When asked during early market research how they would change the ride and handling of their car, the majority of 1 Series owners wanted better rolling refinement. So says BMW, which is why it focused squarely on providing the second-generation car with a more stable and compliant primary ride.
The 1 Series is considerably more pleasant and relaxing to drive in everyday use on typical British roads than the car it replaced. Gone is a great deal of that annoying tendency to fidget and pitch along an uneven country road, for example. The softer-sprung but effectively damped suspension set-up does a very respectable job of smoothing out an undulating road surface at normal speeds, and it keeps good control of the car’s body when travelling faster. The standard chassis compromise is still more sporting than that of a typical five-door, but earlier test experience suggests that if you pay extra for BMW’s adaptive dampers, it can be made even more absorptive.
The 1 Series’ electro-mechanical power steering is a big improvement over the old car’s heavy hydraulic system. Dial up Comfort mode on the standard Drive Performance Control and, assuming you’ve specified Servotronic power steering, you’re rewarded with easy, fluent control over the front wheels.