No matter the pedigree a car brand has, it still might find it very difficult to enter a segment and become a top contender as it expects. As the case for BMW the hatchback segment is a pretty tough one, mainstream carmakers from Japan, France and Britain have had it cracked since ages and when a new contender steps in, expect stiff if not overwhelming competition from them.
BMW is on a roll, other than introducing a refreshed 2-series, an all-new 1-Series has also been revealed, well to be honest it might be all new but face value says otherwise. I’ve always found the 1-Series flawed, it looked meek, was impractical and most probably did not make any competitor wince. Granted it was rear wheel drive which enticed driving enthusiast, but there are many other front drive cars in the sector that provided sweet fun handling, ask any of the same driving enthusiast about a GTI, RS or FR motif and they would gladly jump in and floor it.
The new model does make things a bit better, the front is the letdown as it does not look as smart as it wants us to think it is, and there is something off about the overall composition. The sides are adorned by a sharp horizontal line that starts from the rear light crosses right under the door handle and dissipates in the body. The rear is the most attractive part, it’s taut and even a bit angry. As for the running gear you can choose from of 3,4 or 6 cylinder engines hooked up to a 6 speed manual or 7 speed Steptronic auto. The interior is also standard BMW fair with some nice touches here and there, but it still feels not that special.
If the new 1-Series has upped its game as so has its rivals, nevertheless as BMWs go a couple of generations down the line and most probably it would crack the segment, till then.