BMW has given the second-generation 1-Series hatchback a mid-life refresh, with revised styling, news engines and more kit.
Blink you’ll usually miss a BMW facelift, so small are the changes. But the 1-Series has been given a whole new front, with a bigger grille and air intakes and new, more rectangular headlights. Combined, they have the effect of broadening the car, making it look more like the related 2-Series coupe.
Around the back, the rear lights have been given an L-shaped motif, similar to that on every other BMW. The lights themselves have been switched for all LED units.
The front lights have been upgraded, as well. All models now get daytime running lights, and optional LED units have replaced the old xenons.
Under the bonnet, the 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel from the Mini has been added to the range for the 116d. Producing 114bhp and 199lb/ft of torque, it records best economy numbers of 76.4mpg and 97g/km of Co2 with the standard manual gearbox and smallest wheels.
If you really object to visiting fuel pumps, there’s the 116d EfficientDynamics, which records up to 83.1mpg and 89g/km.
The rest of the range remains much the same as before, with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. The 148bhp 118d will likely prove the volume seller: with the manual ‘box it does 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and returns 70.6mpg and 104g/km. The optional eight-speed auto is both quicker and cleaner. Take your choice…
But we’re most interested in the updated M135i. That’s because the 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbo motor has been boosted to 322bhp, bringing it in line with the M235i. 0-62mph takes just 5.1 seconds with the self-shifter, and drops to 4.9 seconds with the auto. You can have xDrive four-wheel-drive, but then you can’t slide it about.
Every 2015 BMW 1-Series now gets dual-zone climate control as standard, upgraded interior trim and infotainment. And the optional automatic parking can deal with end-on spaces, as well.
It goes on sale in March, priced from £20,245 for the three-door 118i SE. Five-door models cost an extra £500 or so.