BMW reveals new 1 Series hatch and more powerful M135i sibling

BMW has pulled the covers off its eagerly-awaited new 1 Series hatchback – the third-generation version of the German firm’s best-selling model in the UK.

The new 1 Series is slightly smaller in length than the outgoing model, but increased width and a longer wheelbase ensures improved interior space – most notably for rear passengers – alongside a 380-litre boot, which is now 20 litres more spacious.

A new look has also been introduced, with BMW’s evolved kidney grille featuring alongside sharp LED lights and alloy wheels up to 19 inches.

The previous two versions of the 1 Series have all been rear-wheel-drive (minus the all-wheel xDrive option on selected diesel engines) but the new model is strictly front-wheel-drive as standard, while the M135i and 120d engines are both all-wheel-drive.

Some have mourned the loss of the fantastic 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine of the hot hatch version, with the new 1 Series’ sporty variant coming with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 302bhp, which allows for a 0-60mph time of just 4.6 seconds.

The hot M135i has been unveiled alongside the standard hatch, and it comes with sportier styling and chassis improvements for an improved drive, along with bigger brakes and retuned steering.

There’s only one other petrol unit available – the 138bhp 1.5-litre 118i. The diesel options consist of a 1.5-litre 116d producing 114bhp, a 148bhp 2.0-litre 118i and a 120d xDrive that utilises a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel.

The options list is also a wash with innovative tech, such as features that can reverse you out of tight parking spaces, your own ‘personal assistant’ to tell you about traffic jams and find nearby cafes – operated using the command ‘Hey BMW’ – and a Digital Key that can unlock and start the car using just a smartphone.

Agile and innovative, meet the new #BMW 1 Series. Learn more:

— BMW UK (@BMW_UK) May 27, 2019

Unlike the last 1 Series, no three-door variant is offered. Prices start from £24,430 – a slight increase over the outgoing hatch’s £23,605 tag – and rise to £36,430 for the range-topping M135i xDrive.

Order books are now open, with first deliveries expected in September.