BMW has launched the 1 Series hatch back in India. The smallest of its offerings, the 1 Series is the German automaker’s entry into the premium hatchback segment where it competes with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class. The car is 4.2 meters long with a wheelbase of 2.6 meters making it as long as the Honda City.
The BMW is a five seater, five door hatchback. From the front it sports all the signature BMW lines but still has the design of the old grille as the car has not been updated with the new grille design. There is a pronounced hump on the hood that seems to flow into the front windscreen and the A-pillars. While globally the 1 Series is offered in three and five door options, in India we only get the latter.
At the back, the 1 Series looks like a scaled standard BMW design due to it being a hatchback. While the shape of the boot hatch is similar to that of the 3-Series, the tail lights are considerably smaller but still retain the familiar Bavarian manufacturers design language.
Variants and engine line up
The India spec 1 Series is being offered with one petrol and one diesel engine. The former is a four cylinder turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that produces 138PS and 220Nm of torque while the diesel on the other hand is a 2.0-litre engine that produces 145PS and 320Nm of torque.
Both engines have been mated to the ZF eight-speed gearbox that sends power to the rear wheels, giving the 1 Series a proper amount hot hatchback credibility. This is taken even further when we consider the fact that the car has a longitudinally mounted engine and perfect weight distribution. BMW is offering the 1 Series in four variants; 116i (petrol), 118d, 118d Sport Line and 118d Sport Plus.
The car is being assembled for the Indian market via the CKD route at BMW’s Chennai plant. This makes the feature list almost identical to the European spec model. The extensive list includes the BMW’s iDrive system with a 16.55 cm HD LCD display, start-stop function, driver side power-seat with memory function and sunroof, apart from standard safety features like ABS-EBD, airbags and ESP. Rear parking sensors are standard across the range.
As we had earlier, the 1 Series will compete with the A-Class and the B-Class. Vis-à-vis, the 118d variant is almost Rs 40, 000 cheaper than the Mercedes-Benz A-Class A180 CDI variant but the latter has a few more goodies like GPS, audio controls in the rear arm rest, driver arm rest and leather seats. For the buyers who shop in that price bracket such features do matter and is likely to tip the scales in favour of the A-Class. However, the most noted feature that should put the 1 Series back in the game is that it is RWD as compared to the A-Class which is front wheel drive and this should make it livelier to drive.