First generation 1 Series came in for a lot of stick when it came out, with awkward styling a harsh ride and limited rear space many thought the 1 could never be a serious hatchback heavyweight. However, the power of the badge prevailed, a much improved second generation was released, a formidable M135i was launched and now the 1 is going from strength to strength.
Almost by coincidence the 2 millionth 1 Series also coincides with the second generation car getting a little mid life nip and tuck. The fresh faced 1 Series is due for full public debut on the 28th March but a few details of what customers can expect have been shared. For the first time there will be an option box for full LED headlights, radar based cruise control with stop and go and updated ConnectedDrive so you can sync your latest smartphone to the car and if you so wish browse the internet all from the comfort of the drivers seat. Engine choice will remain the same, with customers being offered everything from the super frugal 116d offering claimed economy figures of 3.4l/100km to the tarmac torturing twin turbo straight 6 M135i. There's also an option to add xDrive all wheel drive to 118d and 120d models.
It appears that despite early critics BMW's baby has done the business globally and I can't see demand waning any time soon. Despite some flaws the 1 series has opened up the joys of rear wheel drive motoring to an audience that otherwise might have never considered that driving could be pleasurable as well as a necessity and for this reason I'm pleased BMW took the risk 11 years ago.