2015 BMW 1 Series Facelift - New vs Old

BMW Facelift Video Gallery 2


The 1 Series has been with us for a while now but in my opinion, BMW has always struggled to make its design language work on this, its premium compact hatchback.

While always being dynamically enjoyable, with rear wheel drive, a low driving position and almost-sportscar-like steering feel, the 1 Series has always looked a bit awkward, or dopey, or plain.

With the 2015 “Life Cycle Impulse” – BMW speak for “facelift” – the brand has quite radically altered the exterior of the 1 Series range, and I think the model is all the better for it.

The new head- and tail-lights are much more in line with the rest of the brand’s models, and the 1 Series now looks more grown up and mature.

There are a host of features included as standard now, which we’ve detailed in this video. Notably the 1 Series will now come with BMW ConnectedDrive, which is a sort of mobile-concierge for everything from emergencies to emergency pizza cravings.

BMW 1 Series Facelift – Price Difference

Most interestingly however is how much the pricing has moved, or rather, how much it hasn’t.

The M135i 3-door Sports Auto featured in our video is now priced at just over R560 000, which is just up from R553 000. The 116i is no longer, and the range now starts at R342 000 for the 118i 3-door, which is actually R5 500 cheaper than the outgoing model, and features the new 1.5-Litre turbo 3-cylinder, borrowed from the Mini Cooper range.

For me, the sweet spot in the range is the 125i M Sport. With the same aggressive styling as the M135i, it’s 2-Litre turbo 4-cylinder motor produces a Golf GTI worrying 160 kW. Performance is more than adequate, and never dull, compared to the M135i which, almost always feels like it’s trying to put you in a ditch.

I think I’d also have it in the same Estoril Blue on our video cars. Very nice.

2015 BMW 1 Series Facelift – Specifications

Entry Level BMW 118i 3-door Manual
Price R342 000
Engine 1.5 litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol
Power/Torque 100 kW/220 Nm
Acceleration - Top speed 8.5 seconds - 210kph
Fuel Economy 5.0L/100km (claimed)
Boot space 360-1200 (seats down)
CO2 emissions 116g/km
Top of the Range BMW M135i 5-door Sports Auto
Price R569 743
Engine 3 litre inline-6 turbo petrol
Power/Torque 240 kW/450 Nm
Acceleration – Top Speed 4.9 seconds – 250kph
Fuel Economy 7.5L/100km
Boot space 360-1200 (seats down)
CO2 emissions 175g/km