This is the new, 3rd generation BMW 1 Series. Unlike previous versions, its FWD, and shares its platform with the mini Countryman. Like the previous generation 1 Series, it has the option of AWD. Unlike the previous-gen 1 Series, its a front-biased AWD system. Despite the torque-vectoring, this car is unlikely to handle like a BMW should.

BMW claims that 80% of 1 Series buyers don’t know or care which wheels are driven. But by going FWD, they’re sticking the middle finger up to the 20% that do care.

Engines? Turbocharged 3 cylinder and 4 cylinder engines. Some diesel. What does the M135i have? Just a twin-turbo 4 cylinder engine with 302hp. Its no doubt an impressive engine. But its unlikely to be as enjoyable as a straight 6. xDrive versions are auto-only, but the FWD versions are available with a manual.

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Styling-wise, the 1 Series was never the best looking car. But it had its unique shape, and was distinctly a BMW. This new 1 Series is a shapeless blob with the snout of a pig. Or the nose of a cocaine addict.

Inside, its very similar to the latest 3 Series. Very similar interior design, and like the new 3 Series, it has the option of digital gauges, and gimmicks such as the voice control system where you say “Hey BMW- I’m hot” for the car to turn on the A/C. What’s wrong with just pressing the button? At least the interior looks high quality. That is assuming you have the digital gauges- the standard gauges look like something from an early 2000s Kia.

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With the 1 Series going FWD, the 3 Series ditching the manual transmission (except the diesel engines), and the 5 Series ditching the manual altogether, The Ultimate Driving Machine as a marketing slogan seems ironic. Recently, BMW have been making terrible decisions. Historically, if you wanted comfort, you bought a Mercedes, if you wanted a drivers car, you bought a BMW, and if you didn’t know much about cars, you bought an Audi. Right now, BMW is irrelevant-they don’t offer anything.

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It is rumoured that the BMW CEO may be getting fired. Coincidence? I think not. Hopefully BMW will get themselves back on track. Hopefully the next 2 Series will be The Ultimate Driving Machine.