There’s a revolution in compact car design going on at BMW at the moment. Whether by bad luck or bad judgement, though, that revolution won’t impact upon the firm’s biggest-selling compact car for another two years, and that is a source of annoyance unlikely to be lost on many in Munich.
Having already brought us the 2 Series Active Tourer and Grand Tourer premium MPVs, the new BMW X1 and the latest Mini hatchbacks, Mini Countryman and Mini Clubman, BMW’s front-wheel drive UKL1 platform will be pressed it into service under an all-new BMW 1 Series at some point in 2019, but not before making its appearance in the X2 SUV first.
At which time, BMW may finally concede that engineering the original 1 Series as a rear-drive compact premium hatch cost a lot and delivered relatively little for a clientele who – according to the firm’s own research – didn’t even know which wheels propelled the car.
For those who did, and for anyone else minded to bag an example of the rear-drive hatch before it’s too late, enter the final facelifted version of the 1 Series. To its credit, and in spite of its plan for an overhaul, BMW has gone to a lot of trouble updating the car’s engines, suspension, styling, cabin and equipment level in order to give the 1 Series a decent send-off.