The BMW 1 Series is a hatchback of a similar size to a Ford Focus and Opel Astra, but offering a much greater level of luxury and build quality. Often described as a “premium hatchback” competing with the likes of the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and, to a lesser extent, the Volkswagen Golf. It is the smallest and most affordable model in the BMW range. The first generation/version of the BMW 1 Series was seen by many for being impractical space-wise, and the second generation is a lot more spacious, offering a range of truly outstanding diesel and petrol engines, with the vehicle not lacking in and on-board equipment and accessories. The BMW 1 Series offers a superb ride, as one would expect from a BMW and some say it's the best car to drive in the hatchback class. The interior is plush and most comfortable to spend time in. The BMW 1 Series is available as both a three-door and a more practical five-door, while the performance-focused M135i model accelerates from 0-100 kmh in 5.2 seconds. Trim levels on the BMW 1 Series include the ES, SE, Sport, M Sport, Urban and the performance-orientated M135i. The BMW 1 Series is the least expensive model in the BMW range as well as providing the lowest running costs. The most efficient model in the line-up is the 116d EfficientDynamics model, which can do 3.8 litres/100 and 99g/km CO2. But even the performance-focused, top-of-the-range M135i is capable of 7.6 litres/100 kms and emits just 175g/km CO2 – which isn't bad at all for a car with that level of power and speed. The other petrol engines in the range are pretty efficient, too, but we'd recommend you go for one of the diesel engines, which offer a better balance of speed and low running costs. BMW also does a super value-for-money fixed-price servicing package that helps keep costs down as well as some good finance deals via BMW Financial Services.