Car trim reviews

BMW 1 Series M Sport

You’ll easily recognise the BMW 1 series M Sport on the road compared to the regular Urban and Sport trims in the 1 Series range. M Sport models come standard with big 18-inch alloy wheels and bumpers that have been redesigned for a sportier look. All M Sport models also have chrome exhausts, but not all the changes are purely cosmetic.

All BMW 1 Series M Sport cars gain sports suspension that reduces body roll and improves handling. There’s also the option of adaptive sports suspension that can help soften the ride on bumpy roads, or stiffen it for sporty driving. The M Sport, like the lower Sport trim, also has a ‘Sport +’ function. Press this and it sharpens the accelerator for better engine response. It also stiffens the optional adaptive sport suspension for sportier style of driving.

Inside the BMW 1 Series M Sport there’s sport seats and a multi function steering wheel plus an ‘M Sport’ gear shift lever.

The BMW 1 Series M Sport is available with a range of petrol engines from the basic 134bhp 1.6-litre (badged 118i) through to the powerful powerful 215bhp 2.0-litre (badged 125i). On the diesel side there’s one 2.0-litre diesel available with four different power outputs, from the 114bhp 116d, up to the most powerful 215bhp that is badged the 125d. You also get the option of either manual or automatic gearboxes and even the possibility of all-wheel drive.

The efficient diesels are the obvious choice if you cover high miles and are concerned with running costs. The 116d averages 68.9mpg and even the fastest 125d returns 57.6mpg. Meanwhile, the most efficient 116i petrol averages 52.3mpg.

Take care when ticking the option boxes as it can dramatically increase the list price.

Good points

The BMW 1 Series has been designed to be a more premium take on the hatchback class. That means it competes against cars like the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class and in that class it leads its rivals for driving fun.A class-leading interior for quality and design, plus a range of fuel efficient engines that deliver great performance also mean the BMW 1 Series should be at the top of your shopping list.The BMW 1 Series M Sport also rules the class for its comfortable ride, but only when the option box for the adaptive suspension has been ticked.

Bad points

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s worth noting that the M Sport model comes with firmer-than-normal suspension in an effort to make it more fun to drive. However, that can make it pretty uncomfortable over longer journeys. A better option is to consider the adaptive suspension or delete the sport suspension from the options list altogether if you like a comfy ride.The BMW 1 Series M Sport also loses points for having less space in the rear compare to cars like the Volkswagen Golf that’s far more practical.Options are also pricey and it’s worth knowing the BMW 1 Series had historically struggled in the customer satisfaction surveys.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Sports suspension
  • Sports seats
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Front parking sensors
  • Media package (inc. sat-nav)
  • Adaptive suspension

Our choice

The powerful BMW 120d diesel is perfectly suited to the BMW 1 Series M Sport’s sporty looks. It can go from 0-62mph in just 7.2 seconds, but still averages 65.7mpg meaning it offers the winning combination of being both great to drive and relatively cheap to run.

Recommended

BMW 1 Series owner reviews
BMW 1 Series
15 Jul 2020

BMW 1 Series owner reviews

BMW 1 Series hatchback review
BMW 1 Series
15 Jul 2020

BMW 1 Series hatchback review

BMW 1 Series: old vs new
BMW 1 Series
15 Jul 2020

BMW 1 Series: old vs new

A3 vs Golf vs 1 Series vs A-Class vs Focus
Ford Focus
23 Mar 2020

A3 vs Golf vs 1 Series vs A-Class vs Focus

Most Popular

Updated Peugeot 5008 starts at £29,585
Peugeot 5008 SUV
9 Oct 2020

Updated Peugeot 5008 starts at £29,585

Cupra Formentor SUV review
Cupra Formentor SUV front 3/4 cornering
Cupra Formentor
13 Oct 2020

Cupra Formentor SUV review

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k
Volkswagen ID.3 - front 3/4 view - 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show
Volkswagen ID.3
14 Oct 2020

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k