BMW 1 Series – Overview
The BMW 1 Series, as the model number suggests, is the entry model to the BMW family, slotting below the evergreen 3 Series sedan. Being developed with Germany and overall Europe in mind to compete with the Audi A3, Volvo 40-range and Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the 1 Series was exclusively developed as a hatchback only and a coupe body style followed later.
Another key feature of the BMW 1 Series was the driven wheels- it was the only rear-wheel drive premium hatchback and coupe for the first two generations (E87, F20). However, due to the ever-competitive nature of the hatchback segment in Europe, BMW moved to an all-new front-wheel drive platform for this current third-generation F40 BMW 1 Series.
BMW Malaysia currently only offers the range-topping BMW M135i xDrive as the sole representative of the F40 BMW 1 Series range in Malaysia. The previously-popular locally-assembled F20 BMW 118i rear-wheel drive compact hatch that was priced around RM220,000 is currently represented by the all-new F44 BMW 218i Gran Coupe, also front-wheel drive.
Being the top of the range as well as a M Performance model, the fully-imported BMW M135i xDrive does not come cheap, in fact, more expensive than the common 3 Series and even the 530e at RM355,646.25. Its closest competitor is the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic at RM366,785.05. The Renault Megane RS 300 is now priced at RM326,477 while the Audi S3 and Honda Civic Type R are not available in Malaysia.