Cheapest way to own a BMW car review
By Peter Hayward
BMW’s 1 Series is the only rear wheel drive small hatchback on the market and it manages to retain all the verve and fun of the 3-Series it’s based on.
It’s about the size of a Ford Focus and is probably the cheapest way to own a BMW.
Even the lowest powered 115bhp 116i offers plenty of fun and other petrol engines in the range just get better and better but are obviously less economical.
There is also a 2.0-litre diesel with either 122 or 163bhp and these are very smooth and have that marvellous performance plus economy and low emissions factor.
The handling is brilliant in all models and the road-holding is superb. Make no mistake, this is a pure drivers’ BMW, just in a smaller package.
Because they are so sought after prices remain high second-hand, but again if you have to go for a year older car to get what you want and you buy one with full service history, good reliability means you‘ll be unlikely to have any problems.
Other family hatches have more boot space, so make sure it has enough for your needs, but the interior is comfortable for four.
A high quality BMW cabin – albeit mainly in sombre black – is a great place to spend time and, since most will have added spec from the original owner, equipment should be excellent.
BMW 1 Series 120d
Price: Pay about £6,500 for an ’06 06-reg ES, or £12,400 for a ’10 10-reg SE auto
Mechanical: 114bhp, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 9.9 seconds
Combined mpg: 64
Insurance group: 20
CO2 emissions: 118g/km
Main rival: Audi A3
Motors.co.uk value verdict: