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BMW 1 Series options review

April 28, 2015 by

There’s no cheaper way to get the BMW badge on your driveway than the 1 Series hatchback and status symbol seekers are doing exactly that in droves.

The car is only half the story though – what you opt to have fitted to it can make it significantly desirable or ridiculously expensive depending on your requirements. So what should you go for when personalising your 1 Series? Let carwow be your guide…

Essential options

Reversing Assist Camera – £330 (plus driver comfort pack)

Reverse parking cameras are quickly becoming expected standard kit these days so it’s probably a good idea to specify it for your 1 Series. Not only will it add secondhand value just by being there, the fewer parking dings and scrapes you’ll acquire through having it will make your car stand out that bit more when you go to sell it on.

Beware though, it requires the Driver Comfort Pack option to be ticked. This is standard on some higher trim cars but, if you’re going for the entry level SE models, this will set you back £550 on top of the camera’s cost.

Non-black leather upholstery – £800-1,150

Many modern cars are a bit dull on the inside and BMW seems to have turned this into an art form. To stave off depression, you should brighten up the seat materials, though your options depend greatly on what specification you’ve gone for.

Ditch the black cloth or black leather and head for Oyster (white) leather to transform the cabin into a far more inviting space. If you’re really brave and your specification allows, Coral (red) is an even bolder statement, though it may be of limited second hand appeal.

Useful options

Model Designation Deletion – £0

There are two schools of thought on badge deletion. Buyers of high end models like to debadge the car so it’s a little more subtle and less likely to be targeted by ne’er-do-wells, while those who plump for ‘poverty spec’ cars want the badge removed so it doesn’t look like they’ve bought the cheapest model.

Either way, it makes for a neater, more symmetrical tailgate and it’s a no-cost option, so pretty useful.

Automatic gearbox – £1,550

Unless you’re a manual-snob or fancy yourself as a driving enthusiast, this is an option well worth looking at. The eight-speed automatic is one of the very best and, while there’s a small fuel economy penalty on paper, you probably won’t notice the difference day to day, save for a slightly more relaxed left leg.

Manual BMWs tend to perform worse when it comes to the secondhand market – an H-gate shifter in a BMW is a tell-tale sign that a previous owner (or two) really liked driving, meaning the car’s had some hard miles.

Frivolous options

Steering wheel heating – £160

It’s a problem we’ve all faced, climbing into your car of a frosty February morning to find a frigid steering wheel. BMW has you covered with this £160 option to warm your rim so you don’t have to suffer any more.

Or you could always just grit your teeth and bear it…

Harman Kardon HiFi – £600

Everyone has their preferred musical flavour and this £600 high quality speaker and amp system for the 1 Series makes everything just a little bit clearer. Or, at least, as clear as it can be in a metal cage with the roar of 70mph winds as you pelt along the M3.

This might be a good option for impressing your neighbours and co-workers with your musical taste, but we’d probably spend it on home audio instead. Mumford & Sons will sound just fine through the standard speakers.

What next?

If you like the look of the BMW 1 Series, read its full, aggregated review or, to see how it fared when compared to the Audi A3, check out our comparison test. Head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next car or, to see more options, have a look at our deals page.