Detailed: 2015 BMW 1 Series

Detailed: 2015 BMW 1 Series

It’s hard to believe that many were initially reluctant about the notion of a BMW hatchback. Since the 1 Series was birthed a decade ago, it has enjoyed sales of almost two million units.

BMW 1 - IgnitionLIVE

The Bavarian automaker has taken heed to criticisms around the styling of their compact offering. A thoroughly upgraded model is set to arrive in South Africa towards the middle of the year.

BMW 2 - IgnitionLIVE

Up front, those trademark kidney grilles are narrower and wider. BMW describes the new headlights as having “flatter geometry” – however you put it, they certainly give the car a less stunned appearance. It looks a bit more serious.

BMW 4 - IgnitionLIVE

The rear lights of the current 1 Series have garnered flak for their similarity to those of the Volkswagen Polo’s. That’s changed on the new one, with more traditional L-shaped units boasting LED illumination.

BMW 3 - IgnitionLIVE

BMW will also be (slightly) more generous with the standard kit. Automatic air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and the iDrive digital interface will be part of the mix across the board. But you will still be able to pick from a range of styling lines: Advantage, Sport, Urban and M Sport.

BMW 5 - IgnitionLIVE

New engines join the range, including the three-cylinder, turbocharged mill that our market first experienced in the new Mini. The top-tier M135i gains 5kW, taking things to 240kW and there’s a new M135i xDrive derivative which claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4,7 seconds. If it arrives, it would make a venerable competitor to the likes of the Audi S3 and Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG.

BMW 6 - IgnitionLIVE

And finally, 1 Series buyers will also be able to specify a host of new assistance systems. That includes radar-based active cruise control, BMW’s latest generation parking assistant and online services.

BMW 7 - IgnitionLIVE

-IgnitionLIVE Reporter