Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £25,099. Borrowing £20,079 with a £5,020 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
£329.26
Fixed interest rate
12.9%
Total amount payable
£33,332.25
Cost of credit
£8,233.25
Optional final payment
£12,508.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

BMW 128ti buying guide

What is the BMW 128ti trim level?

The 128ti sits above the Sport and M Sport trims, and below the M135i in the 1 Series hierarchy. It’s set apart from the rest by eye-catching red accents on the front bumper and side skirts, plus red brake calipers and exclusive ‘ti’ stickers in front of the rear wheels. It’s instantly recognisable to hot hatch enthusiasts, although you can specify to delete the red bits and badging for no extra cost if you’d rather be subtle.

Standard equipment includes sporty lowered suspension, heated sports seats, DAB radio, parking sensors at each end, LED headlights and cruise control. Cars with the Pro pack get bigger wheels and a Harman Kardon sound system, while the Technology Pack includes upgraded headlights, wireless phone charging, high-beam assist, self-parking ability and a head-up display.

BMW 128ti interior and technology

The 128ti gets a host of racy trimmings inside that lift it above a standard 1 Series. There’s a red centre line in the front seats and red stitching throughout, plus a ‘ti’ emblem on the centre armrest. There’s no mistaking this for a 118d.

Otherwise, the tech is just as impressive as in any other 1 Series. The slick digital dials and info-heavy touchscreen are fitted as standard, while the materials feel premium and hard-wearing.

BMW 128ti boot space and dimensions

The 128ti doesn’t suffer any losses in practicality compared to lesser 1 Series models, so you get a competitive 380 litres to fill. That exactly matches the Golf GTI’s boot space, although the Golf’s squarer boot could prove useful for suitcases and big bags. Measuring 4.3 metres long, the 1 Series is roughly as big as most of its rivals, and should be easy to park.

BMW 128ti engine range explained

BMW 128ti 2.0 petrol

The BMW 128ti gets its own exclusive engine, which isn’t used in other 1 Series models. It’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 265hp, and enables a 0-62mph sprint of a whisker over six seconds. It’s not quite as fast as the 306hp, four-wheel-drive M135i, but still feels rapid and exciting. A standard-fit limited-slip differential helps haul the 128Ti out of tight corners.

BMW 128ti FAQs

If you’re after a fun hot hatchback with usable, decent performance as well as good practicality and even reasonable fuel economy, the 128ti is a top choice. It’ll manage up to 40mpg when cruising, but will carve up a B-road like a chef carves up vegetables. Four adults can comfortably travel in the 128ti, and it has the power and precision to entertain you and your friends.

The ‘ti’ in 128ti stands for ‘Turismo Internazionale’ and has come to represent a level of sportiness that’s a little different to the usual M Sport and M Performance offerings. Whereas the range-topping M135i is four-wheel drive, the 128ti is front-wheel drive and set up for cornering rather than flat-out pace.

The 128ti produces 265hp. That doesn’t sound like a lot in modern hot hatch terms, but it’s more than enough to feel fast down a twisty back road. Any more power would feel wasted.

The 128ti sits in insurance group 30 out of 50. As you’d expect given its performance, it’s more expensive to insure than a lesser-powered 1 Series, but it shouldn’t be too expensive to insure for many buyers.