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New BMW 1 Series: More of a wedgie and a hot new grille

  • Sportier design, more cabin space
  • Less emissions, more power, less fuel
  • Array of new driving assistance systems
2020 BMW 1 SERIES: Image: Supplied

LONDON, England – The arrival on world markets of the all-new BMW 1 Series, the automaker says, comes with the dawn of an era for the range while continuing the cars’ reputation for ”consistently combined handling excellence, practicality, technology and quality”.

This will be the third generation of the Series and will arrive in showrooms with a dynamic design, more cabin space, ”cutting-edge” technology and BMW’s ”trademark agility and superior performance”.

The new model, BMW says, has a shorter bonnet and significantly more cabin space within a footprint almost identical to that of its predecessor at 4.3m long – half a centimetre shorter than Version II. However it’s 34mm wider and 13mm higher. The wheelbase is 20mm shorter.

2020 BMW 1 SERIES: Image: Supplied

Design changes include standard diode headlights, a more ”wedged” silhouette, and a pronounced (and typical) BMW ”shark nose”.


The traditional BMW kidney grille has grown slightly and, for the first time in this model range, the ”kidneys” merge. The range-topping BMW M135i xDrive canbe identified by its distinctive grille with a mesh design instead of vertical bars.

Viewed from the side, the 2020 1 Series hasa distinctive window graphic enhanced by two character lines. One runs below the door releases from the front wheels to the rear wings. The second starts in the lower part of the front door before lifting towards the rear quarter.

READ MORE BMW features on Carman’s Corner

The ”greenhouse” (wonder why automakers still use this dated term – after all, would anybody really want to sit in a greenhouse on a summer’s day?) is elongated with the traditional kink now incorporated into the C-pillar.

2020 BMW 1 SERIES: Image: Supplied

The front-wheel-drive architecture, transverse engines, and lower centre tunnel allow more space for passengers that previous models – especially, BMW says, for occupants than its predecessor. This, BMW says, applies especially to the rear seats. Rear access is said to be easier with 33mm more knee-room.


Rear headroom is up by 19mm when an outward opening sunroof is fitted. Rear passengers get 13mm more elbow room, driver and front passenger get an extra 42mm.

The boot can handle, at 380 litres, 20 more than before. Drop the rear seats and that rises to 1200 litres. The minimum width of the luggage compartment has also increased by 67mm and for the first time a powered rear hatch is an option.

2020 BMW 1 SERIES: Image: Supplied

The instrument cluster and central control display have, BMW says, been designed for touch operation and the assembly has been mounted towards the driver.

Cabin heating/cooling comes through new hexagonal air vents grouped in the centre console below the control display. The Start/Stop button and gear selector lever are now also located in the control panel in the lower section of the centre console. In fact all driving functions are clustered in one area.

2020 BMW 1 SERIES: Image: Supplied

That includes the iDrive touch controller for the infotainment system and iIn front of the gear-shifter is a storage area which can be specified with wireless charging option for smartphones.


The whole cabin, BMW says, has more space, high-quality materials throughout, driver-focused controls and innovative details such as backlit trim strips.

The BMW 1 Series with optional BMW ‘Live Cockpit Professional’ (standard in the M135i) uses a new BMW operating system with optional gesture control which can be controlled through a 26cm central control display.

2020 BMW 1 SERIES: Image: Supplied

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