A NEW baby BMW is hitting the streets with the arrival of the third generation 1 Series.
Now front wheel drive and roomier inside, the new model is priced from £24,430 for a 118i powered by a 1.5-litre three cylinder petrol engine developing 140 horsepower.
The five model range will top out at Â£36,430 for the sporty M135i with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive set up while diesels run from Â£25,480 for a 116d to Â£32,470 for a 120d xDrive Sport.
With a shorter bonnet, new look front with LED headlights as standard fit the new 1 Series is a fraction shorter than before but wider and higher.
The wheelbase is also shortened by 20mm compared to the previous version.
Boot space is up by 20 litres to 380 litres with maximum capacity now 1,200 litres. A power operated tailgate is an option.
The new BMW 1 Series also features the actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation (ARB) technology used in the BMW i3s.
This is the first time it has been used in a combustion-engine car and it has the effect of significantly improving traction when pulling away, cornering or when driving in the wet.
The car also offers the choice of three different transmission systems with a six-speed manual box available on the 116d, 118d and 118i while a seven-speed Steptronic dual clutch system can be fitted as an option on the 116d and 118i.
An eight-speed Steptronic box is standard on the xDrive versions and an option on the 118d.
The most economical version is the 116d which is rated at 61.4mpg at best under the new WLTP test regime with emissions as low as 100g/km.
BMW says all the engines are more efficient than before with even the top performer - the M135i which is powered by a four cylinder 2.0-litre engine developing 306hp resulting in a 4.8 second 0 to 60 time - rated at 35.3mpg with a CO2 figure of 157g/km.
Standard safety equipment includes collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, lane Departure warning with steering impulse and speed limit information.
A head-up display system is an option and so is active cruise control and BMW's Driving Assistant which includes lane change warning with a blind spot detection system.