Car review

Which BMW 1 Series is better: diesel or petrol?

Which BMW 1 Series is better: diesel or petrol?

Although BMW offers customers a choice of ten 1 Series derivatives. The range is serviced by four engine configurations, three of which are petrol and one diesel. We compare the engines to find out which is better.



The latest iteration of the BMW 1 Series touched down. Initially available in 118i and M135i xDrive guise, the Bavarian automaker added a 118d derivative to the range at a later stage. Each of these model derivatives offers customers a different engine configuration including a diesel motor.

While the BMW M135i xDrive will most likely appeal more to performance-oriented customers, the 118i and 118d guises are the focus of this article as they compete for similar clientele. The latter two variants should make more sense when considering a compact hatchback for a daily commuter. 


As mentioned, we are focussing on the 118i and 118d variants, however, we are including the 128ti and M135i xDrive derivatives into this comparison to see how the diesel stacks up against all the petrol engines in the model range.

 BMW 118iBMW 118dBMW 128tiBMW M135i xDrive
Engine1.5-litre, turbocharged, petrol2.0-litre, turbocharged, diesel2.0-litre, turbocharged, petrol2.0-litre, turbocharged, petrol
Transmission7-speed, dual-clutch automatic8-speed automatic8-speed automatic8-speed automatic
Power103 kW110 kW180 kW225 kW
Torque220 Nm350 Nm380 Nm450 Nm
0-100 km/h8.5s8.4s6.3s4.8s
Top speed213 km/h214 km/h243 km/h250 km/h
Fuel consumption5.9 L / 100 km4.7 L / 100 km6.8 L / 100 km7.5 L / 100 km
CO2 emission135 g / km126 g / km156 g / km171 g / km


The BMW M135i xDrive and 128ti showcase a distinct difference in power and ultimately performance. Furthermore, included in the price premium are a host of trim upgrades on the exterior as well as the interior. The BMW 118i and 118d on the other hand are both very much aimed at the daily commuter more concerned with comfort and frugality.