The Germans are known for their leading and cutting edge technologies in various fields and the automotive industry is one of them. BMW and Volkswagen are among the top car manufacturers in Germany that also lead on the world stage. In this article, we are going to compare the BMW 1 Series vs the Volkswagen Golf by taking a look at their interior, exterior, engine, and practicality.
BMW 1 Series vs BMW 3 Series Side-By-Side Comparison
(*Prices are reflective of average BE FORWARD pricing as of March 2021)
BMW 1 Series Volkswagen Golf
Generations 3 ((E81, 82, 87, 88), (F20/F21), F40) 8 (Mk1/17, Mk2/1G, Mk3/1H, Mk4/1J, Mk5/1K,
Mk6/5K, Mk7/5G, Mk8/MQB
Production Year 2004 - Present 1974 - Present
Performance 134 HP - 335 HP 110 HP - 292 HP
Fuel Consumption 14 KM/L - 26 KM/L 11 KM/L - 31 KM/L
Drivetrain RWD, FWD & AWD FWD & AWD
Key Features CD Player, Power Steering, Airbag, Power Window,
Radio, A/C, ABS, DVD, Back Camera, Keyless Entry,
Sun Roof, Leather seat
Radio, CD Player, Airbag, Power Steering, Power
Window, A/C, ABS, Keyless Entry, Back Camera,
Leather Seat, Fog Lights
Seating Capacity 5 Passengers 5 Passengers
BE FORWARD price US$ 950 - US$ 41,660 US$ 1090 - US$ 46,790
BMW 1 Series
The 1 Series interior is well designed with premium finishing. This car is available in three trims, the standard SE, the Sport, and the high-end M Sport.
The Standard SE trim comes fitted with cloth upholstery, while the Sport trim comes with cloth and Sensatec faux leather, and the M Sport trim is fitted with leather upholstery and heated front sports seats. Passengers’ sitting at the front have enough space even for the 6 foot tall, but at the rear space is a bit limited due to the low roofline and transmission tunnel, but still another two six-footers can be accommodated for short journeys.
The 1 Series comes fitted with the BMW Radio Professional and iDrive system as standard.
It features a 6.5-inch touch-sensitive control display at the top of the dash, a controlling rotary dial mounted between the front seats, and favorite’s buttons. Under the display, you find the air vents, radio control buttons, and automatic air conditioning that all feature chrome surrounding.
The 1 Series has a 360-liter boot, enough to accommodate a week’s grocery, but more space is required, the 60/40 split rear seats can be folded down to expand the boot to 1200 liters. There are also other small storage spaces available such as cup holders, door pockets, glove boxes, and a tray with wireless charging functionality, and a deep bin.
BMW designed the 1 Series to give it a premium look inside out. At the front, the 1 Series features a BMW kidney grille with large air intakes flanked by automatic LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, and some chrome detailing.
At the rear, you find two-part taillights with floating LED tubes inside the lights that create the familiar BMW ‘L’ shape giving the car some dynamism from behind.
The 1 Series is fitted with either 17 or 18-inch run-flat tires on light-alloy wheel designs.
The 1 Series is built on a modern platform that has been thoroughly tried and tested. The Euro NCAP test results on the 1 Series awarded it a full 5-star for safety, while Adult occupant protection and child passenger security scored 83% and 87% respectively. Standard safety features of the 1 Series include lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, speed limit assist, cruise control, automatic headlights, and front and rear parking sensors. Rear-cross traffic warning and adaptive cruise with stop/go functionality are optional features.
The Volkswagen Golf has a premium interior with seats to accommodate five occupants and a quiet cabin. The Golf’s dashboard is elegantly designed with quality soft-touch plastic finishing. The seats are comfortable, with the front seats offering fine support, even for long drive hours. The rear seats can accommodate three passengers but for comfort, two adults will feel better. The Golf comes with cloth upholstery as standard, but you can also opt for leather, or synthetic leather (leatherette) upholstery, and heated front seats. The Golf’s large windows provide an airy interior feeling and offer great outward visibility.
Depending on the model and trim, the Golf is equipped with several interior features such as a 5-inch (6.5-inch, 8-inch, or 10-inch) touch screen mounted at the top part of the dash, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth, and satellite radio on higher trims. The screens offer great functionality and good input response such as pinch-to-zoom motions and swipe. The screens do have buttons and knobs on their sides and the bottom making it easy to make adjustments to climate and audio as you drive.
The Golf offers several storage options, such as front door pockets, two cup holders on the center console, a handy tray with a wireless charging feature in front of the gear selector, a storage bin between the front seats, and an air-conditioned glove box. The Golf comes with a 645-liter boot extendable to 1492 with rear seats folded.
The Golf is available in 3 trims with slightly different external features. Some of the external features found on the Golf models include 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels, corner-illuminating fog lights, adaptive HID headlights with LED accents, and LED fog lights.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Golf a ‘Good’ crash test rating and ‘Acceptable’ for its optional front crash prevention features, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Golf five stars for the side crash test and four stars for the frontal crash and rollover tests. Other advanced safety features on the Golf include its optional Driver Assistance package, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning with brake assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and steering assists for parallel parking.
Engine and Fuel Efficiency Comparison
BMW 1 Series
- A turbocharged 134 HP 1.5-liter, I-3 petrol, with fuel economy of 21 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 147 HP 2.0-liter, I-4 diesel, with a fuel economy of 26 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 181 HP 2.0-liter, I-4 petrol, with fuel economy of 17 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 221 HP 2.0-liter, I-4 petrol, with a fuel economy of 16 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 335 HP 3.0-liter I-6 petrol, with fuel economy of 14 KM/L.
Power to the wheels is transmitted via an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.
The Golf comes fitted with one of the following engines.
- A turbocharged 170 HP 1.8-liter, I-4 petrol, with fuel economy of 13.18 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 210 HP 2.0-liter, I-4 petrol, with fuel economy of 12.54 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 292 HP 2.0-liter, I-4 petrol, with fuel economy of 11.27 KM/L.
- A turbocharged 110 HP 1.6-liter, I-4 diesel, with a fuel economy of 31.46 KM/L
- A turbocharged 150 HP 2.0-liter, I-4 diesel, with a fuel economy of 28.61 KM/L.
Power to the wheels is transmitted via a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, or 7-speed twin-clutch automatic.
The BMW 1 Series and VW Golf have a lot in common. They are compact cars that have user-friendly touch screens (although the BMW is way better with its useful rotary dial input), quality interiors, sporty handling, and top-of-the-range safety features. The 1 Series has a small boot, while the Golf has one of the biggest boots in cars of this category which makes it a better option for shoppers. Both cars are great at fuel economy ratings, averaging at 15 KM/L.
Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya