2015 BMW 1 Series Facelift – New vs Old – Side by Side Comparison

1-series, Videos | July 26th, 2015 by 28
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Let’s take another look at the the visual differences between the facelifted BMW 1 Series hatchback and its predecessor. Opposed to what we have seen …

Let’s take another look at the the visual differences between the facelifted BMW 1 Series hatchback and its predecessor. Opposed to what we have seen in the last few years, BMW has decided to go all-in with this facelift. Moving away from small and subtle touches, the talented design team has given the 1 Series quite a facelift.

On the outside, the most striking elements are the new lights. The great changes of the light units are not typical of BMW facelifts in recent years and without a question it suggests that BMW has learned from the feedback received on the previous model. The headlights have been heavily revised and are now slimmer, more angular and with a sporty eyebrow that gives the front-end a more unified look. The LED headlights and LED foglights also help with the more premium and dynamic look of the car.

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The air intakes have also grown optically giving the car a more focused look. The kidney grille has also been revised and are now beefier and made of chrome. The rear has some distinct changes. The taillights now show the typical L-shaped lights, compared to the more square look of the previous model. LEDs are also standard. The slimmer and longer proportions make the rear look wider and sportier.

BMW has also restyled the bumper and tailpipes.

Here is a video from South Africa showing the two cars side-by-side:

28 responses to “2015 BMW 1 Series Facelift – New vs Old – Side by Side Comparison”

  1. Kaisuke971 says:

    Good guy BMW 2015: makes an LCI 1 series, actually fixes the design

    • SF Dede says:

      But not the problem that it is still not sold in the US.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        People won’t buy it

        • Horatiu B. says:

          Debatable. They buy CLA45 AMG

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            But the CLA is a saloon, not a sedan. That’s why both the A3 sedan and this are sold, and widely bought. If BMW wants to sell a competitor, it would be an eventual M235i Gran Coupe, not the hatchback M135i.

          • Horatiu B. says:

            Saloon is a sedan here :)

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Brain fart (when i write i think of all the possible sentences i could make and sometimes, like here, they mix and give a weird one).
            What i wanted to say:
            “But the CLA is a saloon (well more of a Gran Coupe), not an hatchback. That’s why both the A3 sedan and this are sold, and widely bought, in the US. If BMW wants to sell a competitor, it would be an eventual M235i Gran Coupe, not the M135i (which is an hatchback).

            It has been proven over the years that americans don’t really like small hatchback but prefer their more stylish but less practical sedan counterparts”.

        • SF Dede says:

          That’s what the naysayers said about Minis. Mini’s sell very well here as do golfs and GTIs. Plenty would buy the Ier hatch. Particularly young American’s in urban markets would love another premium option, especially one that’s RWD. It would be a crowded waiting list.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            I think brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes have people competent enough to judge if they have or not to sell Hatchbacks in the US, so you might be quite wrong.

          • Rob K says:

            Could the cost of shipping an existing model be so detrimental to profits?
            We can’t buy what we don’t have available. There is some underlying reason that BMW doesn’t bring the 1er hatch to the U.S. and I have a feeling it has nothing to do with the stateside failure or success of this one particular model. The real reason is probably some marketing nonsense like brand image (talking out of my ‘rear’).
            I’m just tired of hearing the old excuse “Americans don’t like hatchbacks.” I’m American and I like hatchbacks. After my F30 lease is up, the Golf R is a strong candidate for me.

          • SF Dede says:

            That is such old tired thinking. It was that old thinking that prevented BMW from bringing the X1 to the US for so long. Guess what. Tremendously popular exceeding expectations. Bet they wished they’d brought the X1 sooner.

            There’s the argument that American’s prefer SUVs, with the X5 the most popular amongst BMWs. Yet MINI outsells the X5 in the US. I find it interesting how low some of the sales are for some vehicles, yet nobody naysays their popularity. Look at the 2 series coupe or the Z4 (okay to be fair the Z4 is unloved and people know it, yet it’s still sold here). I was surprised how low the 2er coupe sales are.

            source: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/download.html?textId=268488&textAttachmentId=317732

            I think it is really a failure to understand properly what went wrong when they brought the 318ti here. BMW won’t bring a BMW hatch to the US because of that experience. There are some telling lessons. MINIs success, even with a 3 pot, has also shown that many of those problems can be readily solved now, especially given MINI to share costs with. Below is a link to a decent analysis.


            So what’s a fan to do in this era, and how does a company test the waters in this era? Crowdfunding. I suggest that BMW test the demand for the 1er by launching a crowdfunding or kickstarter campaign. Fans of the vehicle would support it and BMW could accurately gauge demand with real pledged dollars.

            Why should BMW do this?
            1. Measure market readiness
            2. Involve others in the design and development process
            3. Capture customer response and feedback
            4. Use complaints to improve your product
            5. Promote and benchmark your final product
            6. Engage your market and audience

            From: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247668

            There are just much more easy and precise ways to engage with potential customers and assess market demand than the old corporate ways you are referring to. If such a campaign were to fail, then I would agree that while I am a fan of the car, I am part of a such a small group of fans as to make bringing the 1er hatch to the US uneconomical.

            Until then, I will continue to believe that BMW has not done 1-6 above well enough and transparently enough. Why? Because they still bring the tired Z4 the the US and hang on to the belief that there is sufficient market for it in its current form to bring it to the US despite its continued dismal sales. They are not paying attention to their own data.

          • Horatiu B. says:

            All great points

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            BMW is not the only one to do that: all the three german kings do so, as now Audi have an A3 Sedan, and Mercedes a CLA (Coupe A Class basically). The fact that huge brands like that, which have tremendous economic power, take such a decision, means that the subject has been studied for years by thousands of expert to come to an end: german auto makers won’t bring their hatchbacks to the US.

            The X1 ? When BMW finally decided to bring it to the US, it was because the Crossover market had a growth big enough to justify the entry of BMW’s small one in the United state, it’s as simple as that. The interest was just right, and they shipped it at the right moment which permits now to observe the insane sale figures of the car. They’ve studied the market, and done the right thing at the right moment.

            Mini outsells the X5 ? Mini cost 3 times less than the X5, and represents various kind of models. Also this case is irrelevant, as the MINI concept already was what their cars are, small city cars. And it might be one of the reasons why they don’t sell you the 1: if you want a city car, which is not a sedan, buy a mini ! And still the sales figures of the X5 are pretty darn good.

            The 2 Series and the Z4 are in a niche market, and not only in the US. They don’t expect them to sell incredibly good, it’s simply impossible. But the 2 series is more than that: it also permits the brand to regain its sporty image, these cars are more than just cars: they are ads. And they also bring a bit of money as well, which is nice.

            About the 318ti thing, it was just an example at the time how would the thing worked. Matter of fact, not only BMW didn’t bring its hatchbacks there but as i said most european brands, so it’s not only a problem of legacy, for BMW, but a more deep thing which as i said multiple times have been studied by BMW’s officials. I am not an Hatchback expert nor i am an american, so i can’t list all the reasons they don’t, but i’m pretty sure they have books full of that.

            What should BMW do, really ? I don’t want to be offensive, but do you realize that BMW is a billionaire multinational ? Don’t you think they have the most qualified people here to think about their marketing strategy ? The Hatchbacks represent a huge market, due to their relatively low prices, and they won’t just say “Oh, we won’t bring the 1 series to the US. Let’s not do that, they won’t buy them”, like i did, but rather do hours of work about why they should and why they shouldn’t.

            Crowdfuding ? It won’t work. Because most people always complain, but they just talk, not act. Look, they complain about manuals ? No one buys manuals (most M4 sold are DCTs, and Manual M5 are so ridiculous it looks like a limited version). They complained about the Evo ? No one bought the Evo (it was discontinued because it didn’t represent an economical interest high enough to justify high development costs). That’s what happens ! I’m pretty sure most people that say they want a 1 series (obviously they won’t say it straight out) won’t actually buy one, and that’s the big problem.

            I don’t think they have time to try things and fail. The whole Automotive industry is on a big race to generalize the Hybrid and Electric powertrains… Those who will do better and faster (like Tesla), will lead the industry for a whole lot of time, and they just don’t really care about trying to sell hatchbacks like the 1… For example, they prefer to give you the i3 (which is to me a better car than the 1), but ya’ll seem to forget it as an option (i actually did as well xD ).

            The Z4 was the last attempt for the Roadster market. They actually were thinking it will be unpopular for a moment then will come back as an economical interest, but it didn’t. Now, they just want to let the Z4 do its life and sell some (because it’s already there), that’s what is happening.

          • SF Dede says:

            Your whole argument can be simplified down to “multi-billion dollar corporations can’t make mistakes because they have deep pockets.” Business history is full of examples of companies that assumed that and lost. It represents an example of when dogma prevents people from asking the right questions and perceiving change before or after it occurs (X1). The x5 vs Mini question is about volume not price, buyers and a capacity to purchase a premium car.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Basically yes, but i explain, and it’s the most important thing, that they have highly qualified persons not just some random citizen with a keyboard… Yeah some times it can be tricky, but i’m pretty sure that the examples of ones that have succeed is higher. For example: Tesla with the Model S, Lotus and the Elise, Ariel and the Atom, Koenigsegg, Pagani, Audi R8, Jaguar and its F-Type, Lamborghini and the Gallardo… They all assumed something and proved it right, which then (unless for Audi and Jaguar) permitted them to have a real place in the Automotive Industry.
            But if you looked further what cost meant, you’d see that price is directly linked to volume (you won’t build as much S-Class as C-Class), capacity to purchase (the most obvious one) and buyers (different prices for different targets).

          • SF Dede says:

            I’ll remember your argument every time I see a BMW 5GT or 3GT – cars nobody asked for in the US, as opposed to the 1 series hatch that people have been demanding, no pleading for BMW to bring for years. Yep, BMWNA. Let’s bring the niche vehicles people don’t want but not the ones they do.

            Your argument has been based on Cost and Volume and that somehow there’s no market for a BMW hot hatch in the US. That nobody would buy a BMW hatch starting low $30k. I find it hard to believe considering sales of VW GTI and Golf R, Mini, Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST, and other Japanese hatches here in the US. I just read on Motoringfile arguments that the Cooper S JCW is a bargain despite its starting price of $32k. You don’t think a BMW RWD hatch could compete and fill a niche and bring new customers to the BMW brand?!

            How many would BMW have to sell annually and at what average price for there to be a business case?

            Also where those buyers going to be – in urban markets, where incomes are higher. Where people want more from 1 vehicle. They want it to everything. And they want it to be small. BMW has nothing to offer is the US. The new X1 will come close, but its just a few small inches shorter than my E90 3 series. Given a choice between the new X1 and the RWD 1er hatch, I’d choose the hatch all day long. Even at a premium. Minis are just to small. So that just won’t work.

            So tell me, what would that business case need to be.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Nobody asked for the 5 and 3 GT at all, because it’s a new segment that they created. People worried about it, especially for it looks, but they had to test it worldwide and see if it is a good idea, so a massive seller, or if it’s not and a complete money whore. And you’re talking like anyone wants a 1 series but most of them are BMW fans (well almost all of them), and they don’t represent a big group of people. On this segment, which is not the strongest there, if BMW brings the 1 but so does Mercedes with the A, Audi with the A3, Renault with the M├ęgane and so on… Well, the interest starts to fall. The thing is the Niche vehicles don’t have competitors (or almost), but the 1 will have for sure, and they don’t intend to sell a lot of 5GT for example, but for the 1 they have to.

            That’s clearly not what i said about price. What i did they is that of course people are more likely to buy a MINI than an X5, because the X5 costs 3 times more, and people are less and less rich (well, the masses at least). I never said that people won’t buy a 30k hatch at all, you invented that yourself. What i did say is that they are more likely to not do it. Don’t try to telle me people buy more Golf R than regular ones, because it’s far from being true, and this is right for all the hot hatches that you listed.

            I don’t know i’m not an economist and never intended to be one, but if they don’t sell it it’s more likely that they can’t satisfy themselves with the US market.

            You will choose the 1, but first the next 1 is more likely to be FWD so forget about that, then most people don’t know it is RWD, and finally more people will buy the more practical crossover X1. And, well, a Mini Clubman or Countryman is not smaller than a 1 i think… They have options for every one, because they don’t sell a single car.

            As i said, i don’t work at BMW i don’t know what they want, what i’m trying to say is that the 1 might not represent a big interest for people in the US…

        • devonair says:

          I would buy this in a second. The idea that Americans don’t buy hatchbacks is tired and out-of-date. Drive in most major cities and you’ll see more small and midsize hatchbacks than any other car: Versa, Yaris, Mazda 2 and 3, Fiesta, Focus, Lexus ct200h, Mini Cooper… the list goes on and on… I’d personally love to replace my Mazda 3 with one of these.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      You guys do realize that BMW is one of the biggest brand in the world. They hire thousands of people, and they have the most qualified ones for the marketing area.
      I don’t know why, if it’s for a problem of brand image or pure sale figures,but even if some of you want it, they didn’t bring it to the US, and there is a valuable reason for that.
      It represents one of the biggest market in the world for cars, and as i said multiple times, as good as your points are, you should go deeper and reconsider why BMW don’t want to sell its hatchback in the United State.

  2. Derrick Rose says:

    BMW definitely said “let’s make the design, but also make an uglier version so that we can use the first design as the facelifted version”

  3. jason bourne says:

    The big improvement is in the front fascia… It doesn’t look like a squinting pig anymore: (->[][]<-)

  4. Griffin says:

    Why is the right front intake sealed off and the left one isn’t, on the 2015 1 series?

  5. Rob K says:

    I cry a little everytime I read a 1er hatchback article (from the U.S.).

    And, though most seem to disagree, I like the older model better. Please, hold your fire. :-)

  6. devonair says:

    I want that M135i sooo badly =( Bring it to the US market!!!!!!!!

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