The original BMW 1 Series hatchback was stylish but cramped on the inside. Luckily, this second generation 1 Series has made massive leaps and bounds to offer an affordable yet desirable entry-level BMW. You get a truly outstanding range of frugal diesel and petrol engines to choose from and it's packed with more equipment than ever before – and it's still the most enjoyable car in this class to drive.
The interior and boot are both bigger, meaning plenty of room inside that makes it a rival for more traditional mainstream family cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, while still capable of taking on the upmarket competition such as the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3. Optional adaptive dampers make it comfortable over long distances, and a well-built interior means it's a genuinely pleasurable place to sit in, too. All the engines are powerful and responsive, with the M135i – which is cheaper than the old 1M coupe – managing to go from 0-62mph in under five seconds. Currently, you can only get three or five-door hatchbacks, with the 1 Series coupe and convertible being based on the previous generation car.