By on June 9, 2011


If we learn from history, we won’t expect this funky-fresh five-door to ever come to the US. Though we may get a sedan version of this generation of Einser, chances are we will probably still just get the coupe again. And because the new 1er is longer (by 8.5 cm) than its predecessor and heavier (by between 5kg and 35kg) in all but 118d trim (where it remains the same weight), it’s also more practical, with a few more centimeters of rear legroom and 30 liters more storage. Which is all the more reason to bring these workhorse versions to the US (with manual transmission and diesel options, natch) rather than limiting our choices to a now-even-heavier coupe. Especially now that the 1 Series is apparently a four-cylinder-only affair (specs here). If you’re already a devotee of the Einser hatches be sure to surf over to Auto Motor und Sport, where even more photos of the next-gen five-door await your perusal…

 

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36 Comments on “Next-Gen BMW 1 Series Debuts In Five-Door Euro Spec...”


  • avatar
    carguy

    I realize that aesthetics are a matter of taste but I’m not sure I approve of the “Angry Birds” headlights. The rest has the potential to be practical fun.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    No loss if the hatch doesn’t come stateside. Cramped, ugly, rear-drive subcompact hatchbacks should have stayed in the ’70s. At least the Pinto and Gremlin didn’t feature BMW’s price-gouging.

    Also, wasn’t Bangle’s departure supposed to make BMWs look better? I thought the widely-panned E60 was fantastic…everything from Munich in the last few years has been bloated, ugly crap.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      The E60 is a the best-looking BMW to come out during the Bangle era. The only weakness is the lower grille on the basic version. If it were filled in a bit, like every other front bumper option, it’d look better.

      And then there’s the X6, which turns the dial to 11. It’s so incredibly, ludicrously over the top, it’s actually very good, particularly in bewinged M form.

  • avatar
    Nick

    As far as appearance goes, guess all I can say is ‘good thing it’s useful’

  • avatar
    Syke

    Of course we’re not going to get the economical, practical, usable European version. Mumsy, Daddy and Buffy wouldn’t like it. And the next thing you know, those ‘practical’ lovers would also start demanding that it be made affordable, too.

  • avatar
    sjhwilkes

    Well I’d take one, but as someone who just returned their loaded, stick E61 this week I think BMW USA wanted me to go the other way to a 5 series GT or X series – if either were available in a stick it might have taken me longer to discount the possibility.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      wagon driver?
      self-shifter?
      BMW doesn’t want your money, begone!

      Go to the Caddy dealer and pick up a CTS-V wagon.

      Then go back and blow the doors off an ugly GT.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    how about four headlights? would that really kill you?
    the dash is just hideous.
    exterior is nice though, except for those lights

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    You’re right, we wont see it in North America. Otherwise who are they gonna sell X1 and X3 to?

  • avatar
    IGB

    It looks a bit Chinese. Not in a derogatory way but in a Chinese BMW knock-off kind of way.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Interesting to note that the 116i would sell for a little less than $24k and the top of the line 120d would sell for under $30k. I’d see it doing very well if they could advertise it starting at $23,995.

    It will be interesting to see how they spec it out for the US market.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny you say that. I was just building one online, and the nav is $2100, the bluetooth is $750, and the ipod integration is $400.

      The North American market is to think a BMW is a trollop for the over privileged. A practical, non nosebleed priced BMW would be like seeing a Mercedes Taxi cab.

      A neighbor recently took a 330xi to a dealer. They scared her with $4k worth of work at stealership rates “and couldn’t guarantee that other stuff wouldn’t go” . She dumped the (very clean) 330xi and got a CPO 5-er. Said neighbor is intelligent and successful but not a car person. This is the perfect customer. The 330xi will get an A/C recharge and maybe a set of control arm bushings, and be off the lot in a week. THIS is the BMW business model. They don’t care about the whiners on forums or the guy who wants a five door 1 series with a diesel engine. They sell that car to a guy in England who is scraping to buy it..and for the same equivalent price as the guy in the US getting that 328i with Premium, Automatic and Leather (in silver of course).

      Do keep in mind, though, that the transaction prices for many of these cheap cars are not so cheap, as you have to add things like a VAT of 15 to 18%. Note BMW sells four cylinders in Canada…because the transaction prices WITH VAT are a lot higher than you’d think. We actually get these cars cheap, ripoff pricing ($750 bluetooth ? REALLY ?) notwithstanding.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Note BMW sells four cylinders in Canada…because the transaction prices WITH VAT are a lot higher than you’d think.

        The Mini?

        Tax on a new vehicle here in Saskatchewan is 10%, the same as any other non-essential product.

        We do get hosed on MSRP though. Those are still lower in the U.S., even though our dollar has been around parity for a few years now.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I can tell you how they will spec it for the US market. Coupe or convertible only, no diesels, loaded with unecessary features, and filled with parts that will fail expensively. You know, like every other BMW headed stateside. Should be a big hit with the less well-to-do posers.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    There must be a bet going on within the upper echelons of BMW on how much uglier each successive new car can get before the badge connoisseurs say, “I refuse to lease from you any longer!”

    This car is not an improvement, and I’m feeling concerned for the coupe’s already fragile sense of self when the new one is revealed.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    A properly designed CUV will have more cargo space than its similar length sedan, and just as much passenger space.

    BMW remains adhered to the terribly stale belief that “inexpensive” hatchbacks don’t sell in the USA. A 1-series hatch would hardly be inexpensive.

    FYI, in Portland OR I see more 2004 – 08 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx’s (the hatch version) than I do of its sedan version (Maxx production stopped in 2008).

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Car and Driver says this is the last RWD 1 series. The vast majority of 1-series buyers world wide think the cars are already FWD, according to BMW. Might as well mine some more indifference to their products’ loss of desirable traits.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      I’ve had 3 BMWs but I swore them off and never will buy another because they became ugly, unreliable and even more expensive pieces of crap. Yet they continue to sell in greater numbers and have become nothing like they still pretend to be. One day maybe there will be a reckoning for what they have done to the brand but I doubt it. A fwd car will probably sell very well and the posers will love it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Your experience and mine were virtually the same. I drove BMWs for 14 years, but the ones purchased a decade ago were unreliable and then BMW replaced those models with ones that were unreliable, ugly, and riding on run-flat tires. Weight also exploded, and turbos went on the engines to move the barges. There is pretty much nothing left uniting the current garbage with the 2002 that made BMW an aspirational brand for enthusiasts. They move more metal than ever, but now the cars are leased to people who care more about fashion than track days. They’re also really popular in China, of course, where superstition is more common than automotive ownership experience. BMW knows ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Can’t speak for the reliability, but I’d say that based on the models I’ve driven recently – a brilliant 335 sedan, and last-gen 5-series and 7-series – the 3-series has still “got it,” but the rest are overwrought, overteched and overpriced. And don’t even get me started on the SUV lineup. I have a friend who’s a service advisor at a BMW dealership, and he has no shortage of horror stories. It’s hard to believe that the mover-and-shaker types who buy these cars put up with all the BS, but they do.

        I think it’s no accident that Infiniti is on the rise as a brand – they’ve channeled a lot of the “BMW driving experience” at a lower price, and with few of the reliability issues.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The BMW driving experience obviously has nothing to do with being the ultimate driving machine anymore. Most of my experience with current BMWs has been in 335i models, and they’re nothing like the naturally aspirated 3 series cars of the ’80s and ’90s that were actually fun to drive. They’re powerful, and the ones I’ve driven have had lots of toys, but they don’t have the engine character, the helm is leaden and non-linear, and the tires are in constant contact with the pavement only on the smoothest roads. Overall, a good lease car for a poser who lives in a city that’s laid out like a grid.

  • avatar
    word is bond

    I don’t know german, but I believe the Specs left out length.
    Google reveals that the E46 Wagon was 176.3″ long, while the F20 5dr is 170.1″
    I couldn’t find anything for the F20′s interior volume, but I’d guess it’s far less than the E46.
    Model Bloat really is a sad affair…

  • avatar
    Garak

    I’d love a small RWD car, but why does it have to be so ugly? Also, model bloat raises its ugly head once again.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I thought the Saturn Astra was discontinued…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    You can get a $28,400 3 door hatch BMW 1 series with a 156 HP 4 cyl in Mexico so why not in the U.S? Hmmm. I saw a very Toyota Matrix like Mercedes B200 with Mexico plates and I felt a little dirty.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Probably because by the time you load that $28400 Mexican 1-series with all the stuff Americans would want – leather, sunroof, nav, all the power toys – it’d be 35 grand, and no one here would buy a 4-banger BMW at that price.

      BMWs are definitely a lot more pedestrian in a lot of other countries.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        FreedMike,

        Really? I guess no one ever buys the base 3 series with vinyl seats and basic CD/MP3. Even on the top of the line “3″ you have to special order the nav and leather. Why? The 2.0 would be too small for a 3-series but we’re talking a 3 dr “1″. The “3″ also gets real expensive with the all the toys Americans supposedly have to have but who’s actually spending the extra $3500 for just the nav and leather seats when seat covers and a Tom Tom do just fine (or better)?

  • avatar
    srogers

    You’re all going to think that I’m trolling, but I like the looks of this new 1-series in hatch form. I agree with everyone else that BMW is not going to bring anything to North America that will cost less than $30k. That’s a shame, because this would be desirable for a couple thou’ upcharge over a Focus.

  • avatar
    stuki

    As long as BMW is bringing the 3 wagon here, what possible purpose could the 1 serve? To a person, the main complaint I hear about the 3 wagon is it’s too small to be truly practical. If they wanted to bring in another wagon, please make it the 5. In Xi and M form……

    Also, 5 doors on a 1?! Or even a sedan?! The current 3 is so much nicer in coupe form, mainly because the front doors aren’t munchkin sized, and your entire side visibility is not blocked by a giant B pillar. Until the Chinese rev up their calorie intakes, perhaps matchbox doors make sense over there. Or in masochistic Europe, where they’ll pair it with an engine with all the output of an electric bicycle. Powering the rear wheels, of course, so as not to upset the chassis too much under heavy acceleration…….

    I like the 1 as a vert. A lot, actually. But I’m a certified sucker for verts with surfboard-and-suitcase sized backseats; for others I guess the Boxster makes more sense for similar coin. If the next gen 1 will be 4 cyl only, the current 135 vert ought to remain quite the gem for a good many years. As a less than race pace roadtripper, what the heck does twice the money buy you in a 911 anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      BMW is no longer bringing the 3 wagon here after this model year, which is the last BMW wagon that will be offered to the US market as the 5 series was already cancelled.

      • 0 avatar
        word is bond

        You sure about that? I thought BM was reconsidering selling wagons stateside after the 5GT sales figures came out. There was even talk that the 5er wagon may return when the f50 gets refreshed – but that’s a long way off, so who knows. Do we know enough about the f30 to say if will be coming in wagon form? It certainly hasn’t been dropped for the e92

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        I wouldn’t hold your breath on BMW wagons returning to the states.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    For sure BMW has become the ultimate poser brand. Gotta hand it to them, sales keep increasing along with their prices and they make money hand over fist in the U.S.

  • avatar
    db_nc

    I enjoy reading all the comments. I’m really struggling about what to get for my next car.

    ’95 993 Carrera (will bury me in it)
    ’05 Mini Cooper (tuned significantly)

    I’m struggling, what will replace the Cooper (which only has 58k on it so I’m good for a while) ? Everything small and affordable (<= $25k) is either imported rice-crap or overpriced Euro-crap like new BMWs or lousy unreliable VWs or overpriced,overweight,underpowered Audis.

    You can't give me a VW or an Audi, I don't care for newer BMWs, I had thought they might de-ugly the next 1 series until I saw this article. Why couldn't they at least have done a retro 2002tii bodystyling exercise on the current 1 series platform ? a 'real' RWD manual tranny small BMW might lure me, but apparently they're moving away from that sort of car.

    What the hell will I buy next ? It's looking more and more like a newer Mini but the first gen styling (IMHO) is spot-on, the newer one just got ugly, ugly headlights, ugly high hood, ruined rear end….

    sigh…. I guess I'll just have to drive this original spec Cooper until the wheels fall off (which buy the way are 17"s with real tires, not the bogus 16"s with crap run-flats that came on the car). It may be FWD but with the software and exhaust/intake components, it'll spank a normal Cooper. I haven't driven a Cooper S and don't want to because I'll want the torque and HP….


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