Although list prices on the new 1 Series make it look a little more expensive than an equivalent A-Class or A3 Sportback, being the new hatch on the block it brings slightly stronger residual values with it to market than the established rivals have – and that makes monthly finance prices quite competitive.

Equipment levels are very respectable, so that even if you don’t feel inclined to spend much on options, you’ll get a car with touchscreen infotainment, LED headlights, parking sensors all round, cruise control and limited connected services. The car’s distinguishing technology is, of course, mostly optional – although the full wi-fi hotspot functionality, wireless smartphone charging and head-up display are at least corralled into a reasonably priced £1500 Technology Pack. Likewise, its fully digital instruments, enlarged premium infotainment system, premium audio system and fully connected services are gathered into a second one. They’re features you’re expected to pay extra for on most cars in this class.

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Road tester
The BMW’s residuals are expected to marginally outperform the Mercedes A-Class and do considerably better than the VW Golf

Lab-test carbon emissions on the 118i are very competitive with like-for-like rivals from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and VW, too. Meanwhile, plumping for a dual-clutch automatic rather than a manual will save fleet drivers a couple of per cent on their benefit-in-kind liability, which is more than it’s worth on either the like-for-like A-Class or Golf.

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