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

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 smallest 1 Series will suffer unexpected gremlins or perform badly in an accident.

Euro NCAP tested the 1 Series in 2019 and awarded it a full five stars for safety. Adult occupant protection scored 83%, with child passenger security at 87%

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 adaptive cruise with stop/go functionality and rear-cross traffic warning, amongst other active safety systems.

The 1 Series finished in 46th place out of a 75-car list in our 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, while the manufacturer itself improved on 2020's 27th position, moving up to 21st spot in the Best manufacturers poll.

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. With a £100 deposit and 31 monthly payments of £20, a 10,000-mile-per-year car will get a minor service at 15,000 miles/24 months and a major service at 30,000 miles/48 months.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    118i [136] SE 5dr [Live Cockpit Professional]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £25,365

Most Economical

  • Name
    116d SE 5dr [Live Cockpit Professional]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,510

Fastest

  • Name
    M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto [Tech Pack]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £38,230

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