BMW has been selling the 1 Series hatchback in Europe for some time now. In fact, it’s been one of BMW’s best-selling cars on the other side of the pond for years and is very popular among the enthusiast crowd. To honest, it isn’t hard to see why. The 1 Series hatch offers good performance, fun-to-drive dynamics and hatchback practicality. It’s the total package.
However, us ‘Mericans have never had the opportunity to buy the 1er hatch. BMW never sold it here in America and we only got the coupe. But now, one lucky American, who needs to also be a bit daring, can get one here in the States.
On BringATrailer, there’s currently a BMW 116i hatchback for sale in Florida, with the current bid at $2,600. This particular BMW 116i is fitted with just the basics: cloth seats, six-speed manual and a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder 120 hp engine. But that kind of adds to the charm of it. It sits on a new coilover suspension that’s lower than stock and it has upgraded brakes. Oh, and it’s also right-hand drive. Seems perfect for the American BMW enthusiast, right? Well, there is one major issue.
See, this 116i was imported from Scotland and we really don’t know how any American would be able to register and insure it. The BMW 116i was never sold in America, so it isn’t road legal here. And because it isn’t 25 years old, it can’t be registered as a classic import. So we’re not really sure if anyone could legally register this car in the US. However, the previous seller claims it to have had a legitimate Florida title. We’re not sure if we believe that, but it’s worth finding out.
If there’s some legal loophole that can be done to attain this awesome BMW 1 Series hatch in America, then this would be a home run. However, I feel as if there was a loophole, people would have exploited it by now.
Legal or not, this is one very cool car, though. With only 78,000 miles on the odometer, it’s also in very good shape. The previous seller claims ti to have all of its service records and maintains that it’s in great shape. From the look of it, there doesn’t seem to be any reason not to believe him. It looks like it’s in very good condition.
If you can find a way to register and insure this BMW 116i hatchback, then it’s an absolute slam dunk deal for any BMW enthusiast. It’s not fast, but it is fun, good looking, practical and rear-wheel drive. Plus, how cool would it be to have a right-hand rive, BMW 116i hatchback while everyone drives around in their 128i coupes?