used BMW 1 series

The Ultimate Guide, Used BMW 1 Series Review (10 Pros & Cons)

BMW 1 Series is a favorite among BMW enthusiasts and has always been popular with drivers. This compact luxury car offers a range of features that make it an attractive choice.

In this detailed review, we will explore the Pros & Cons of buying a used BMW 1 Series to help you decide if it lives up to its reputation. Join us in uncovering what sets this car apart!

Pros Of Buying A Used BMW 1 Series

High-Quality Interior

The BMW 1 Series has always been praised for its high-quality interior, even in older models. The attention to detail and use of premium materials sets it apart from other cars in its class. These materials stay in good condition for a long time, even after years of use. They don’t show signs of wear as easily as cheaper options.

used BMW 1 Series

This Series is a true testament to the brand’s commitment to providing the ultimate driving experience. Once you settle down in the comfortable and supportive seats of this car, you’ll immediately notice the high level of craftsmanship that was put into its creation. You can easily find the perfect driving position for maximum comfort on long journeys by making various adjustments.

It has ability to deliver sheer driving pleasure. You’ll feel connected to the road no matter where you drive. The cabin design in older models is both timeless and functional, using high-quality materials throughout. Every switch, control, and feature has been thoughtfully placed for easy access and intuitive operation.

The Only Rear-Wheel Drive Car In Its Segment

Rear-wheel drive has long been praised for its ability to deliver a truly thrilling driving experience, and the BMW 1 Series is one of the few cars in its class that offers this feature. This Series is different from other compact cars because its power goes to the rear wheels instead of the front. This makes it more balanced and better at handling and being agile on the road.

The feeling of acceleration and control is immediate and precise, as you can feel each movement transferred from your hands to the road beneath you.

This direct connection between driver and car creates an intimate bond, making every twist and turn more exhilarating. It’s a reminder that driving can still be a sensory experience, activating not only our visual senses but also our tactile ones. Cars with rear-wheel drive have a more balanced weight distribution. This can result in improved stability while making turns.

A Wide Variety Of Engine Options

The engine is a key consideration when choosing a car, and the BMW 1 Series offers turbocharged 4-cylinder engines that are both efficient and powerful. These engines provide impressive performance while still offering excellent fuel economy.

used BMW 1 Series

It is a versatile car that offers something for everyone. If you want a car that is great for everyday use, then this is the one for you.

Available In A Range Of Body Styles

used BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 series stands out from other cars in its class because it offers different body styles. You can choose between a hatchback, coupe, or convertible, so there’s something for everyone. The coupe option offers a sporty and stylish look that can turn heads on the road.

Its sleek lines and compact design give it a fierce and powerful presence. If you’re a fan of wind-in-your-hair cruising, the convertible is the ideal option. By simply pressing a button, you can transform your drive into an exciting open-air journey.

The hatchback is a great choice for those who need a practical and roomy car. It has a versatile design and offers lots of storage space without sacrificing style. You can easily transport groceries, luggage, or even your pets in this type of car.

Consistently Updated With The Latest Technology Features

Many people assume that when they buy a used car, they won’t get the latest technology features. But that’s not the case with the BMW 1 Series. BMW has continuously added new technology and safety features to this compact car over the years, so even older models have advanced functionalities.

used BMW 1 Series

Having a built-in GPS system in your car not only makes it easier for you to reach your destination but also adds an air of sophistication to your driving experience.

Parking assist is another cool feature often seen in older models of the 1 Series. Parallel parking can be daunting for even the most experienced drivers, but with parking assist technology, you can say goodbye to those nerve-wracking moments.

Depreciation Has Already Occurred

Purchasing a second-hand BMW 1 Series not only cuts costs at the beginning, but it also brings unexpected advantages. For example, the previous owner might have already fixed any initial problems or recalls. This means that you get to enjoy a more reliable and refined driving experience without having to deal with any potential headaches associated with buying a brand new car.

you can take advantage of its proven track record and reputation for quality.

Cons Of Buying A Used BMW 1 Series

Now, let’s move on to the Cons.

Purchasing a second-hand BMW 1 Series not only cuts costs at the beginning, but it also brings unexpected advantages. For instance, the previous owner might have already fixed any initial problems or recalls.

Let’s take a look at them:

The Reputation For Having A Firm Ride

used BMW 1 Series

The used 1 Series of BMW is well-known for its firm ride, but this feature can actually be seen as a hidden advantage instead of a drawback. The stiff suspension may not provide the same level of plush comfort as some of its competitors, but it definitely adds an extra dose of excitement and sportiness to your driving experience.

The precise handling and tight cornering abilities that come hand in hand with the firm ride make it perfect for those who crave a bit of adrenaline behind the wheel.

Some drivers may not notice or mind the occasional bit of road harshness, if you’re looking for a truly smooth and comfortable driving experience, you might want to explore other options like the Mercedes A-Class.

The A-Class presents itself as a worthy alternative with its focus on providing a plush ride.

Less Spacious In The Rear Compared To Its Competitors

used BMW 1 Series

One undeniable drawback of this series is its limited rear seat legroom. It may not be an issue for those who usually drive alone or with just one passenger in their car. But if you often find yourself driving friends, family members, or colleagues in the backseat, it can become quite bothersome. To decide if you should buy a used 1 Series of BMW, think about how often you’ll need to use the back seats.

BMW 3 Series might be a great pick if you value backseat room. Take a look at this article that outlines ten advantages and disadvantages of the BMW 3 Series.

Low-Specced Models Are Quite Common

It’s important to remember that there are a lot of basic models when looking for a used 1 Series of BMW. These lower-trim 1 Series cars may not boast all the luxurious bells and whistles of their high-end counterparts, but they still deliver outstanding performance that BMW is known for.

The initial cost of optional extras like advanced audio systems or panoramic roofs deterred buyers from indulging in these features, leading to a higher number of lower-spec 1 Series on the market.

Characteristics that are in high demand among those searching for a used 1 Series of BMW include:

  • Automatic transmission
  • Upgraded and bigger iDrive infotainment screen
  • M-Sport interior and exterior package
  • Harman Kardon sound system
  • Panoramic roof
  • Seat heating

Risk Of Buying A Vehicle With Hidden Issues

Before buying a used 1 Series of BMW, it’s crucial to know about possible timing chain problems. These fancy cars might seem appealing, but unknown issues can swiftly ruin your dream ride. Timing chain issues are not uncommon in older models, and they can be quite costly to fix. These problems usually manifest as a rattling noise coming from the engine bay, especially during cold starts.

To prevent these situations, it is advisable for potential buyers to thoroughly examine any used 1 Series of BMW they are thinking of buying.

You can also get helpful information about the car’s maintenance history and any possible issues to be aware of by talking to experienced mechanics or BMW experts.

3 Factors To Consider Before Buying A Used BMW 1 Series

If you’re worried about buying a used car and facing unexpected costs, you can take these three steps to greatly lower the chances of that happening.

Request A Vehicle History Report     

It’s crucial to know the background of a used BMW Series before purchasing it. A vehicle history report, like the one from carVertical, is an effective way to gain this knowledge.

The carVertical platform is not just easy to use, but it also gives you precise and dependable information about a vehicle’s past.

A Vehicle History

This includes crucial details such as accident history, service records, and even odometer readings.

You can now easily find out all the information you need about your potential purchase at a very affordable price, with prices ranging from 11 to 20. All you need is the vehicle’s unique VIN number, which can be found in several locations on the car. The most common place to locate it is on the dashboard, right below the windscreen on the driver’s side.

car VIN

Get A Pre-Purchase Inspection By A Mechanic

Getting a pre-purchase inspection for a used car can give you peace of mind. A trained professional will carefully check the vehicle and give you an honest assessment of its condition.

The mechanic may identify potential issues that could be costly to fix or require immediate attention. Armed with this knowledge, you can negotiate a better price for the car or even choose to walk away from the deal altogether. It’s better to spend a little bit on an inspection now than regretting it later when faced with unexpected repairs.

Look Into The Service Records

It is also important to carefully examine the car’s service records. These records provide valuable insight into how well the previous owner maintained the vehicle.

They give you a glimpse into whether essential maintenance and repairs were done on schedule, indicating if the car is ready for long-term use or if it might be harboring hidden issues.


Purchasing a used BMW 1 Series can be an undertaking that has its own pros and cons. Even if you’re willing to do thorough research and get a detailed vehicle history report from carVertical, there are still more reasons to consider buying a used 1 Series!

The excellent interior, rear-wheel drive system, engine choices, and diverse body styles make this vehicle worth considering if you desire something stylish and reasonably priced. In the end, it all comes down to what matters most to you. Just make sure you stay informed so you can get the best deal possible!

Interested to know more about Best BMW series then read this complete guide.

FAQs About Buying A BMW 1 Series

For any questions about buying a BMW 1 Series, please check out the FAQs below for more information.

Which BMW 1 Series Is Rear-Wheel Drive?

From 2004 to 2012, all BMW 1 Series cars had rear-wheel drive during the E87 generation. Later on, in 2012 with the F20 generation, they started offering all-wheel drive as an option through the xDrive system. Now, with the latest F40 generation released in 2019, you can only choose between front-wheel or all-wheel drive for a BMW 1 Series.

Is The BMW 1 Series Underpowered?

BMW 1 Series usually has enough power, but people used to stronger cars might not be impressed with the performance of the 114i, 116i, 116d, and especially the 114d.

Which BMW 1 Series Has Timing Chain Issues?

The E87 generation of the BMW 1 Series, specifically the diesel engine models produced from 2007 to 2011 (116d, 118d, 120d, and 123d), have a higher chance of experiencing timing chain problems. To find out more about this issue on the 1 Series, check out our article!