BMW was rather slow to react to the Audi A3, with the 2004 1 Series arriving seven years later. At least it offered a great USP that remains a segment exclusive: rear-wheel drive. The BMW 1 Series range comprised hatchback, coupe and convertible models before the latter two variants became known as the 2 Series in 2014.
Driver-pleasing rear-wheel-drive dynamics
Good (turbo) engines from base model upwards
Styling and value have both improved with updates
M135i/M140i models are modern performance bargains
Interior design could be more inspired
Exterior design still rather frumpy
Rear-seat space compromised by rear-drive set-up
Faster hatches available for less money in the case of many variants
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.