Performance and 0-60mph time
For the 2017 model year the 1 Series range recieved a selection of new petrol engines to boost both performance and frugality. Topping the pile is the M140i, which dethrones the likeable M135i with greater power and torque than before and therefore a faster sprinting ability. The old 5.1-second 0-62mph dash with the manual gearbox drops to 4.8sec, and with the automatic transmission acceleration over the same metric falls from 4.9sec to 4.6. Top speed, as ever, remains limited to 155mph.
That the slowest model in the 1 Series line-up remains the 116d SE version, but even it is no real sluggard, dismissing the 0-62mph sprint in a respectable 10.3sec (respectable for something with a claimed 78.5mpg combined consumption, anyway), while it'll top out at 124.
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But no model disgraces itself. The new petrol-engined cars are hot-hatch brisk: the 120i boasts figures of 7.1sec for the 0-62mph run and 143mph, and the 125i does 6.1 and 151mph. Of the diesels, the 125d is the model to go for in performance terms, taking only two tenths longer to reach 62mph than the 125i, and running only 2mph slower on the longest stretches of autobahn.
More importantly, the 1 Series - no matter the flavour - delivers its power smoothly, as emphasised by the long-travel accelerator pedal. Petrols are smooth and quiet, and of the diesels, the 116d is adequate, the 118d perfectly fine for most, but the 120d is probably the best all-rounder, even if the engine noise is a little too audible from the cabin for comfort.