Car trim reviews

BMW 1 Series Urban

BMW 1 Series Urban models offer so many options that BMW claims there are more than 6,000 personalisation combinations. This trim is focused on luxury.

A few years ago, BMW cottoned on to the idea that allowing buyers to personalise their cars to the hilt could be a real money-spinner. It’s been such a success with its MINI brand that other manufacturers have been falling over themselves to follow suit. Now BMW is doing the same with the 1 Series Urban. It has unique 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome grille and white exterior trim. The seat cloth is unique, and there’s black or white acrylic glass interior trim and silver accents. There are door sill finishers with ‘Urban’ script and sports seats, plus a host of options. Beneath the warpaint is a car that’s pretty much the same as the 1 Series Sport. It offers two 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines and three 2.0-litre turbodiesels. They drive the rear wheels – the opposite of every other compact hatchback in the UK – and run-flat tyres are standard. Prices are identical to those of the equivalent Sport model.

Good points

The best thing about the 1 Series is the way it drives. With five excellent engines, rear-wheel drive, a chassis that’s much improved over that of the previous model and big 17-inch alloy wheels to steer it and transmit its power to the road, it lives up to the ‘ultimate driving machine’ tag that BMW applies to its cars. Yet despite this sporting prowess, it has the fuel economy of a supermini, so you really can have your cake and eat it. No doubt lots of people will enjoy dabbling with the personalisation options to create a bespoke car, too. BMW’s strong image will keep resale values high, and the quality of the interior now lives up to what’s expected of a premium car.

Bad points

Be careful what you choose from the many options available. It’s easy to rack up a big bill, and one day you’re going to want to sell the car. Anything too outlandish might be hard to shift when you come to sell the car on. The ride is uncompromising because of the run-flat tyres, and interior space isn’t great, either. There’s insufficient rear legroom and access through the narrow rear doors is awkward. The transmission tunnel leaves no foot space for the middle passenger, too.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto climate control
  • Full leather seats
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Sat nav
  • Stop/Start

Recommended optional extras

  • Leather seats
  • Cruise control with brake function

Our choice

The 116i delivers warm hatch performance with supermini fuel consumption, although we could understand if company car drivers opted for the diesel 118d instead.

Recommended

BMW 1 Series hatchback review
BMW 1 Series M Sport
BMW 1 Series
23 Sep 2021

BMW 1 Series hatchback review

Your complete BMW car configurator guide
BMW M4 configurator
BMW
8 Sep 2021

Your complete BMW car configurator guide

BMW 1 Series M Sport
BMW 1 Series M Sport
BMW 1 Series
4 Jun 2021

BMW 1 Series M Sport

Most Popular

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks