Published on June 5th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


4th Gen BMW 1 Series Debuts: More Of A Facelift, Diesel Option Still Available

The new BMW 1 Series is barely new but gets a ‘new’ chassis designation.

Feels like just yesterday BMW unveiled a new 1 Series that was based on the natively front-wheel drive UKL2 platform shared with MINI. In actual fact, that 3rd generation 1 Series came out in 2019 and it is now due a ‘Life Cycle Impulse’ or facelift model. BMW has decided to skip this altogether and call their new 2024 BMW 1 Series an all-new 4th generation model even though it still is built on the same UKL2 platform and still features a diesel engine option.

The BMW 1 Series graduates from the F40 chassis designation and now wears the F70 chassis designation in this 2024 model and on the nameplate’s 20th anniversary. It now features more sustainable materials in its construction and a more tech-centred focus.

The new model features only slight dimensional changes, getting longer by 42mm and taller by 25mm. Design changes are rather apparent though. The kidney grille up front now gets diagonal and vertical bars plus there are vertical LED daytime running lights. A contrasting black roof is offered as an option. Around back, the light design extends into two sections and there is a long roof spoiler and side air deflectors as well.

Despite the move the towards a more futuristic design, the 1 Series still comes with diesel engines for this model. Strangely, BMW have decided to drop the ‘i’ designation on their petrol models. So the 120i is now just the 120. Same goes for the performance-enhanced petrol model, the M135i which is now known as the M135.

The name change is acceptable as ‘i’ was initially introduced by BMW as a way to indicate that a petrol engine had fuel injection. For many decades, all BMW petrol engines have featured fuel injection exclusively, so dropping the ‘i’ isn’t very offensive.

What might offend some is the presence of diesel options such as the 118d and 120d. We thought Europe had had its fill of diesel and internal combustion engines in general but it looks like that is a far away dream. The only major European country that won’t get a diesel 1 Series is the UK.

Malaysia only got one variant of the 1 Series in the outgoing generation and that was the BMW M135i xDrive – a Mercedes-AMG A35 competitor. We may still get the same variant but this time with the shortened name. Perhaps BMW are now reserving the ‘i’ branding for electric cars only.

It’s also worth noting that a 7-speed dual clutch automatic is now the only option for the 1 Series, marking the death of the manual transmission for this model.

bmw 1 series cabin for 2024

The interior has been redesigned and is ‘leather-free’ and full of recycled materials. The boot space is 380L and this can be expanded to 1200L. The BMW Curved Display returns and this time the two screens measure 10.25″ and 10.7″ across. Air conditioning controls are completely digital in this generation.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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