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BMW 1 Series Coupe (2011 - 2014)

SMALL WONDER (some text hidden)

By Andy Enright

Introductionword count: 123

The BMW 1 Series Coupe didn't get off to the happiest of starts. Without being overly diplomatic, it looked a bit funny. That tall, top hat-like glasshouse coupled with its stubby proportions didn't rest easy on the eye. That said, few disagreed that it was better looking than the hatchback it was spawned from. Let's just say that the mid-Noughties probably aren't going to be remembered as a seminal era in BMW styling. As we've grown used to the 1 Series Coupe's odd silhouette, it's become a little easier on the eye and the facelifted cars from 2011 even became reasonably handsome in the right light. It's now possible to pick these up for about what you'd pay for a new supermini. Tempted?

Modelsword count: 20

2 dr coupe (2.0, 3.0 petrol, 2.0 diesel [ES, Exclusive Edition, SE, M Sport, Sport Edition, 1 Series M Coupe])

Historyword count: 203

The BMW 1 Series Coupe took its time to appear. The hatch on which it was based had been on sale for fully three years before the two-door car debuted in December 2007 but we're going to press the fast forward button and spool on to 2011 when BMW revised the styling of this model very subtly. The front end saw the addition of a re-styled front bumper, smarter front foglamps and redesigned Halogen headlamps with what BMW calls an 'eyebrow' element, particularly noticeable when xenon headlamps were specified thanks to an LED illuminated light bar. There were also improved aerodynamics that contributed to lower carbon dioxide emissions. Smarter technology such as the BMW ConnectedDrive systems also became available on the 1 Series Coupe. This included new information systems such as the Speed Limit Information set-up with No-Passing Info and the Lane Departure Warning System with Collision Warning. At the same time as the range was tweaked, BMW introduced a limited number 1 Series M Coupe flagship. The car was an instant hit with both press and public, BMW selling 400 cars in the UK before the model was deleted in November 2012. It's since gone on to become a real collector's item.

What You Getword count: 205

This Coupe range cherry-picks only the very finest engines from the 1 Series hatchback line-up. So petrol people choose between the 170bhp 120i, the 218bhp 125i, the 306bhp 135i and the 337bhp M Coupe. Diesel drivers meanwhile, choose between three versions of basically the same 2.0-litre engine, the 143bhp 118d, the 177bhp 120d and the twin-turbo 204bhp 123d. Think twice about opting away from the sweet-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox you'll find across the range, but if you must have an automatic, then BMW offers a superb item in the 1 Series. Whichever model you go for, you should find it to be decently equipped. Stung by criticism that the original pricing structure for this car was a bit rich, BMW has moved to justify it by increasing standard equipment which on the facelifted version ran to alloy wheels, power windows and mirrors, air conditioning, auto headlamps and wipers and a decent quality MP3-compatible stereo. You may find it a little irritating though that the pokiest petrol and diesel variants are only available in the priciest M Sport trim. Safety kit runs to six airbags, plus the usual electronic assistance for braking, traction and stability control to hopefully ensure that you'll never have to use them.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Coupes

Performance
80%
Handling
80%
Comfort
80%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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