It seems as though BMW understands that its fans are upset about the passing of the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series Hatchback. It’s impressive dynamics, chunky hatchback style and surprising practicality, along with relative affordability, make the current 1 Series Hatchback a favorite among the BMW faithful. However, its days are numbered, as BMW is making way for a newer, front-wheel drive based car that just won’t have the same dynamic abilities as the current car. So, it looks like BMW is trying to make it up to the upset fans by offering yet another refresh of the current 1 Series Hatchback before it ends production.
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What’s surprising about this is that BMW recently gave the 1 Series an LCI Facelift a couple of years ago, dramatically improving the frumpy looks of the original. BMW rarely, if ever, gives a model two updates in one lifecycle, so doing it to the soon-to-be-defunct 1 Series seems like a way to make amends for replacing it with a front-drive model. Though, knowing the model is going to be gone soon, BMW didn’t go too crazy making additions to the 1er Hatch, just a bit of hair and makeup to get it ready for its closeup before it bites the dust. Gotta go out looking your best, right?
So BMW is giving the 1 Series a few new special “Edition” lines to make it a bit more enticing to buyers before it’s gone. The changes are quite minor, but enough to bring some extra people into the showroom. New Edition Sport Line Shadow, Edition M Sport Shadow and BMW M140i Edition Shadow special editions give the 1 Series Hatchback a bit of extra sportines with a black kidney grille, black inserts in the LED headlights and darkened LED rear lights. There will also be two new color options, Sunset Orange and Seaside Blue, which do actually look nice. Five new wheel options are also available and they’re the same ones added to the 2 Series Coupe and Convertible. All of which are good looking and better than what is currently offered.
The biggest news comes inside, though, as the 1 Series gets the same cabin upgrades as the new 2 Series Coupe and Convertible. So the main dash trim starts from the center air vent stack and moves outward, rather than starting from the outer air vent and moving inward. It also gets BMW’s new iDrive infotainment system, featuring the new tile-based design and touchscreen capability, if the premium nav system is optioned. The instrument cluster has also been updated to the same on that the 2 Series got, which looks a bit more premium and upscale. Overall, this will be the nicest cabin of any 1 Series, so look for 2017 models in the future when you want to buy a classic rear-wheel drive 1 Series Hatchback.
While this update isn’t much, it’s enough to breath some new life into the current 1 Series Hatch before it goes away. It allows for customers renewing their leases, or trying to get one of the last of them, something extra. It’s nice that BMW is paying attention to a car that is so close to the end of its life cycle even after it’s already received a mid-cycle refresh.