2025 BMW 1 Series gets tech-heavy upgrade

The 2025 BMW 1 Series has been unveiled, bringing a heavy facelift to the German carmaker’s smallest model.

Though BMW says this 1 Series is “all-new”, it’s a significant update to the outgoing model which launched overseas in 2019, sharing the same platform but with new looks.

Unlike BMW’s passenger car series of the past, the new 1 Series will be the first to drop the ‘i’ suffix from its name. This means the base 118i simply becomes the 118, while the flagship M135i xDrive is the M135 xDrive.

The most recognisable change is that of its front design, which features more angular LED headlights, a revised kidney grille and completely redesigned lower front bumper section.

While the rear end’s changes are subtle, it also features new lights, a sharper bumper and, in examples with the M Sport package, a more prominent diffuser.

These changes have led to the 1 Series growing in length and height – leading to increased boot space – though its width and wheelbase remain unchanged from its predecessor.

One of the more subtle design changes has been included on the back of the rear door, with its Hofmeister kink adopting a number ‘1’ inset.

Dimensions2025 BMW 1 Series
Length4361mm (+42mm)
Width1800mm (no change)
Height1459mm (+25mm)
Wheelbase2670mm (no change)
Boot space (seats up)380 litres (+80 litres)
Boot space (seats folded)1200 litres (no change)

Inside the cabin, the 1 Series receives a number of changes previewed by the related X1 SUV, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.7-inch infotainment touchscreen now housed in a singular panel, running on BMW’s iDrive 9 operating system.

The climate controls which were previously housed below the front air vents have now moved into the touchscreen, with no physical buttons to be seen.

None of the interior upholstery options include leather, with Econeer and Veganza (also available with Alcantra) the only choices.

BMW has made a number of changes under the bonnet too, as the base 120 available overseas gains the addition of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, integrated into its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The electric motor can provide up to 15kW of power and 55Nm of torque when accelerating, while also providing fuel savings while cruising.

The petrol-powered BMW 120 is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, the same as found in Australian-delivered examples of the outgoing 118i, however the new model produces 115kW and 240Nm without hybrid power and 125kW/280Nm with the electrical boost.

For context, the BMW 118i currently sold in Australia produces 103kW and 220Nm from its non-hybrid version of the same engine. 

BMW also offers European buyers the choice of diesel engines in the 118d and 120d, however the Australian 1 Series range has been without an oiler since 2018.

At the top of the range, the M135 xDrive has also undergone changes. Though its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine remains, it is now mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, rather than an eight-speed torque converter.

In Europe, the engine produces 221kW and 400Nm, though overseas markets gain the more powerful 233kW tune due to more lax emissions regulations.

It’s expected that we’ll see the more powerful engine in Australia, providing a 8kW boost but 50Nm loss compared to the outgoing M135i xDrive.

Power continues to be sent to all four wheels, however BMW is yet to confirm a 0-100km/h acceleration time for the more powerful variant.

There are more changes under the skin in the 1 Series, with BMW claiming it has increased body rigidity, updated its anti-roll bar mounts and adopted new shock absorber technology, while also increasing front wheel caster by 20 per cent to provide more stable steering with greater feedback.

Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition and parking assistant.

On certain variants, lane-centring, speed limit assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go plus parking assistance professional can be added.

Specific Australian arrival timing and specification is due to be announced imminently.

MORE: Everything BMW 1 Series