M Sport specification that’s available on the regular BMW 1 Series hatchback. That means it comes as standard with tech such as an 8.8-inch touchscreen media system and a safety assist system that can alert the driver if the car is veering out of its lane on the road. The bodywork has also been given a suitably sporty makeover, with highlights including the two large exhaust tailpipes and a new front bumper with larger air intakes over the standard 1 Series.

The 128ti also gets some extra sporty bits over the regular 1 Series, too. These include more powerful brakes and a stiffer suspension setup that’s been tuned specifically for the 128ti, and the car also has a limited-slip differential that helps to improve traction as you power out of a corner.

Do be careful you don’t go overboard when you’re specifying your own 128ti, as the car is available with a very long list of optional extras. These include additional tech such as a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen media system to replace the standard-fit 8.8-inch item, to features you may expect to be standard on a £30,000+ car - namely one or two gadgets like a reversing camera.

2020 BMW 128ti price and release date

The BMW 128ti hot hatch is available to order now. Prices start from £32,995, which puts the BMW on par price-wise with rivals like the Honda Civic Type R (£32,820) and the Volkswagen Golf GTI (£33,460), though it’s also a bit more expensive than alternatives such as the Hyundai i30N (£29,810).


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