1 Series

Model Overview

The BMW 1 Series is a small family car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004, when it replaced the BMW 3 Series Compact range as the smallest in the BMW range.

1 Series BMW

“The most important thing is that cars are fun.
If your car isn’t, you’ve obviously got the wrong car.”

The first generation 1 Series featured a rear-wheel drive chassis, 50:50 weight balance, longitudinally-mounted engine and aluminium multilink suspension. A range of straight-four, straight-six petrol and diesel engines were used. The first generation 1 Series was produced in the following body styles: 3-door hatchback (E81), 5-door hatchback (E87), coupe (E82) and 2-door convertible (E88).

The second generation comprises a three-door hatchback (F21) and five-door hatchback (F20) models. Like its E87 predecessor, it uses a longitudinally-mounted engine, aluminium multi-link suspension and a rear-wheel drive chassis (however, some models are available with all-wheel drive).

The third generation comprises a five-door hatchback only (F40). A China-only four-door variant is also available (F52). This is now a front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive on the range-topping M135i), all with transverse-mounted three- or four-cylinder engines.


1 Series Events

1 Series News

Technical material and resources

1 Series Classifieds

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Auction Results

BMW 1 Series M Coupé (E82)



Robert Nelson

Specification List

Models in Register:

First generation: E81/E82/E87/E88 (2004–2011)

Second generation: F20/F21 (2011–2019)

Third generation: F40 (2019–present)

Oldest Models: 2004 starting with the 1 Series SE, followed by the M Sport approximately 6 months later

Newest Models: F40 which is the current model, the M135i xDrive is the current top of the range

Rarest Specific Model: I’d say the 1M is a rare beast, with only 6347 units sold worldwide, and only 450 UK spec cars. I think something like a 130i SE would be very rare as who would spec a 3.0i hot hatch and make it look like a bog standard one

Smallest Engine: 1.5 L B37 I3-T (diesel) & 1.5 L B38 I3-T (petrol)

Largest Engine: 2.0 L B47 I4-T (diesel) & 2.0 L B48 I4-T (petrol)

Fact: The 1 series was originally designed to replace the BMW Compact which came in E36 and E46 guises. The 1 Series accounted for 30% of the sales worldwide in the late 2000s with the X3 taking over at the moment and the i Division selling well too

Most Difficult Repair Job: Most faults on these cars are water pumps, vanos issues and high-pressure fuel pumps the n47 Diesel engine had chains snapping and the cars have had recalls for battery cables and the diesel particulate filters. Most of the engine is fairly easy to get to so can be good cars for wannabe mechanics