BMW 1 Series (2012-2019) review - Reliability and Safety

The 1 Series has an excellent safety rating but suffers from patchy reliability reports

The BMW feels solid throughout, as you’d expect, although a feeling of solidity doesn’t guarantee actual mechanical reliability.

Sure enough, while the previous BMW 1 Series finished 82nd in the 2012 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, the latest model climbed to a heady 8th in the 2014 survey. Sadly, the 2018 survey saw the 1 Series slip to 62nd out of 75 cars.

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The 1 Series has been awarded the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, ranking it among the best in class for crash protection. Its 91 per cent adult occupant and 83 per cent child occupant ratings are especially reassuring for family buyers.

These were no doubt aided by the generous amount of standard safety equipment, including a clever five-stage traction control system, four airbags, and a raft of safety accessory options like lane departure warning and low-speed automatic braking.


BMW’s warranty for the 1 Series covers three years/60,000 miles, making it a typical one. The company also offers a couple of types of extended warranty beyond that period, with prices dependent on the model. Available regardless of the age of the car, the basic one, called ‘DriveLine’ covers major components like the engine and transmission, while a more comprehensive Europe-wide emergency service package can be purchased too.


The 1 Series service interval is 12 months or 10,000 miles. Although BMW has done a great job in making the 1 Series a cost-effective ownership experience, once the service department starts to get involved things can get very ‘premium’ – expensive, that is. Slightly older cars are known to develop electrical niggles, while high mileage diesel cars can result in high repair bills for parts like turbochargers and exhaust filters.

For new car buyers, BMW offers a Service Inclusive pack that covers the car for five years or 60,000 miles, for a fixed cost. It’s transferrable to the next owner, too. 


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