BMW 1-series 2015 facelift is here – with prettier face

Published: 16 January 2015

The new 2015 BMW 1-series hatchback family has taken a style lesson from the 2-series coupe and convertible twins – borrowing their front end lock, stock and barrel.

It makes a significant change to what was the dumpiest face in the BMW oeuvre.

The three- and five-door 1-series models get the new look simultaneously, along with an overhauled engine line-up which includes three-cylinder engines from the Mini range for the first time.

BMW 1-series facelift (2015): in detail

The downsizing of the engine family has produced some pretty impressive stats. The new 116d EfficientDynamics model mixes 114bhp grunt with 83mpg combined economy and just 89g/km of CO2. That’s very frugal indeed.

While most models use three- and four-cylinder engines, the sporting M135i hot hatch sticks with its traditional straight six, upped marginally to 322bhp.

You can now order an M135i xDrive with BMW’s 4wd system; extra traction and go-anywhere grip come hand in hand with a 4.7sec 0-62mph sprint.

The xDrive set-up can also be ordered with the 120d and 118d. Top end models can also be ordered with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, which now uses sat-nav data to anticipate gearchanges ahead by predicting corner and hillclimb behaviour.

Sounds like the internet of things in action again…

The only rear-drive hatch

The 1-series remains the only rear-wheel drive hatchback on sale; enjoy it while you can – CAR has already published details of how the next-generation One will fall in line with the 2-series Active Tourer and its FWD ilk.

Those flatter front headlamps at a stroke remove many of the ugly connotations of the 1-series hatchback range. They now come with LED day-running light graphics (the whole unit can be specced as an optional extra with diode tech).

Note, too, how the rear lights are now in traditional L-shaped BMW layout.

What else is new on the 2015 1-series?

BMW ConnectedDrive is now available in this range, including the radar-controlled active cruise control, a more sophisticated self-park function and internet-based mobility services.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet