BMW 1 Series gets Z4 inspired redesign, new cabin - SA range, on-sale date announced

Published Jun 5, 2024


The BMW 1 Series hatchback has been given a significant refresh for 2024, bringing a fresh new look inside and out along with significantly updated interior and driving tech.

The redesigned model was revealed in Europe on Wednesday and will be making its way to South Africa during the fourth quarter of 2024.

Initially BMW SA will employ its “top-and-tail” range strategy, with only the 118 and M135 models becoming available, however a midrange 120 variant will crash the party in 2025.

Notice how the ‘i’ is now missing from the naming convention? That’s how it will be with petrol-powered derivatives going forward.

As mentioned the BMW M135 xDrive will top the charts with the most potent version of BMW’s 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine, which thrashes out 233kW. With xDrive all-wheel drive as standard, it sprints from zero to 100km/h in a claimed 4.9 seconds.

BMW SA hasn’t released details of the 118, but we do know that it retains the current three-cylinder turbocharged format. The 120 has a similar configuration, and features mild hybrid technology and a total output of 125kW.

All versions of the new 1 Series ship with a seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch gearbox as standard.

New look inside and out

While the new 1 Series retains the same basic front-wheel drive architecture as the current version, as well as its 2,670mm wheelbase, overall length has increased by 42mm and it’s also 25mm taller.

What, you were expecting a small grille? Picture: Supplied.

The front and rear styling has been given a complete refresh, with the new face mimicking the Z4 roadster with a slimmer but wider Kidney Grille featuring an interesting new structure of vertical and diagonal bars, because BMW’s designers have to add some controversy, don’t they?

The interior has been given a more comprehensive overhaul, with a new dual screen system that combines two displays, namely a 10.25-inch driver information and 10.7-inch central infotainment unit, into a single curved panel.

BMW’s latest Operating System 9 provides the computing power and as you’d expect, the number of physical controls and buttons has been reduced, with most functions now activated via the screen, including the climate control.

The cabin has been completely redesigned for 2024. Picture: Supplied.

Also in keeping with the times, a completely leather-free cabin is standard, while newly designed seats aim to offer improved long-distance comfort.

BMW has expanded the range of driver assistance systems on the new hatchback and more standard equipment has been added to the mix, with BMW Live Cockpit Plus, featuring cloud-based navigation, now being part of the deal.

That’s the new BMW 1 Series in a nutshell. South African pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch. For the record the current version is priced between R691,000 and R952,000.