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In-depth reviews

BMW 1 Series review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

The BMW 1 Series is a remarkably frugal choice, with low CO2 emissions and good fuel economy, but there's no hybrid option

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£28,720 to £45,070
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One of the benefits of the 1 Series’ all-new platform is its ability to accept a range of frugal three and four-cylinder engines. The most efficient model in the range is the 116d, whose three-cylinder diesel returns up to 61.4mpg depending on gearbox and trim, as well as the wheel size and weight. CO2 emissions for the diesel 1 Series stand at 120g/km.

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Opt for the more powerful 120d,and CO2 emissions jump to 129g/km, while the official fuel economy rating drops to 57.6mpg – although we only saw 40mpg when we tested one in 2021 against a VW Golf GTD. A 118d powertrain used to sit between the two, offering a decent compromise between performance and economy, but it’s no longer available in the UK. If you're after a used example, the 118d should return up to 60.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 122g/km.

Petrol models also fare well; the 118i returns a respectable 49.6mpg depending on spec, with CO2 emissions of 130g/km, while the hot M135i is remarkably frugal, with a maximum 38.2mpg and CO2 emissions from 168g/km. The 128ti can muster 40.9mpg with a worst-case emissions scenario of 170g/km of CO2.

Rather disappointingly, despite BMW embracing electrification in a big way over the past few years, there’s currently no plug-in hybrid 1 Series to compete with the VW Golf GTE or Mercedes A 250e. As a result, while its PHEV rivals can attract a Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company car rax rate of just 8 per cent, the 1 Series sits in the 31-32 per cent tax bands.

Insurance groups

The BMW 1 Series occupies insurance groups 21 to 36, with the 116d and M135i bookending the range. 

You can get personalised car insurance quotes fast with our comparison tool powered by Quotezone...

Depreciation

Our experts expect that the BMW 1 Series will hold on to between 55 and 60 per cent of its value after three years and 36,000 miles come trade-in time, which is about the same as Mercedes A-Class.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    118i SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,885

Most Economical

  • Name
    116d SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £25,405

Fastest

  • Name
    M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,295
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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