The 2017 BMW 1 Series hatchback debuted this week with a fairly significant mid-life update to keep it sharp against the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and maintain sales momentum into the new year.
The rejigged MY17 BMW 1 Series range (just-published review here) comprises five variants: the 118i and 120i petrol runabouts, the 118i diesel, and the 125i and new M140i hot hatches (the latter in place of the M135i).
The entry-level 100kW/220Nm 118i turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and 110kW/320Nm 118d 2.0-litre diesel models are unchanged from the previous year, starting at $36,900 and $40,300 plus on-road costs respectively.
Standard features on these base cars includes Eco Pro mode, 16-inch alloy wheels on run-flat tyres, cruise control plus speed-limiter, reversing camera and sensors, rain sensor, single-zone air conditioning, leather multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, 6.5-inch screen with sat-nav and iDrive, USB and a no-cost Sport Line styling package.
First in the updated range is the 120i, which is fitted with a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (up from 1.6 litres), producing 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque, up 5kW and 20Nm respectively.
The new powerplant helps the 120i cut 0.1 seconds off its claimed 0-100km/h sprint time to 7.1 seconds (1.6sec faster than the 118i and the same as a Renault Megane GT). Fuel consumption is rated at 5.8L/100km.
The price remains at an unchanged $41,900, however. Extra standard features over the base cars include dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Driving Assistant pack with lane assist and low-speed AEB, anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, ambient cabin lighting, extra storage, fake leather seats and a Sport Line package.
Stepping up to the Golf GTI-rivalling 125i adds a $7000 premium (an unchanged $48,900 plus on-roads), which brings a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre turbo four.
Producing 165kW and 310Nm, the 125i is 5kW up on its predecessor, and is 0.1 seconds quicker from 0-100km/h, now achieved in 6.1 seconds. A more significant update can be seen in fuel-consumption, with BMW claiming a 0.6L/100km improvement to 5.9L/100km.
Standard equipment on the 125i includes 18-inch M light alloy wheels, LED headlights, paddle shifters on the wheel, front parking sensors, M steering wheel, variable steering, cloth/Alcantara upholstery and M styling elements.
All 1 Series models remain rear-wheel drive in this generation, giving the car a decided point of difference. The 125i has 10mm lower suspension and firmer M dampers. There’s also variable Servotronic steering.
Each of the 1 Series models mentioned uses a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox with torque converter, though a six-speed manual can be ordered from the factory at no charge.
At the top of the range is the new M140i, which is priced from $64,900 plus on-road costs, up $2000 on the M135i.
The M140i features a redesigned 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 250kW of power and 500Nm of torque, a 10kW/50Nm bump.
The 0-100km/h sprint takes just 4.6 seconds (down from 4.9 seconds), while BMW claims a 7.1L/100km fuel consumption figure, down 0.4L/100km from the M135i.
You get adaptive dampers fitted as standard, and bigger brakes, as well as an eight-speed auto with launch control. The manual is also available. Yes, a rear-drive, manual, turbocharged-six hatch. In 2016.
BMW has added equipment over the M135i, including Comfort Access keyless go, 12-speaker 360W Harmon/Kardon sound system, and heating/electric adjustment for the leather bucket seats.
The M140i retains adaptive LED headlights, Professional Navigation (but now with iDrive 5 and new software on the 8.8-inch screen) and DAB+ digital radio.
Finally, a mechanical limited-slip differential for the M140i is available via dealer order (it’s an accessory fitted here, rather than an option ex-factory) and is currently priced at $5390 fully fitted.
Like the rest of the BMW range, the 1 Series is covered by the company’s Condition Based Servicing (CBS) schedule, which relies on sensors and algorithms to determine when the vehicle requires maintenance.
Read our 2017 BMW 1 Series launch review here.
2017 BMW 1 Series pricing (plus on-road costs):