BMW took a risk in developing its latest 1 Series without the brand’s trademark rear-wheel drive layout, but it paid off.
The new model uses front-wheel drive for the first time, allowing for more interior space and a larger boot.
Despite the switch, the 1 Series still offers a class-leading driving experience with sharp steering, a balanced ride and well-weighted controls.
A striking new look ensures the car stands out, with enlarged kidney grilles and distinct LED lighting.
The engine range includes RDE-2-compliant diesels, minimising benefit-in-kind tax for drivers, and efficient three-cylinder petrols.
Performance is impressive, no matter which version you choose.
Inside, the 1 Series shares the same interior layout and quality as the 3 Series.
It boasts a fully-connected infotainment system, digital instrument cluster and voice-activated digital assistant.
Refinement and build quality take this latest model to the next-level, earning it the trophy in this category.
Finalists: Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Mini Clubman
Highly commended: Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Award sponsored by: Athlon