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BMW 1 Series Hatchback
The BMW 1 Series hatchback is back in this year's COTY thanks to a new 116i variant that comes with a 1.5-litre engine that makes 107bhp and 190Nm of torque, which usefully slots it into the Cat A COE category. While that numbers may not sound like much, we found the engine smooth and hushed while allowing the car to move from traffic light to traffic light easily. Being a BMW, it is expected to drive well and it sure drives better than its rivals in the class. Elsewhere the car meets the expectations of most buyers when it comes to build quality, spaciousness and safety features. With a lower starting price than the competition, the 1 Series is certainly a worthy contender in this segment.
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This car is packed with useful features such as blind spot indicator, auto parking, rear aircon and hands-free electric ... -  Read More
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I am so happy I picked BMW 1 Series over X1. I test drive both. It's a total different feel. First of all, the current X... -  Read More
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Although the new 1 series is a step back from the previous generation, F20 series, which I currently own its still a goo... -  Read More
The new generation BMW 1 Series made headlines among the driving enthusiasts when the company announced that the model would be front-wheel drive, moving away from what some considered its rear-wheel drive unique selling proposition.

BMW says that this new package actually increases overall interior space, and we can certainly see improvements compared to its predecessor. The new Audi A3 Sportback might be a tad more spacious, but the BMW is comparable to the popular Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Inside, the 1 Series is immediately recognizable as a premium product. You get high-quality materials, ambient interior lighting, BMW's digital key, the two 10.25-inch instrument and central displays, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The car even has memory seats as standard!

Being a BMW, one would expect it to drive well despite being front-wheel driven. Thankfully, we are happy to report that it is still the class-leader when it comes to driver involvement. With a perfectly weighted steering and nicely-judged suspension setup that is neither too firm nor detached, the car is a fine thing to pilot.

While the 107bhp engine does not sound like much, it is not only smooth and quiet, but with 190Nm of torque available from just 1,380rpm, moving from traffic light to traffic light hardly feels strenuous in the 1 Series.

Of course, to do battle with rivals, the 1 Series also comes with a suite of Lane Departure Warning and Lane Change Warning safety systems that work a treat. You even get the option to adjust the amount of vibration you get from the steering wheel, so you can get just the right amount of assistance you want while you're carving through city traffic.

To round it up, the 1 Series is delivers plenty of everyday enjoyment within a relatively cost-efficient package, making it our choice for this year's Premium Hatchback of the Year.