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BMW 1 Series back with a vengeance

The BMW 1 Series hatchback is back and better than ever, thanks to revised looks, improved efficiency, more space and a number of new technological goodies as standard.

The new 1 Series Bimmer – which comes in three- and five-door flavours – has changed little over its ten-year life. But a few additions like the reshaped BMW kidney grille, new headlamps, daytime running lights, lower rear apron and larger air intakes give the third-generation car a fresh face.

Inside is your typical BMW interior, which means it’s comfortable and spacious. A new cloth fabric has been used on the seats to improve comfort, while navigation via the 6.5-inch Control Display is now standard. An 8.8-inch display is available as part of the Professional Navigation package.

Engines available in the 1 Series include the 1.5-litre 116d EfficientDynamics Plus three-cylinder, which is capable of 83.1mpg and 89g/km of CO2 emissions. This particular engine takes 10.4 seconds to reach 62mph from standing, while the top speed is 121mph.

Its slightly less efficient 116d sibling, which generates 116hp and 270Nm of torque, offers 78.5mpg and 94g/km of CO2, making it nearly as frugal.

Nearly as frugal is the 118d four-cylinder diesel, which in its 150hp state of tune boasts 330Nm of torque and 74.3mpg. Next up is the 190hp 220d with 400Nm and 224hp 125d, which achieves 61.4mpg when driven carefully and can hit 0 to 62mph in 6.3 seconds when not.

At the top of the 1 Series food chain, at least where performance is concerned, is the M135i. The 326hp, rear-wheel drive monster can do 0 to 62mph in as little as 4.9 seconds and will happily bounce into the electronic limiter at 155mph. Fuel economy is a respectable 35.3mpg.

A six-speed manual is standard across the range with exception to the 120d xDrive, which has an eight-speed Steptronic. An eight-speed Sport Automatic with paddle shifters and Launch Control is available on most models and is standard on the 125d.

SE, Sport and M Sport make up the available trim levels. Base equipment includes keyless engine ignition, automatic air-conditioning, electrically heated exterior mirrors and a CD player with DAB digital radio.

Spend £1,000 more on Sport and you get 17-inch alloy wheels instead of 16-inch, ambient lighting, black high-gloss interior, sport exterior styling elements and sport steering wheel.

An extra £2,700 for M Sport adds 18-inch M alloys, aluminium hexagon interior trim, M bodykit, M Sport suspension, Sport seats, Alcantara upholstery, M Sport leather steering wheel and LED headlights.

Opt for the M135i and you also get larger front air intakes, BMW M performance wing mirrors in Ferric Grey, revised suspension, gearbox and wheel combination and the M135i badge to warn people you have the horsepower to embarass most cars.

Boot space has increased to 360 litres with the rear seats up and 1,200 litres with them folded. An optional 40:20:40 split rear seat backrest can be had for a touch more practicality.

The 2015 BMW 1 Series is on sale now, priced from £20,245 for the three-door 118i rising to £31,730 for the five-door M135i. Frugal motorists should know the 116 ED Plus starts from £22,030.

As luck would have it, we have already driven the new 1 Series – check out our first drive.

Update: BMW has announced all new models will come with the basic navigation system as standard from September 2015 onwards.

2015 BMW 1 Series pictures

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