The 116d EfficientDynamics Plus doesn’t look like the best-value option among its peers at list price, but that matters little.

Our sources suggest that it’ll retain value as well as a like-for-like Mercedes-Benz A-Class and be as cheap on contract hire as any of its immediate competition. The breadth of the lowest emissions band for company car tax means that BMW’s three-cylinder engine actually buys the car little advantage where you might expect it to – but simply being competitive on that front is good enough.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
A concertedly economical driving style can see the trip computer heading up to 70mpg and beyond

The better news is that you need to add much less to the 1 Series by way of options than once was the case in order to bring it up to a competitive standard on equipment.

Automatic air conditioning, automatic headlights and wipers, keyless ignition, heated door mirrors, tyre pressure monitors, rear parking sensors, cruise control, a BMW Professional-spec radio with DAB and an iDrive multimedia system with 6.5in control display and sat-nav all come as standard.

The EfficientDynamics factor limits your options a bit. Avoid the optional wheels if you want to keep your tax bill down, while BMW's 'dakota' leather (£1150) and the Professional Media pack (£1295) are worth the money for private buyers.

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We'd forgo a few options and pay an extra couple of grand - and two percent extra tax - for an eight-speed automatic 116d. On top, it'll probably be just as frugal as the EfficientDynamics, but easier to drive the rest of the time.

Those who pay for their own diesel should approve of the car’s fuel economy, which bettered 55mpg for our True MPG testers as an average real-world return. The BMW’s long gearing also lends plenty of potential to eke out your last few litres of fuel when you need to. A concertedly economical driving style can see the trip computer heading up to 70mpg and beyond.

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