The new BMW 1 Series is wrapped-up in a box. This cardboard housing sits behind a
large sign that says, 'not to be opened until September 17th 2011'. Fair enough, we can
wait – but what are this second generation's advantages over the out-going model? It is
larger, for starters, so motorists benefit from more cabin space. Its boot has grown by 30-
litres too, so folding the rear seats flat means its capacity is now a versatile 1,200-litres.
The new BMW 1 Series looks similar to its predecessor, so there are some nice sporty
touches. The kidney-shaped grill leans forward creating a purposeful stance, and the
headlights make this rear-wheel-drive beauty look alert. This five-door fashion statement
also has a slopping roof and angled rear window to make it stand out. Just as well, as
prices range from £19,375 to £24,720. Ouch! You can buy a 3 Series from only £22,695.
Hidden in the cardboard box is a range of revised engines, including two petrol and three
diesels units. The main headline is that – at some point after launch – the new 1 Series
will be available in 116d EfficientDynamics form. This is expected to average a mighty
74.3mpg, and its emissions may be as low as 99g/km. If this specification becomes a
reality, motorists will be able to tax the car free of charge. Come on BMW, open the box.