10 Pros and Cons of Owning a (Used) BMW 1 Series

10 Pros and Cons of Owning a (Used) BMW 1 Series

The 1 Series is one of the most popular models in BMW’s line-up and has been a driver’s favorite for years.

But is it also a good used buy?

To determine whether buying a used BMW 1 Series makes sense for you, we will explore its pros and cons.

These are the 10 pros and cons of the BMW 1 Series:

  • Pros
    • It has a high-quality interior.
    • It’s the only rear-wheel drive car in its segment.
    • It offers a wide variety of engine options.
    • It’s available in a range of body styles.
    • It’s consistently updated with the latest technology features.
    • Depreciation has already occurred for used models.
  • Cons
    • It can have a relatively firm ride.
    • It’s less spacious in the rear compared to its competitors.
    • Low-specced models are quite common.
    • You always risk buying a model with hidden issues.

Keep reading to learn more!

6 Pros of a (used) BMW 1 Series

Let’s start with the pros of a BMW 1 Series!

1. It has a high-quality interior

One of the first pros of the BMW 1 Series is that it is known for its high-quality interior, even in older models.

The materials used in the cabin are of premium quality, and the finishes are refined, providing a sense of luxury and refinement.

BMW 1 Series F20 interior overview

The 1 series offers comfortable and supportive seats, with various adjustments to ensure a perfect driving position.

Remember, according to BMW’s slogan, it should provide ‘sheer driving pleasure!’

And that’s definitely what the 1 Series delivers; even the older models have a well-designed cabin that will make you feel like you’re driving a new car.

2. It’s the only rear-wheel drive car in its segment

Regarding driving dynamics, rear-wheel drive is often seen as the gold standard.

The BMW 1 Series is one of the only cars in its class to feature rear-wheel drive, which provides a more engaging driving experience and improved handling.

The rear-wheel drive system is definitely a significant pro to car enthusiasts who value a sporty driving experience. With rear-wheel drive, the car’s weight is distributed more evenly, which can provide better stability when cornering.

3. It offers a wide variety of engine options

An important factor to consider when looking for a car is the engine.

The BMW 1 Series offers a wide range of engine options, from efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder engines to powerful 6-cylinder engines.

BMW 1 Series F20 exposed engine

So, whether you’re looking for a car that’s efficient for daily driving or one that provides more performance, the 1 Series has an option that can meet your needs!

4. It’s available in a range of body styles

Another advantage of the BMW 1 Series is that you can choose from various body styles, including a hatchback, coupe, and convertible.

The coupe may be the right choice if you’re looking for a sporty and stylish car. At the same time, if you’re looking for a more open-air driving experience, the convertible may be the perfect option.

BMW 1 Series 135i convertible grey

And, if you’re looking for a practical and spacious car, the hatchback may be the best fit.

The availability of different body styles means that you can have a 1 Series that fits your preferences!

5. It’s consistently updated with the latest technology features

With the 1 Series, you don’t have to sacrifice the latest technology features even when buying a used car.

Over the years, the 1 Series has been consistently updated with the latest technology and safety features, so even older models can have advanced features such as navigation, parking assist, and collision avoidance systems!

BMW 1 Series rear parking camera

Some models of the BMW 1 Series even have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto!

6. Depreciation has already occurred for used models

It’s probably no secret that new cars often lose a significant percentage of their value in the first few years of ownership.

However, that means that when you buy a used BMW 1 Series, the bulk of the depreciation has already occurred!

As a result, buying a used BMW 1 Series can be a great choice for anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of a premium car without the high cost of buying a new one.

4 Cons of a (used) BMW 1 Series

And now, we’ve arrived at the cons.

Yes, unfortunately, the BMW 1 Series has disadvantages too.

Let’s check them out:

1. It can have a relatively firm ride

Owning a used BMW 1 Series has many benefits, but one of the downsides is that it has a reputation for having a relatively firm ride.

Many owners find its suspension jarring in stop-and-go traffic or around city streets. (Although it does improve handling on highways and in other high-speed situations.)

BMW 1 Series sport mode configuration

So, if you’re considering a used 1 Series and are looking for an exceptionally smooth ride quality, you may want to opt for another model, like a Mercedes A-Class.

2. It’s less spacious in the rear compared to its competitors

Another potential con of the 1 Series is its lack of rear seat legroom.

This can be inconvenient if you frequently use the car to transport passengers in the backseat.

So, consider how often you expect to have passengers in the back before making up your mind about buying a used BMW 1 Series.

BMW 1 Series rear leg room

If space in the rear is important to you, the BMW 3 Series might be a great alternative! (You can find ten pros and cons of the BMW 3 Series in this article.)

3. Low-specced models are quite common

If you’re considering buying a used BMW 1 Series, one thing you should know (and probably will notice) is that low-specced models are quite common.

When the BMW 1 Series was initially released, optional extras such as upgraded audio systems, upgraded navigation, and a panoramic roof were quite expensive.

As a result, more 1 Series were sold in lower trims, which still offer excellent performance but lack many of the features you’d find in high-end vehicles.

Features that are highly sought-after with used BMW 1 Series include:

  • An automatic transmission.
  • The upgraded and bigger iDrive infotainment screen.
  • An M-Sport interior and exterior package.
  • A Harman Kardon sound system.
  • A panoramic roof.
  • Seat heating.
BMW 1 Series Harman Kardon sound system

Alternatively, you can get some mods for your BMW to upgrade it!

4. You always risk buying a model with hidden issues

Purchasing a pre-owned BMW 1 Series can seem attractive; however, there is a real risk of hidden issues that can be costly to fix.

To minimize this risk, buyers must do their due diligence and research.

For example, do you know all about the potential timing chain issues on the BMW 1 Series?

If you’re reading this, it seems like you’re already doing your research, so that’s great!

Tip: You can learn more about BMW’s reliability in general here!

3 Things to consider before buying a used BMW 1 Series

Are you afraid of buying a used BMW 1 Series with hidden costs?

If so, your chances of doing that will become a lot lower with the following three things:

1. Request a vehicle history report

When considering purchasing a used BMW 1 Series, it is essential to clearly understand the vehicle’s history.

One way to do this is by generating a vehicle history report.

carVertical is an excellent choice for this task:

CarVertical homepage - Where to get a vehicle history report

Not only is it easy to use, but it also provides accurate information on the vehicle’s history, such as accident history, service records, and odometer readings!

A complete vehicle report from carVertical costs between €11 and €20, and it may be the best investment you make before buying your 1 Series!

The only thing you need is the vehicle’s VIN number, which you can find in several places on the car. The most obvious location is on the dashboard, just below the windscreen on the driver’s side:

Where to find the VIN of your car?

With carVertical, you can have confidence that you’re making a wise purchase when getting a used BMW 1 Series. Click here to get your carVertical report now!

2. Get a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic

Another important thing to consider is getting a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic.

Many qualified mechanics offer to do an intensive checkup of the car and ensure all components are safe and operating at optimal levels.

This includes inspecting components under the hood as well as checking tires, brakes, suspensions, electronics, and the exhaust system.

Doing such an inspection could reveal any hidden issues that will become costly down the road if not addressed!

3. Look into the service records

Lastly, before purchasing a used BMW 1 Series, you should always check the car’s service records.

Knowing that essential maintenance and repairs were done on schedule can give peace of mind that the vehicle is ready for long-term use!

FAQs about buying a BMW 1 Series

If you have any more questions about buying a BMW 1 Series, take a look at these FAQs below:

Which BMW 1 Series Is Rear-Wheel Drive?

All BMW 1 Series of the E87 generation (2004-2012) are rear-wheel drive. Since the introduction of the F20 generation 1 Series in 2012, there has been an option for the xDrive all-wheel drive system.

With the latest F40 generation that came out in 2019, the BMW 1 Series is only available with a front-wheel or all-wheel drive system.

Is The BMW 1 Series Underpowered?

As a general rule, the BMW 1 Series is not underpowered. Only the least powerful models, like the 114i, 116i, 116d, and especially the 114d, may feel underpowered by drivers used to more powerful cars.

Which BMW 1 Series Has Timing Chain Issues?

The BMW 1 Series with the highest likelihood of timing chain issues is the E87 generation equipped with a diesel engine, produced between 2007 and 2011. This includes the 116d, 118d, 120d, and 123d. Read our article here to learn more about timing chain issues on the 1 Series!


Buying a used BMW 1 Series comes with pros and cons.

However, if you are willing to do your research correctly and get a thorough vehicle history report from a website like carVertical, then you have all the more reason to say yes to picking up a used 1 series!

The high-quality interior, rear-wheel drive system, engine options, and various body styles make this car worth looking at if you want something sleek and affordable.

Ultimately, it all comes down to your priorities – just remember to stay informed to get the best deal possible!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *