Do 80 Percent of BMW 1 Series Drivers Really Think Their Cars Is FWD?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Debates over the relative values of front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive have raged for as long as automotive enthusiasm has existed, and after decades of argument, the only thing that anyone seems to agree on is that the the drive wheels matter. But do they? According to Automotive News Europe [sub]’s Luca Ciferri,

More proof that customers don’t care about the difference between rwd and fwd came last week when BMW revealed that 80 percent of its 1-series owners believe the car is fwd

Ciferri wrote this in the “blog” section of the Automotive News [sub] website, and didn’t link to any sources to back his claim up. Meanwhile, a search of German news sources has failed to pull up stories that link to a source other than Ciferri’s blog post. Though Ciferri is a respected auto journalist, and we hesitate to accuse him of making this stuff up, there’s a definite chance that this study isn’t all that it seems. After all, Ciferri cites BMW’s research at a time when the Bavarians are developing the first ever FWD car to carry the famed BMW roundel. Though we don’t doubt that many BMW 1-series buyers might not know which wheels drive their cars, the 80 percent number seems suspiciously high. Furthermore, Ciferri doesn’t indicate whether that statistic reflects global customers, European buyers, or the American market. Combined with BMW’s obvious incentives to de-stigmatize front wheel drive, these problems leave us little choice but to take Ciferri’s statistics with a hefty grain of salt.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Carguy622 Carguy622 on Mar 23, 2010

    Probably. All I know is that a friend of a friend has a previous generation 3-Series and I asked him if he had a stick or an automatic. He told me he has both, because he slide the transmission lever over into this little gate with a plus and minus sign and shift that way. Sure...

  • Saponetta Saponetta on Mar 24, 2010

    i own a late model Carrera and still feel comfortable calling BMW owners the biggest internet jockeys on the face of the planet. While a lot of them do show up at drivers ed events and such most just spout crap on the internet. I sold my s4 that i had owned forever this month with the intention of buying a new b8 s4. This car serves as my daily driver and I've always thought the s4 is the ultimate daily driver. I am offered a company car but get paid not to drive one if I choose. I went and test drove a new GTI based on its looks alone, I just love the way it looks. Well I ended up buying a 2010 jetta wolfsburg-my fiance prefers sedans. They don't make the GLI anymore so they have added the GTI suspension, diff and brakes to the wolfsburg to make up for it. My justification was that i could pay $22,000 cash for the manual wolfsburg and own it or put 20k down on a 2010 s4 and still have a $400 and something dollar payment. Well I have had more fun in this little jetta in the past few weeks than someone should have in a car. Its not as good looking as the GTI but its fun, cheap to run and practical. the FWD doesn't bother me or detract from the fun in anyway. the little thing rotates and my only compaint is the XDS which feels so artificial. Luckily, if i want to pretend that I actually need the best drivers car ever and every inch of performance(like a BMW guy) I still have my carrera S sitting in the garage waiting for me. Anyone ever notice that the 20 year old kid in the multicolor mazda mx6 or dodge neon at the track is having more fun than the guy who brought in his m3 or carrera with trailer full of tires? That was a little long winded, but the moral of the story is that a fun car is a fun car adn it doens't matter which wheels are getting the power. i also can't stand it when people who aren't racing or driving for a living are picky about tires.

  • BigDuke6 BigDuke6 on Mar 24, 2010

    If you can't tell at the first hit of the throttle whether a car is RWD or FWD, then you ain't much of a driver. And BTW, if you let your wife do ALL the driving in a BMW just because she's a bad navigator, well YOU ain't much of a driver either.

    • See 1 previous
    • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Mar 24, 2010

      Come for a ride with me stateside in my TT some time and then say that! ;-) Now that we have GPS devices available, I will be able to share more of the driving while overseas, but honestly, she is directionally impaired, and it saves a lot of arguments if I navigate. I do take over the driving when in the tight mountain roads, which she is not fond of, while she does the boring hiway stuff. Sort of a win/win, actually.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Mar 24, 2010

    And to think BMW spent all that money on a test track, when they could have just hired this guy.