BMW’s first front-wheel drive hot hatch, the 128ti, will carry a price tag of $56,900 before on-road costs when it arrives here in the first quarter of next year.

    That slots it neatly between the front-wheel drive 118i ($45,990 before on-roads) and all-wheel drive M135i xDrive Pure ($63,990 list).

    The local range is capped by the M135i xDrive, priced at $69,990 before on-roads.

    This is the first generation of 1 Series to use a front/all-wheel drive architecture, with previous generations using rear-wheel drive.

    If you want a small, rear-wheel drive BMW now, you’ll need to step up to a 2 Series – the coupe, that is, as the new 2 Series Gran Coupe is also front/all-wheel drive and shares its platform with the new 1 Series.


    • 2021 BMW 118i: $45,990
    • 2021 BMW 128ti: $56,900
    • 2021 BMW M135i xDrive Pure: $63,990
    • 2021 BMW M135i xDrive: $69,990

    All prices exclude on-road costs.


    The 2021 BMW 1 Series range features three different engines.

    The 118i uses a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine producing 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 8.5 seconds.

    The new 128ti is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 180kW of power and 380Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s good for a 0-100km/h time of 6.3 seconds.

    The M135i models use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, albeit with 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque. They also use an eight-speed automatic transmission, although their 0-100km/h time is reduced to 4.8 seconds.

    The 118i and 128ti are front-wheel drive, while the M135i models are all-wheel drive.

    Fuel Economy

    The 2021 BMW 1 Series consumes 5.9L/100km on the combined cycle in the 118i and 7.5L/100km in the M135i variants.

    There is currently no ADR combined fuel economy rating for the 128ti.

    The 118i and 128ti require 95RON premium unleaded fuel while the M135i models need 98RON.


    The 2021 BMW 1 Series measures 4319mm long, 1434mm tall and 1799mm wide.

    It has 380L of luggage space, expanding to 1200L with the rear seats folded.


    BMW offers a choice of a couple of service plans, which cover the first five years or 80,000km.

    The $1465 Basic plan covers the changing of oils, filters, brake fluid and spark plugs, while the $3790 Plus plan includes the changing of brake pads and discs as well as the clutch disc and plate and wiper blades.


    The BMW 1 Series range has a five-star rating from ANCAP, based on testing conducted in 2019.

    That score was based on an adult occupant protection score of 83 per cent, child occupant protection of 89 per cent, vulnerable road user protection of 76 per cent and safety assist of 73 per cent.

    The 1 Series range comes standard with the following safety equipment:

    • Forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Lane-departure warning
    • Rear cross-traffic alert

    Standard Equipment

    The 118i comes standard with the following equipment:

    • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay
    • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • Six-speaker sound system
    • Wireless phone charging
    • Semi-autonomous parking assist
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Colour-adjustable ambient lighting
    • Cloth/leatherette upholstery
    • Front sport seats
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Power folding exterior mirrors
    • LED headlights
    • Reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors
    • Automatic stop/start
    • Single-zone climate control
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • Automatic headlights
    • Cruise control

    A Driver Assistance package adds:

    • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
    • Adaptive high-beam
    • Tyre-pressure monitoring

    The 118i is also available with an M Sport Plus package that adds various sporty interior and exterior tweaks.

    The 128ti adds:

    • Unique 18-inch alloy wheels
    • 9.2-inch head-up display
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Adaptive high-beam
    • Power front seats
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • Front axle limited-slip differential
    • M Sport brakes with red calipers
    • Red exterior accents (painted black in Melbourne Red and Misano Blue models)
    • Red interior accents

    The M135i xDrive Pure misses out on adaptive high-beam and the red accents but adds all-wheel drive and M Sport brakes with blue calipers.

    The M135i xDrive adds:

    • Adaptive high-beam
    • 16-speaker, 464W Harman Kardon sound system
    • Dakota leather upholstery
    • 19-inch alloy wheels

    The M135i xDrive is available with an M Performance Package, which shaves some weight and 0.1 seconds off its 0-100km/h time while adding:

    • Black mirror caps, exhaust outlets and grille
    • 18-inch forged alloy wheels

    The wider 1 Series range is available with a range of option packages.

    Enhancement Package 1 adds:

    • Metallic paint
    • Panoramic glass roof
    • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go (128ti and M135i xDrive)
    • 19-inch alloy wheels (118i only)

    The 128ti’s Enhancement Package 2 adds:

    • BMW Individual Storm Bay metallic paint
    • Panoramic glass roof
    • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go

    The Convenience Package, not available in conjunction with the M135i’s M Performance Package, adds:

    • Power tailgate
    • Luggage net
    • 40:20:40 split/fold rear seat

    The Comfort Package adds:

    • Heated front seats with lumbar support
    • Heated steering wheel (128ti and M135i)
    • Keyless entry and start (118i)
    • Power front seats (118i)

    Standalone options include:

    • Gesture control
    • 19-inch alloy wheels
    • 16-speaker, 464W Harman Kardon sound system
    • Cloth and Alcantara upholstery
    • Dakota leather upholstery
    • Power tailgate
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Tyre pressure monitoring
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Heated front seats

    You can also delete the red exterior highlights and badging from the 128ti, while removing badging from all 1 Series models is a no-cost option.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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