Since everyone’s focused solely on the new 8 Series it’s easy to forget that there are other models in the BMW range at the moment. Yes, we’re kidding but while some are complaining about the price the new 8er might get once it reaches showrooms they also forget that there are considerably cheaper alternatives available with the same roundel on the hood. The 1 Series is the cheapest BMW you can get today and that price difference is easy to justify as you’re about to see in this video.
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The 1 Series is a special car though because it’s still the only RWD hatch in its segment right now. That segment is not made up of French or Asian cars either but rather by some seriously stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Even so, the German rivals decided to settle for FWD chassis for rather obvious reasons, offering their customers more room and practicality but depriving them of the fun element behind the wheel.
Matt goes over the pros and cons of all cars here but we have to point out that the 1 Series is the oldest model here. A new one is in the making and it will also be rear-wheel drive. While some are concerned that’s going to turn the 2 Series Coupe in a FWD model as well as the two share the same underpinnings and assembly lines, that’s not going to happen. According to our latest info, the 2 Series will remain RWD but the Convertible will be discontinued.
What you really need to remember is that while these three start at reasonable prices, the way they actually drive and feel like on the road will depend a lot on how you configure them. That said, most of the time you’ll need to add quite a number of options to your car to get it just right. Even so, the Mercedes does come out on top in terms of interior design and technology and rightfully so as it does bring a lot to the table, even though you have to pay for it. The BMW is also the least practical of the bunch due to the RWD setup but that’s what makes it the best driving car here.