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 30-strong 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.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

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

Most Economical

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

Fastest

  • Name
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  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £38,230

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