Revised 1 Series range features 322bhp M135i hot hatchback, while the rest of the line-up gets new three-cylinder engine options
3 March 2015

The facelifted 2015 BMW M135i has been revealed, a couple of weeks after BMW issued full details on the revised 1 Series. The six-cylinder hot hatchback will go on sale in the UK this spring, and has made its public debut at the Geneva motor show.

The M135i gets the same powertrain as the M235i, with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine producing 322bhp and 332lb ft. That's enough to take it from 0-62mph in 5.1sec, or 4.9sec if you choose the optional eight-speed automatic transmission. The power output is still shy of rivals from Mercedes (A45 AMG) and Audi (RS3), however.

Read what we make of the second generation facelifted BMW 1 Series

The regular 1 Series gets revised front and rear styling, upgrades to its infotainment system and options list and, most important, a new range of three-cylinder diesel engines and revised four-cylinder units that promise more power but greater efficiency.

The diesels are all from the same family of engines that has just appeared in the latest Mini. However, since they're being fitted to the rear-wheel-drive 1 Series, they've been turned 90deg into a longitudinal layout. The entry-level model will be the 116d, which gets a 1.5-litre  three-cylinder unit producing 114bhp and emitting as little as 94g/km of CO2 with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, depending on tyre size.

A new version of ZF's eight-speed automatic transmission will be offered across the range, and its revised hardware and software helps to improve efficiency further; the 116d auto emits 96g/km of CO2. There will also be a manual gearbox-only 116d Efficient Dynamics, which uses a switchable coolant pump and combustion chamber pressure control to lower its CO2 emissions to as little as 89g/km.

There are also three 2.0-litre diesels, badged 118d (148bhp and 104g/km to 99g/km), 120d (188bhp and 114g/km to 109g/km) and 125d (221bhp and 121g/km). The first two of this trio will be offered with xDrive four-wheel drive, too, although the 118d xDrive will be restricted to a manual gearbox and the 120d xDrive is available only with the eight-speed auto.

As with the diesels, the UK won't be getting the most basic petrol engine, badged 116i; it's a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit producing 107bhp. However, while the other engines are revised versions of the existing turbocharged 2.0-litre unit, they all bring more power and better efficiency. The 118i will be the entry-level edition in the UK, with 134bhp and CO2 emissions of between 134g/km and 125g/km, depending on your choice of gearbox and wheel size.

The 120i is the mainstream choice, with 174bhp, 184lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec (or 7.2sec with the eight-speed auto). Its CO2 emissions range from 136g/km to 133g/km. There's also the 125i, with 215bhp and 228lb ft of torque; it cracks 0-62mph in 6.4sec and returns CO2 emissions of 154g/km, or 148g/km with the auto 'box.

The front-end styling revisions were actually forced by the revised engines, some of which require greater cooling than before. The air intakes are larger as a result. BMW used this modification as an opportunity to alter the shape of the headlights, too; they're now more rectangular than before, with space for revised lens units.

The specs of the lights themselves will change, too. Even entry-level cars will get daytime running lights as standard, while the old optional xenon units have been dropped in favour of full LED set-ups. M Sport editions of the car will get LED headlights as standard.

The tail-lights are now more in line with BMW's family style, thanks to a shallower main unit and distinctive 'blades' that run in from the edges of the rear hatch itself. They also get LED technology as standard across the range.

The 1 Series' cabin gets more modest upgrades, including a piano-black finish to the centre console on all trim levels, chrome highlights on the radio and air vents and, in a throwback to BMWs of old, an analogue real-time fuel consumption gauge on models without a digital instrument panel.

All 1 Series will now get single-zone climate control as standard, with the option of a dual-zone system, and the infotainment system has also been revised. Even the entry-level Business stereo gets a power and torque display, while the range-topping Professional system can update its map data remotely by using its built-in SIM card.

Several optional features have been improved, too. For example, the self-park facility can now park the car into a side-by-side parking space as well as completing a parallel manoeuvre in a street.

Prices for the new 1 Series have yet to be announced, but only the most modest of increases over the existing versions is expected.

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Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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Comments
26

14 July 2014
Will they be selling the 1er in North America then this time?

14 July 2014
Why would it be Detroit? They don't sell the 1-Series in the states.

Glad to see they're fixing the biggest problem with it though, those horrid front lights

18 January 2015
"Nothing is in order anymore"

Some of the comment dates are back in July 14!

Clairvoyance rules!

Like SS I can't see beyond the first page of comments. Tried Win8, XP, Chrome, Firefox, IE11.

14 July 2014
why has it taken so long to sort out the front end? The 2 series is basically the same car, but much better looking

289

16 January 2015
.....Wow.. that's completely .....underwhelming.
Just like every 3 series/5 series, only an anorak would notice the difference.
Still a munter to look at ...imo

14 July 2014
Whilst I agree the front lights are a bit odd looking, overall I like the look of the 1 series, and like the fact that its a bit 'awkward' and not just a Russian doll of BMW's other models. It seems to sell very well, despite its looks.

16 July 2014
Having driven a couple of 1 Series cars in the last few months in an attempt to find a new BMW that I like I think (and it is just my opinion based on my experience of 2 different M135is on extended test drives) the main problems for the 1 Series are looks (poorly proportioned and ugly), interior quality (rattles, squeaks and cheap plastic) and the lack of space (small poorly shaped boot and tight rear passenger room). A facelift is not going to resolve any of those issues unless the whole interior is revamped and that does not seem to be the case. BMW desparately needs to up its game on interiors at the moment every one I have driven recently (1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series) seemed to have rattles, buzzes, squeaks and even bangs coming from the cabin. The stand-up satnav screen being particularly annoying on the 1 Series and 3 Series. I have driven a Kia Optima hire car that was better constructed inside that a 320i. Looks as always are subjective and the 1 Series is not a "cookie cutter" BMW but it is not well proportioned with the front end being too long and the lights being outsized in relation to the rest of the car. The lack of boot space and rear passenger room is of course down to the RWD configuration. This is likely to change when BMW start making FWD cars but perhaps it suggests that a RWD hatchback is a car BMW should not have made as they cannot make this version or the previous drive like a BMW should. Having owned a 125i Coupe I found the M135i and the previous generation 1 Series hatchbacks to be somewhat unbalanced by comparison. As the road testers seem to adore the M235i perhaps it has something to do with a 3 box design being a better fit for a RWD chassis. No doubt an engineer can answer that one. I cannot find a current range BMW that I actually want/desire at present. Rough and noisy 4 cylinder tubos instead of smooth sixes, diesels everywhere, hard suspension, the adoption of FWD and a lack of quality suggest that BMW may be having the same trouble Mercedes-Benz had 10 to 15 years ago. A desire to fill or create niche after niche giving rise to a lack of focus and a loss of quality. Sad really.

16 January 2015
Drive an i3, spqr, it will restore your faith.

As for the new 1-series looks....I've long been suspicious that car designers, under order of management, deliberately design a degree of 'awkwardness' into the first 'release' of a new model. It gives wiggle-room for an effective, satsifying mid-term 'facelift'. The last Qashqai was a good example.

Sulphur Man

27 July 2014
at the facelifted, still bandaged new one, then you might notice that the headlights contours suggest that they will not be like the 2 Series. It would have been a quick and nice-looking fix, but noooo, BMW has to do something different, probably a bit less offensive.

15 December 2014
Spqr you're right. Bonus es ! In latin...

All together : RIP BMW.
The interior of the 1 and 3 series are not at the level of BMW.
And with the price.
And it's the same with Mercedes.
Yesterday I was in the A class. IS it a Mercedes?
The plastics look cheap. The central screen has nothing to do on the dashboard of a Mercedes.
They should look the progress of Kia for instance.
In perceived quality, an Audi A1 is ahead compared to the A Class or the 1/3 series.
Decade (s) ago Mercedes were engineers cars, monastic, not as well equiped, but well built... They were Mercedes.
With BMW, it's the same. They have lost in quality, the L6 and the RWD soon.
Except the badge, BMW has lost its magic and specificity for me.
With the diminution of quality, the sharing of platform, the production costs are better. But the prices are higher and higher with the image brand.

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