BMW 1 Series Leasing Guide | Car Leasing Guru

BMW 1 Series Leasing Guide (2019-)

Welcome to the Car Leasing Guru leasing guide to the BMW 1 Series.

As you may have seen, we independently review and analyse vehicles based on how much value for money they offer. Specifically looking at elements such as residual values and whole life costs.

We then determine which 1 Series is the best to lease or/or buy based on our analysis.

Manufacturers are trying to simplify their model line-ups to take into account legislation changes such as WLTP (the procedure for establishing accurate fuel consumption and CO2).

We understand how this complexity can make it hard for consumers to know which model is the best to lease, so we’ve done the job for you.

We’ve analysed the entire BMW 1 Series model line-up and provided you with the best overall choice for a lease as well as the best alternatives.

If you want a visualised chart to help you understand our decision, please skip down to ‘Total Lease Cost‘.

Analysis – The Best Overall Choice

We’ve determined that the best BMW 1 series to lease is the M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto. On the face of it, it loks like we’ve simply gone for one of the biggest engines and maximum spec, but that’s not true.

Our system looked through each 1 series model and assigned a Car Leasing Guru score to each one. and determined that the M135i xDrive 5dr Step auto got a 9.2/10. You can click here to see how we score models.

We also determined that you would only pay 24.4% of the vehicle’s value over the course of a 2 year / 10,000 mile per annum lease.

What this means in monetary terms is that you would be paying £8,734 over a 2 year lease whcihc is good value for money when you compare it against other models in the line-up such as the 118d M Sport 5dr, where you would be paying £7,619.

Analysis – The Best Alternative Choices

The M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto [Plus Pack]

The M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto [Tech Pack 1]


There are four specifications to choose from in the 1 Series range. The base model ‘SE’ up to the ‘M’. The high-spec ‘M’ models easily offer the best value for money when looking at the entire BMW 1 Series range.

The basic ‘SE‘ model gets:

  • 16″ alloys
  • single-zone A/C
  • cloth upholstery
  • body-coloured front and rear bumpers
  • silver trim interior

The ‘Sport‘ model gets:

  • 17″ alloys
  • dual-zone A/C
  • front sports seats
  • cloth/leather upholstery
  • sports rear bumper
  • illuminated interior trim

The ‘M Sport‘ model gets:

  • 18″ alloys
  • dual-zone A/C
  • M Sport self-levelling suspension
  • electric folding door mirrors
  • illuminated interior trim
  • M badging, 3-spoke M Sport steering wheel
  • extended lighting pack
  • M Sport aerodynamic pack
  • front sports seats

The ‘M‘ gets:

  • 18″ alloys (different style to the M Sport)
  • dual-zone A/C
  • M Sport self-levelling suspension
  • electric folding door mirrors
  • illuminated interior trim
  • M badging
  • 3-spoke M Sport steering wheel
  • 8-speed auto gearbox
  • front ‘M’ Seats
  • ‘M’ seatbelts
  • M Sport braking system
  • limited-slip differential
  • 10.2″ professional sat-nav
  • larger fuel tank (50-litres)
  • launch control
  • ‘M’ Performance exhaust system
  • ‘M’ rear spoiler
  • steering wheel paddles
  • cloth/Alcantara upholstery
  • connected pack
  • extended lighting pack
  • M Sport aerodynamic pack

Engine & Gearbox

The current BMW petrol range comes with either a 1.5-litre engine that produces 140PS on the 118i models, or a 2.0 engine that produces 306PS on the M135i models.

You have the option of a 6-speed manual or the 8-speed semi-automatic gearbox on most models.

Total Lease Costs

Just to help you visualise the total cost of a lease, we’ve put together a chart for the highest scoring Car Leasing Guru models in the 1 Series line-up. 8 in total.

These models offer the best overall “value for money” based on our analysis.

Based on popular searches online, we’ve included the most generic monthly terms and mileages so you can get an understanding of the cost. If you need a specific term or mileage then please use the price guide on the homepage, and we’ll tell you what you should be paying per month.

Mileage is calculated per annum. 36m 20k = 36-month lease, with a total end mileage of 60,000.

BMW 1 Series Total Lease Cost

On The Road Prices (OTR)

BMW 1 Series Price

Car Leasing Guru Score

Total Lease Cost As A Percentage

Analysis – Best Value For Money

Remember, at Car Leasing Guru we do not review vehicles, we look at value for money.

The cheapest of the eight models we’ve selected costs; £27,005. This is the 118i M Sport 5dr. Really good specification as standard, but only a manual gearbox.

Can we get more for our money and only pay a proportion of the cost?

The car we personally endorse is the M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto; which costs £35,845.

It comes with (deep breath) an automatic gearbox, xDrive (AWD system) and a lot more specification.  The ‘M’ model comes with everything the M Sport model gets PLUS an 8-speed auto gearbox, front ‘M’ Seats, ‘M’ seatbelts, M Sport braking system, limited-slip differential, 10.2″ professional sat-nav (the normal system is 8.8″), larger fuel tank (50-litres), launch control, ‘M’ Performance exhaust system, ‘M’ rear spoiler, steering wheel paddles, cloth/Alcantara upholstery, connected pack, extended lighting pack, M Sport aerodynamic pack.

Ok, so pretty easy to spot the difference between the two.

There is an £8,840 difference between the two vehicles from the manufacturer’s list price. It looks like a lot but you need to take into account the huge increase in power, the auto gearbox and the AWD system plus the specification.

Analysis – Working Example

On The Road

118i M Sport 5dr| £27,005

M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto | £35,845

Difference in the On The Road Price = £8,840

Let’s look at how much you would pay over a 2-year lease, doing 10,000 miles a year. (use graph above as a reference)

Total Lease Costs

118i M Sport 5dr | £6,696

M135i xDrive 5dr Step Auto | £8,734

The difference in the Total Lease Cost (over 2 years) = £2,038

Monthly payment: £105 / 24 months = £84.91

Lots of different numbers going on there, so let me explain.

What this tells us is that there is a difference in the retail price of £8,840 between the two vehicles, but you would actually only be spending an additional £2,038 over the course of the lease.

This is because the automatic gearbox, AWD system, extra performance the additional specification, plus interior and exterior updates add value to the vehicle. £6,802 worth of value to be specific. (£8,840 – £2,038). This means that all those little bits such as the 8-speed auto gearbox, limited-slip differential, 10.2″ professional sat-nav, ‘M’ Performance exhaust system etc, they are “worth” £6,802 at the end of a 2 year lease.

With a little bit of research, you’ll see that you can get cars that you would ordinarily expect to cost a lot to lease, because they are expensive to buy. In leasing, that’s not the case and you can lease a car with more specification because it is more desirable in the 2nd hand market – therefore making your monthly payments less, because the Residual Value (RV) is better.

Thank You!

This is just some basic analysis that will hopefully help you understand the value of a 2020 BMW 1 Series lease a little better.

2020 BMW 1 Series Car Lease Comparison | Price Guide

The Car Leasing Guru Team