As ever with BMW it’s the firm’s Efficient Dynamics package that does the magic. The 123d coupe features stop-start technology, a clever aerodynamics package, brake energy regeneration and a host of other high-tech cleverness. And it’s standard and doesn’t interfere with the way you drive car, which is a good thing because as with the 1-series hatchback, the coupe’s driving experience is easily best in class, even if the ride is exceedingly firm and unforgiving over bumpy roads.


BMW openly admits some of the customers for the new 1-series coupe will be owners of the previous generation 3-series coupe who can’t afford the new 3-series, and there’s little that those drivers will miss. Interior space is fine for the driver and front seat passenger (though rear seat occupants suffer from a lack of headroom), while leg room is reasonable (but far from spacious). The boot will also easily take a week’s holiday luggage for two (370 litres) despite the rear wheel arches making it an odd shape. If you need more room the rear seats split and fold.

Against its three main rivals – the Mercedes C-class Sport Coupe, Alfa Romeo Brera and Volvo C30 – the 1-series coupe is a clear winner on costs, performance and driving experience. It’s only the car’s styling that may move some user-choosers to opt for the Brera or C30, although the 123d looks better in the metal than in pictures.

Once again BMW has produced a winner.