BMW 1 Series hatchback

£17,775 - £31,375

The BMW 1 Series is a hatchback of a similar size to a Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, but offers a much greater level of luxury and build quality. Because of that, it is often described as a “premium hatchback” and competes with cars like the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and, to a lesser extent, the Volkswagen Golf.

This is the second generation of the BMW 1 Series, and it is the smallest and most affordable model in the BMW range. The first version of the 1 Series was criticised for being impractical, but the latest model is a lot more spacious. It also offers a range of truly outstanding diesel and petrol engines, and comes jam-packed with equipment and accessories.

It's also superb to drive, as you would expect from a BMW. In fact, it's the best car to drive in the hatchback class. If you add the optional adaptive dampers, it's also really comfortable, too. Plus the interior is plush and a pleasure to spend time in. The BMW 1 Series is available as both a three-door and a more practical five-door, while the  performance-focused M135i model accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds. Trim levels on the BMW 1 Series include the ES, SE, Sport, M Sport, Urban and the performance orientated M135i.