Used BMW 1-Series Hatchback (2011 - 2019) Safety & Reliability

Review by Simon McBride on
Last Updated: 08 Feb 2016
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but you would have to be a bit of BMW fan to believe the original 1 Series was a good looking hatchback. In fact its long bonnet and rounded rear-end made it look as though it had been prodded a little with the ugly stick.
4.5 out of 5



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  • Five stars from Euro NCAP
  • Plenty of safety kit on-board

The 1 Series received five stars from Euro NCAP thanks in part to its vast collection of safety kit.

As well as ABS brakes, stability control, Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Cornering Brake Control, all cars get four airbags and run flat tyres, so there's no need to stop to change the wheel if you get a puncture.

5 out of 5


  • Reliability should be excellent
  • Well proven and robust
  • Two recalls over the car’s lifespan

Generally, BMW 1 Series reliability is excellent. The engines are well proven and the interior feels robust. Problems should be few and far between.


There are a couple of recalls listed on the DVLA website but both refer to a range of cars, rather than specifically the 1 Series.

Loss of drive

It is possible that over a period of time the bolt securing the clutch cover/pressure plate may become loose. The drive should be warned of this by the behaviour of the clutch, noise from it or inability to select gears. Under certain conditions complete loss of drive could occur, which could place the driver and occupant of the vehicle in a prone position.

Engine may stall

The in tank fuel pump may contain sub components that have not been correctly nickel plated. This may cause excessive friction leading to the fuel pump being inoperative. The driver may experience a no start condition or in the worst case an engine stall. A warning lamp and error message will display. Steering and brakes will still function.

Car check problem points


Check for any dents or scrapes from car parks.


BMW engines are generally very reliable but do check the oil and coolant to make sure the fluid is clean and at the correct level.


Look to see if any of the alloy wheels have been curbed. They can be expensive to repair.