BMW survey reveals that 1-series owners ‘think it’s FWD’

1-series | March 24th, 2010 by 37
135i 2010 022 750x500

UK magazine Autocar reports based on a BMW survey revealed recently by BMW’s CEO Norbert Reithofer that four out of five BMW 1-series drivers think …

135i 2010 022 655x434
UK magazine Autocar reports based on a BMW survey revealed recently by BMW’s CEO Norbert Reithofer that four out of five BMW 1-series drivers think their car is front-wheel drive.

The survey came as a surprised to BMW, a fact admitted by Reithofer. While not confirmed, the survey seems to tie into BMW’s decision to produce front-wheel-drive cars on the next-generation Mini’s platform, which is due in 2014. This has been a highly disputed and very controversial subject among BMW’s consumer base and reactions continue to come out every week.

The new platform, covering front and four-wheel-drive models, will be used for both the third-generation Mini and for a range of BMW models between 3.8m and 4.3m long. BMW will produce the FWD platform to battle the Audi A1 and Mercedes ForFour in the premium small car segment.

Previous reports indicate there could eventually be up to 20 individual BMW and Mini-badged models based on the new BMW-engineered platform.

37 responses to “BMW survey reveals that 1-series owners ‘think it’s FWD’”

  1. BMWM6 says:


    how stupid are these people

    and to think they drove them with confidence in winter. Some people really shouldn’t be able to drive cars.

  2. Brookside says:

    What’s most surprising is that the survey that Reithofer cites is of German 1-series owners. I guess they’ve been drinking the kool-aid too.

  3. CalebC says:

    Great – So the oblivious ignorant masses are now determining the direction of the company?

  4. Peter Louies says:

    It seems that some people don’t feel the difference between a front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. I wonder how they handle their car during winter on icy roads. Or don’t they come out with their 1-series?

    But, what is the reason that you buy a car, besides the fact that you need one. Because you like it, want such a model, it is a convenient car,…perhaps it’s because it has the BMW badge. And somewhere along the buy process you don’t care how it is powered, front or rear.

    Unless you are a car lover. And that kind of people will have an eye for the technique that is under the hood.

    At the end of it all, BMW AG is a company that wants to make money, just like other companies. And if they can increase profit by producing cars with front-wheel drive they will do it.

    I can understand that BMW want to use front-wheel drive for a car, below the 1-series, and use the technology and experience they gathered from MINI, but I do hope that we still have rear-wheel drive on the other models. Otherwise this would be a significant reason less to buy a BMW.

  5. Blaze1248 says:

    I’m not really surprised…

    But I guess with BMW’s excellent handling people never really noticed before because most people (who aren’t aware of the drive configuration) don’t drive their cars hard enough to tell…

    • Otto says:

      The 1 Series hatch is known for having an ESP that triggers very early and hardly noticeable when it does so. This survey also confirms that Audi buyers have a higher IQ than Bimmers and MB buyers. And I’m the 1st one to be sorry about it because I really like BMWs.
      But it seems that our favourite brand is going the wrong way. For instance, MB has the SLS, Audi the R8 whereas BMW has only the M6 to offer. Audi is leading the LMS championship, MB won the F1 world championship whilst BMW left the competition.
      Now, for the 1st time in history – the Isetta being an Italian car – a FWD will carry a BMW badge. That’s indeed plain wrong. BMW board needs passionate people instead of stock exchange guys.
      They need to focus on margin and image rather than volume. Porsche just proved that both could be achieved with the Cayenne and the Panamera. I really doubt a FWD BMW would do.
      Basically, we want BMW back.

      • XC says:

        I mostly agree with you except for the higher IQ thing…

        • Otto says:

          It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Audi led a survey few years ago. It was meant to stay confidential but some Audi sales people leaked it. Another survey led by a German car magazine showed that BMW and Porsche owners are more prone to cheat their partners. Opel buyers (European GM brand) appeared to be the most faithful. Another survey led by I don’t know who showed that Saab owners are more educated than other premium brand buyers.

          • XC says:

            I dunno, if it was leaked by Audi’s salespeople it was intended just to sell their cars…lol. Nobody likes to be called stupid. Now, seriously, how can you determine that because you own a certain brand you are prone to cheat on your significant other? Or, let’s say, how a guy that buys a FWD Audi TT, a car that`s supposed to be a sports car but has no serious sports capabilities, can be more intelligent than a guy who buys a BMW because of its overall quality AND its sports capabilities? How did they get their data? People buying cars are being subjected to IQ tests? TOO subjective to be taken seriously…

  6. XC says:

    Mmmmmm…. I suspect this is just a case when you need to ‘justify’ something. Guess they want to push FWD cars at all costs… I own a BMW 135i and I bought it BECAUSE it is RWD… Where did they ran the survey? Friesland?

  7. Choler says:

    Oh really XC? Don’t make pathetic excuses to hide the fact that the vast majority of Bimmer owners don’t care about their car being RWD.

    • XC says:

      ” …the vast majority of Bimmer owners don’t care about their car being RWD”. So, the vast majority of Bimmer owners think BMW M3s are FWD!!!! OMG!!!!!

      • XC says:

        And sorry but I don’t buy this survey…I used to work for BMW and one of the FIRST sales arguments a BMW salesman has at hand is the fact that it is RWD, that being something positive against FWD Audis, etc. in fact affecting driving dynamics and talking about race cars being RWD, etc. So to whom those people bought their 1-series? And that’s not a pathetic excuse for anything, just plain facts.

        • Choler says:

          Why don’t you give me some figures to show people buying BMWs because its a RWD? Why isn’t there any? BMW management are alot smarter then the mindless ranters we have on this blog. They would only proceed with this decision if they know it won’t their image and sales. Again it comes to this question you all have been avoiding. What makes you think you know better then the BMW Management how to run the company? The only ones drinking kook-aid are these ranters here.

  8. John Hietter says:

    People thought doing the X5M was the worst BMW could do? This surely takes the cake.

  9. XC says:

    Isn’t it handy to have a tailor-made survey when you need it? lol

  10. LMendez says:

    Wtf are these management people doing!? Stop the kool-aid before it’s too late!

  11. Giom says:

    I’m not buying that survey. It just doesn’t make sense. I don’t know ANYBODY that doesn’t know BMW only makes RWD cars – till now.

    Unless, they only interviewed women. Who, to be honest, doesn’t care a bit what wheels are driving the car. It’s all about the color:)

    I agree with XC, seems it is a tailor-made survey.

  12. wazon8 says:

    Strange thing is how they did overlook advertisment campaign of the only RWD compact car which BMW 1-er is. In most of TV clips and folders, almost the first info one gets was that this car is RWD. At least, that was the one of major point of commercials when this car was introducing. But, on the other hand, there are numbers of people who simply don’t understand the fromula “rear wheel drive”. I saw surveys according to which owners of AWD cars didn’t undestand what this (or 4×4) shortcut means. Numbers of these people weren’t able to open a hood eighter. The lesson can be only one – numbers of drivers know nothing about their car. BTW, I bet that each of you met a driver who didn’t know where is radiator liquid container in their cars.

  13. Bartek says:

    Silly survey which isn’t real in this case. It’s just an excuse to make FWD BMW car.

  14. X5SoB says:

    This survey speaks to the kind of driver that buys the 1-series, not BMW drivers as a whole. Many BMW owners prize their vehicles for their handling prowess and overt sportiness. 1-series owners to a large degree are asparational purchasers who can afford to “trade up” to a prestige brand like BMW due to the 1-series’ price. They often come from front wheel drives like Honda or VW, and buy a BMW for the blue and white logo, not its RWD. They’re still dumbass posers, though, an affliction that is not unusual for a BMW owner, unfortunately.

    • XC says:

      To be honest, I’ve owned four BMWs and I bought a 135i because I simply think it’s an awesome car to drive (and thus to have a real driver’s car experience). On the other hand, poseurs generally like big, expensive looking cars, looks which a 1 series clearly lacks, and it’s a car that is way to expensive if you’re coming from Honda or VW. One other thing to consider is that we are talking about a company which sells cars in over 150 countries, your local perception doesn’t necessarily reflect the big picture.

  15. viper says:

    like I said before BMWBLOG published this article , I was the first one to officially announce this bmw survey.I knew this shit before you Horatiou. its really sad and pathetic and weak excuse from bmw.but perhaps it could be true , 1er owners could be firstclass morons anyway.

  16. okeribok says:

    Then how about they launch a new brand: WMB and drop the 1 series?

  17. Steve H says:

    Incomprehensible! Maybe it’s the fact the steering wheel is on the wrong side…but anyone who pushes a 1 through a turn and has the slightest sense of driving feel will realize quickly this ain’t no front driver plowing around a corner.

    That said, How was the survey fielded? What did the sample (other than owners) look like in terms of demo- and psycho-graphics as well as driving experience and habits? What was the sample size? It is statistically stable? Or was it just a convenient rationalization to justify pumping out FWD models that can only serve to degrade the marque of the Roundel.

    I am the proud and happy owner of a 135i cabrio and find it terribly hard to accept that my British brethren are that dense.

  18. Dennis says:

    I think that after this, the decision about building a FWD car other than MINI is final. But why does that car have to be name a BMW 0-series? (it’s the silliest name I have ever heard). The solution is simle really: DON’T CALL IT A BMW AT ALL!! Find another name from the group portfolio and call it that. As Jezza (Clarkson) says: “How hard can it be?”

  19. Dave F says:

    But then BMW drivers are pricks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *