1-series likely to be BMW’s entry level sedan for India

    BMW’s first front-wheel-drive sedan 1-series will take on Merc CLA and Audi A3 sedan.

    Published On Dec 31, 2016 07:00:00 AM


    BMW’s 1-series sedan, its first front-wheel-drive, three-box car, has just gone on sale in China. Made in association with Chinese carmaker, Brilliance Automotive Ltd, the 1-series has been tailor-made and designed specifically for the Chinese market. In the past, and before the car had been fully developed, BMW had sort of announced that the new 1-series sedan would not be sold in any other markets. But now that the car has been seen by the representatives and stakeholders in various markets, the company seems to have had a change of heart. When asked about the ‘China-only’ car, BMW’s member of Board of Management (Sales and Marketing), Ian Robertson, said, “We haven’t decided on that yet” and then elaborated, “it’s been designed for and is currently only produced in China.” Other emerging markets, India included, have shown interest as well, according to another BMW source. There is also a buzz that BMW is looking at doing some higher-powered versions for the European market.

    The 1-series sedan, if you think about it, would slot perfectly into BMW line-up in India as well. Currently, the odd-man out among the three German luxury carmakers, BMW is the only one peddling just  a hatchback version. While Merc sells the A-class hatch and the CLA sedan, Audi only sells the sedan version of the A3. However, the segment hasn’t really taken off in India. 

    Measuring 4,456mm in length, the new 1-series sedan has a wheelbase of 2,670mm, which makes it shorter than the CLA but longer than the A3. The design is typically BMW, with the muscular bonnet, kidney grille and stern-looking ‘eyes’. There is a pleasing cohesiveness to the design. On the inside the 1-series sedan gets a typical BMW feel too. There’s the white-on-black dials, a driver-focused central console and an 8.8-inch iDrive screen. From the various engine options on offer, the pick of the litter would be the 231hp 125i mated to an eight-speed automatic, but the 192hp 120i is more likely to be the mainstay. There are currently no diesels, though if the car goes to the European market, that could still change. Prices for the 1-series sedan could start as low as Rs 35 lakh. 

    BMW 1-series sedan photo gallery

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