2024 BMW 1 Series facelift revealed


The baby BMW goes under the knife, surfacing with a completely new look, a more hi-tech interior and upgraded engines

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The big-selling BMW 1 Series has been given a mid-life nip and tuck, in what must go down as an unusually extensive facelift for the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class rival.

So significant are the visual and mechanical changes, BMW is referring to this as the fourth-generation 1 Series – despite the fact the Mk3 car only launched in 2019 and the basic underpinnings remain unchanged.

Key to these revisions is a new look – albeit clearly based on the outgoing car. At the front you’ll first notice the much sleeker nose, with swept-back headlights and sharper, more angular surfacing. The wide kidney grilles lose their colour-coded central strake – merging to form a single large, vented panel on the car’s nose. This section, comprised of vertical and diagonal bars, also houses the sensors and radars for the car’s driver assistance systems.

To the side, the most notable change is the embossed number ‘1’ on the car’s C-pillar, incorporated within the iconic Hoffmeister kink directly above the rear wheel.

The back of the new 2025 BMW 1 Series has been given a more subtle makeover, with revised LED light clusters and a fresh bumper design. The car is 42mm longer (4,361mm in total) and 25mm taller (at 1,459mm) than before, though the width is “virtually unchanged” at 1800mm.

The upgrades continue inside, where the new BMW 1 Series gets a single-piece curved infotainment display, made up of a 10.7-inch main screen and 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. While the recently revised BMW 3 Series is running BMW’s OS 8.5 software, the 1 Series boasts OS 9 – the company’s latest tech with Quickselect on-screen shortcut functions. “Consistent digitalisation reduces the number of buttons and controls”, according to the maker.

Elsewhere, there’s a new sport steering wheel (a heated M Sport wheel with shift paddles is optional) and new seats. The interior is completely free of leather, with buyers able to spec ‘Econeer’ upholstery made from recycled PET. Boot space is unchanged from the old 1 Series, but customers can now option a 40:20:40 split-fold rear seat.

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New model names and engine updates

The new 1 Series is the first of BMW’s models to ditch the ‘i’ designation. This letter will be reserved for the brand’s EVs going forward, meaning the outgoing 120i and M135i become the 120 and M135 respectively.

That 120 will be the new entry point to BMW ownership, powered by a mild-hybrid 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 125kW and 280Nm of torque. It’ll do 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. The 1 Series now gets a seven-speed Steptronic automatic transmission as standard.

In Australia, buyers will be offered a 118 instead of the 120 described above, producing 115kW and 230Nm – up 12kW and 10Nm over the pre-facelift 118i model.

The only additional model, at least at launch, will be the aforementioned M135, which BMW claims will offer “significantly enhanced performance characteristics” – despite being slightly down on torque and slower from 0 to 100km/h. Torque drops from 450Nm to 400Nm, but power is up 8kW to 233kW. The benchmark sprint now takes 4.9 seconds – one-tenth behind the old car. Top speed remains an electronically-limited 250km/h.

Standard cars get “invisibly integrated” tailpipes, while the M135 swaps out the old car’s twin exhausts for a quad-exit layout.

This, matched with the M radiator grille and mirror caps marks out the flagship car visually, while under the metal there’s Adaptive M Chassis tech and a sports steering set-up. The xDrive all-wheel drive system is carried over.

Speaking of under the metal, BMW says the “agility, steering precision and cornering dynamics” of the new 1 Series is improved thanks to “increased rigidity of the body structure and the chassis connection”. This, apparently, is achieved through optimised kinematics, pre-loaded anti-roll bar mounts and new shock absorbers.

The caster angle on the front wheels has also been increased by 20 per cent, to ensure “particularly stable directional stability and optimised steering feedback”.

Richard Ingram & Auto Daily

When will the 2025 BMW 1 Series facelift come to Australia?

The refreshed 1 Series will reach Australia in the final quarter of 2024, with pricing and local specs to be confirmed closer to launch.

BMW has, at least, confirmed the below features for Australia.

2025 BMW 1 Series initial features

2025 BMW 118 initial features
M Sport packageVegan leather upholstery
18-inch alloy wheelsAdaptive suspension
10.7-inch BMW Operating System 9 infotainment systemAdaptive LED headlights
10.25-inch digital instrument clusterElectric tailgate
Built-in eSIM with 5G mobile connectionTyre repair kit
Wireless phone chargerAutonomous emergency braking
DAB+ digital radioLane departure warning
Keyless entry and push-button startLane change warning
Power-adjustable driver and front passenger seatAdaptive cruise control
Heated front seatsBlind-spot monitoring
Built-in dashcamRear cross-traffic alert
Automatic parkingSide exit warning
Reverse AssistantTraffic sign recognition
360-degree camera systemAutomatic high-beam

2025 BMW M135 initial features

In addition to 118
19-inch alloy wheelsM rear spoiler
12-speaker Harman Kardon audio systemDark blue M Sport brakes
Driver and front passenger seat lumbar support and massage functionLane-keep assist
Heated steering wheelLane change assist
Black-painted roofFront cross-traffic alert
Panoramic sunroofEvasion assistant

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