While Audi and Mercedes-Benz had already launched their version of the compact entry level sedan in the form of A3 and CLA-Class respectively, BMW is yet to launch a compact sedan globally. Till now, BMW was selling the 3-Series sedan as their cheapest offering, while they had X1 and 1-Series hatchback as their most-budget friendly offering.
This equation is no more in act as BMW has officially unveiled the BMW 1-Series compact sedan at the ongoing 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show. Earlier, BMW unveiled the concept form of the 1-Series sedan a year ago at the same Guangzhou auto show. This time, though, the sedan has taken a production form and will be launched soon in the Chinese market.
Talking about the design of the new BMW 1-series, the sedan borrows most of its styling from the compact sedan concept, but with noticeable differences. There's an addition of fog lamps on the front bumpers, new alloy wheels and wing mirror, and minor tweaks in the design. The familiar look at the back is reminiscent of the larger BMW 3-series with similarly-shaped tail lamps.
Inside the cabin, the dashboard of the BMW 1-series sedan has a striking similarity to the new X1 compact SUV. Other similarities to most of the BMW's hatchbacks and sedans include a large centrally-mounted infotainment display, a three-spoke multi-function steering and a larger gear-lever in place of the joystick-like unit.
It seems like the engineers at BMW took their time to make the sedan better than both of its rivals. The sedan measures at around 4456mm long, 1803mm wide and 1446mm in height along with a wheelbase of 2670mm. While the dimensions make it shorter than its main rival, the wheelbase is greater than the Audi A3. The car is also wider than both its rivals and offers best in-cabin space.
The new compact sedan is based on the BMW’s UKL front-wheel drive platform underpinning the X1 compact SUV too. In terms of the power units, the 1-series sedan will be offered with a choice of three petrol engines and the base 118i gets a 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder motor. The mid-spec 120i gets a 192hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit, while the top-spec 125i comes with a 231hp version of the same engine.
As mentioned above, the 1-series sedan will be launched in China soon, as it has been developed as a China-specific model. The manufacturing is done by the BMW Brilliance Automotive company – BMW’s Chinese joint venture. Whether or not it will make it to other developing markets will be a thing to see in future.
Image Courtsey - Autohome