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BMW 1 Series gets a fresh new face and new engines for 2015

The second generation of BMW’s entry-level 1 Series hatchback received mixed reviews when it was presented at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Responding to criticism about its looks, BMW has introduced a facelifted model that will go on sale across Europe in the coming weeks.

The 1 benefits from thinner headlights that give it a more muscular look, a revised rendition of BMW’s iconic kidney grille with fewer slats and a new lower bumper. The updates continue around back with L-shaped LED tail lamps that bring the 1 in line with other members of the BMW family.

The cockpit is left largely untouched save for a discreetly tweaked center console and the addition of new standard features such as automatic A/C and rain-sensing wipers.

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A slew of more efficient engines complement the 1’s new look. The efficiency champ is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbodiesel engine that sends 116 horsepower and 199 foot-pounds of torque to the rear wheels via either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic unit. Part of BMW’s eco-friendly EfficientDynamics range, the 116d returns up to 69 mpg in a mixed European cycle when driven with a light right foot.

Power-hungry buyers will likely opt for the range-topping M135i. It boasts a 3.0-liter straight-six engine tuned to generate 326 horsepower and 322 foot-pounds of torque, modest increases over the pre-facelift 1. Linked to the aforementioned eight-speed auto, the straight-six sends the hatchback from zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds when ordered with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.

BMW has not revealed how much of a premium the updated 1 Series will carry over the outgoing model. Regardless, the Munich-based automaker is not planning on offering the 1 on our shores in the near future.