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In-depth reviews

BMW 1 Series review - Reliability and safety

The BMW 1 Series receives a full five star Euro NCAP rating, but some optional safety kit can be expensive

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£28,720 to £45,070
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The BMW 1 Series sits on a thoroughly modern platform that’s been tried and tested under the skin of a number of its stablemates, so there’s no reason to expect that the BMW’s entry-level model will suffer unexpected gremlins or perform badly in an accident.

The latest 1 Series was put through Euro NCAP’s battery of crash safety tests in 2019 and was awarded the maximum five-star rating for its performance. It received an 83 per cent score in the adult occupant protection category and 87 per cent for child passenger security.

Standard safety kit includes Active Guard Plus – BMW’s collation of automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and speed limit assist – along with cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and automatic headlights. The optional Driving Assistant pack cost around £1,000 and adds active safety systems such as Blind Spot Detection and a Rear Crossing-traffic Warning.

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The current F40-generation 1 Series finished 54th out of the top 75 best cars to own in the 2022 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey – a particularly disappointing result, especially when you learn that the old F22 1 Series ranked 10 places higher and its chief rival, the Mercedes A-Class, managed to come in 30th place. Meanwhile, BMW itself once again showed steady improvement in the manufacturer ratings, moving up from 27th position in 2020 (out of 29 brands) to 21st spot in 2021 and 16th place in 2022. However, its dealer network didn’t shower itself in glory, ranking second to last based on customers’ feedback.

Warranty

BMW offers a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on all of its cars – a scheme that’s on par with Mercedes’ offering but superior to Audi’s mileage-capped warranty. BMW also provides roadside assistance for three years.

Servicing

As with most premium manufacturers, BMW offers a range of fixed-price servicing packages designed to simplify the maintenance process. The BMW Pay Monthly Service Plan includes one free MoT, car washes, sat-nav updates, free fluid top-ups and seasonal health checks. 

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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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