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2015 BMW 1 Series facelift – old vs new comparison

BMW has subtly updated the 1 Series premium hatchback and we’ve spent a while trying to tell the old one from the new. German facelifts tend to be incredibly understated affairs and you often need to directly compare them to tell any actual difference.

The 2015 1 Series has been restyled on the outside to keep in line with the rest of BMWs range while the inside has seen incremental updates. Standard features have increased and more options are available than before but it’s the new family of diesel engines that is the biggest news – they hail from the modular family introduced with the latest Mini.

Old model on the left – new one on the right


The front bumper has be restyled and makes the car look lower and wider. Reshaped headlights recall the brutalist square-jawed styling BMW’s used to be famous for and squarer grilles help make the car look more muscular and aggressive.

Larger air intakes and a redesigned rear bumper make the car look more sporty while standard LED daytime running lights add some sparkle. Full LED units are optional and match the new LED taillights that have been altered to fit with the rest of BMW’s range.

New model on the left – old one on the right


Less has changed inside the 1 Series. The controls for the stereo and climate controls are surrounded by new chrome elements which, themselves, are now set on a gloss black plastic fascia – small changes but they help lift the ambiance marginally.

The iDrive infotainment system is standard across the range. Cars not equipped with navigation get a small iDrive controller in the centre console but those that are get a larger controller that you can write on with your finger – useful for postcode entry – along with a bigger screen.

Old model on the left – new one on the right

What now?

Now you’ve – hopefully – worked out the difference between the old BMW 1 Series and the new version why not take a look at our 1 Series vs Mercedes A-Class comparison or check out how the hot M135i gets on against the Mercedes A45 AMG and Volkswagen Golf R.

BMW 1 Series

Fun-to-drive small hatchback with an upmarket interior
£22,450 - £34,760
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