BMW Australia has announced the arrival of the brand-new third generation 1 Series with two variants on offer – the 118i and M135i xDrive. Polar opposites indeed but expect the range to be filled up in the coming months.
It was only a matter of time before the 1 Series joined the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, ditching its hereditary rear drive philosophy for the brand’s front driven architecture.
The reasoning for it was simple, as demonstrated by virtually every other car in its segment. Without a chunky drivetrain tunnel burrowing its way through the cabin, interior space is further utilised toward passenger comfort with the all-new 1er gaining some 33mm more knee room and 19mm additional headroom over the outgoing model.
Sticking with the interior, the base variant comes with the M Sport package as standard which gets the option of fabric or Sensatec faux leather upholstery. Apart from the 10.25-inch instrument cluster and 7-inch infortainment screens, the 118i gets Head-Up Display as standard equipment.
On the other end of the spectrum, M135i gets a ‘Dakota’ leather wrapped interior which includes a pair of race-inspired M Sport seats. Additionally, the top-dog variant gets a 16-speaker Harman/Kardon surround system while the base makes do with a six-piece factory stereo unit. The 1 Series offers a panoramic glass roof for the first time but remains an optional extra on both variants.
As with newer BMW models, the iconic kidney grille is noticeably larger as it’s deemed desirable in certain key markets. The 118i wears 18-inch M Alloy wheels while the ones on the M135i are an inch larger.
Full LED headlights along with its signature DRLs, front and rear aprons on the complete the fascia on the 118i while the M135i stands out further with a mesh design kidney grille, outer air intake inserts and an M rear spoiler.
The oily bits are fairly straightforward, with the base model inheriting the B38 1.5-litre TwinPower three-cylinder mill that chucks out 103kW and 220Nm of torque commonly seen throughout the family. The M135i however is where things get interesting.
BMW dumped a 225kW 2.0-litre lump into this range-topper and is reportedly one of the company’s most powerful production four-bangers. With 450Nm of torque at your disposal, it’s no wonder that an xDrive system comes as standard. It gets the century sprint done in just 4.8 seconds while the base variant manages it in 8.5 seconds.
The all-new 1er comes packed with an entire suite of driver assistance tech such as Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Approach Control Warning, Rear Collision Prevention and Parking Assistant just to name a few.
- BMW 118i - $42,990
- M135i xDrive - $63,990