2009 BMW 1 Series | new car review

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 by

The smallest car in the range, the 2009 1 Series, could be described as a bit of an oddball, really.

While the two front passengers get all the usual space and refinements, the rear passengers will always end up feeling a little cramped, unless they are children. So, for quite a high price, you get quite a small car; a formula that may not work so well here in the Middle East.

Opinions, looks wise, are a rather split down the middle with some saying that the 1-Series is snub-nosed and ungainly with others feeling that the small BM is tight and lithe-looking. Only the buyer’s personal taste will truly decide.

It’s true that the front overhang area is very minimal indeed, and most would probably agree that the 1-Series face is purposeful, if not particularly pretty. Moving along the sides of the car and there are two distinct creases to be seen in the body shell; a curving line at the bottom of the door and an arrow-straight fold at the top – bold and sharp styling for sure; in keeping with current BMW trends, but definitely a matter of beauty in the eye of the beholder. The rear end is clean and modern-looking, but nothing about it makes you think of a future classic.

2009 BMW 1-Series

This is a BMW and as such is still a premium car with all the BMW good stuff: The 1-Series is the only car in its class making the most of the ‘true driver’s chassis layout’ of rear-wheel-drive and a close to 50/50 weight distribution balance.

There was facelift for the range in 2008 and the 5-door was joined by a three-door hatch, and the range was then further expanded to include a two-door and a two-door ; giving customers an extensive choice, perhaps in the hope of perking-up the slow sales in this region.

Petrol engine choices also now include the 2-litre 118i, the 2-litre 120i, the 3-litre 125i and the 3-litre turbocharged 135i, although the bigger, sportier engines are only seen in the two-door, high-trim cars. BMW are well-known for making some quality engines, winning, as they have, top international awards for their power-plants.

2009 BMW 1-Series

The engine of note in the 1-Series range is most definitely the 3-litre, straight-6, twin-turbocharged unit which makes 306bhp and 400Nm of torque, and a whole lot of speed – expect some quite serious wheelspin when the turbo boost kicks in, especially is you are man (or mad?) enough to turn the traction control off. A very entertaining handful that certainly returns on the handling stakes, too

The entire 1-Series range comes with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions and all of the trim levels come standard with front and side airbags, stability control and ABS, as well as other optional extras such as HID headlights, active steering, a range of audiophile audio options and various alloys wheel sizes, and alloy wheels are one of BMW’s finest fortes.

2009 BMW 1-Series

You’d need to spend a fair amount of money to enjoy a fast and well-specified 1-Series, which may ultimately leave many buyers looking to bigger cars that offer nearly as much speed, all of the luxuries, and all of the extra size.


Body typeEngine (litres)Power (bhp)Torque (Nm)Transmission
Hatchback/ Coupe/ Convertible2.01411906M/6A


Price Range (AED) 108,000-210,000


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