The rather dumpy styling that characterised earlier 1 Series models is all forgotten now; this third generation model is much sleeker, with a more wedged shaped silhouette and a pronounced 'shark nose'. At the front, the BMW kidney grille is larger and, for the first time in this model range, the kidneys merge in the middle. The car features a shorter bonnet and significantly more space than before within a footprint almost identical to that of its predecessor. At 4,319 millimetres, the MK3 1 Series is 5mm shorter, 34mm wider and 13mm higher.
The 2,670mm wheelbase meanwhile, is 20 millimetres shorter but despite that, thanks to the switch of drive layouts, there's significantly more cabin space than before. Passenger access is easier, particularly in the rear where there's an extra 33mm of knee room, 13mm more elbow room and 19mm more head room. The luggage compartment capacity rises by 20-litres to 380-litres (or 1,200-litres with the rear seat bench folded down). The minimum width of the luggage compartment has also increased by 67mm. Up-front, BMW's latest 'Live Cockpit Plus' infotainment package is standard giving you an 8.8-inch centre-dash screen and a 5.7-inch instrument cluster display. This set-up includes features such as a Touch Controller, a navigation system, two USB ports for data transfer and a WiFi interface.