The latest generation of the BMW 1 Series has enjoyed resounding success during its brief time in the South African market, so far. Apart from the new BMW 1 Series holding onto its position as a leader in the premium compact segment, there are some significant differences to the previous model, both on the surface and under the bonnet.


Both the interior and exterior of the BMW 1 Series have been extensively modified. Perhaps most striking is the new-look front end with a larger BMW kidney grille and new headlights with dynamic contours. Then there’s the LED daytime lights, which come standard, and the full-LED headlights which are available for the first time as an optional extra. The interior continues this style update with precise interior refinements such as controls for the radio and aircon with chrome trim and high-gloss black surfaces.


The EfficientDynamics technology makes the BMW 1 Series as pleasant to drive as it is to look at. ECO PRO mode is now model-specific and includes a coasting function in conjunction with the 8-speed Automatic Transmission Steptronic and Proactive Driving Assist if the navigation system is selected. The driver is also treated to the new generation of Park Assist, which offers automatic parallel and transverse parking at the touch of a button. There’s also the Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function to look forward to, as it’s available for the first time as an option in the BMW 1 Series.


The BMW 1 Series offers an increased variety of functions than its predecessor. Through apps, navigation data can be updated “over the air” for instance. There’s also more ConnectDrive features that come standard with the vehicle, including Intelligent Emergency Call and BMW TeleServices via standard-fitted SIM card. The standard equipment in the BMW 1 Series now also includes automatic air conditioning, a rain sensor, BMW Radio Professional and iDrive operating system with high-resolution 6.5-inch built-in monitor. This means more comfort and connectivity previously only expected in ranges BMW 3 Series and up.


There’s some truth to the old adage about saving the best for last and in this case, it has to be the addition of the 3- and 4-cylinder engines to the BMW 1 Series line-up. These are the latest generation of engines and are really at the forefront of vehicle technology. In addition, there’s also the new 8-speed Automatic Transmission Steptronic with navigation-supported shift strategy allowing for even more power out on the road. The combination promises to offer an exhilarating drive with more control, speed and handling than ever before.



Whether it’s the attractive entry level 118i or the sporty M135i, the BMW 1 Series model range is guaranteed to leave an impression. This is especially the case with the 125i, which comes standard with M sport package and a powerful engine to match. With the new features and fresh, updated look – it’s safe to say the time has never been better to own a BMW 1 Series.