BMW has released a new version of its popular 1 Series. The premium hatchback is now in its third generation, and loses the German brand’s traditional rear-wheel drive from its set-up.

Powered by a range of two petrol and three diesel engines, the front-wheel drive set-up frees up space inside. Overall, the new 1 Series is a fraction shorter but wider and higher than before. Six-speed manual and seven- or eight-speed automatic transmissions are available.

BMW has added ARB technology, developed on its electric i3. The acronym shortens quite a mouthful, as the actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation tech debuts on an internal combustion model. It controls wheel slip much faster and more sensitively than before; handy for a front-wheel drive car in wet or slippery conditions.

Inside, customers get advanced voice control, advanced driver assist systems, a head-up display, and a suite of safety kit. Prices start at £24,430 for the 118i SE, and the range is available to order now.

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