BMW is giving its compact hatchback, coupé and convertible models a mid-life refresh in time for the summer.
For those that like practicality and performance in equal measure, the new 1 Series -- available as a three-door or five-door hatchback -- now comes with the sort of interior trim, instrumentation and connectivity more closely associated with larger German executive cars.
There's a new dashboard layout created to give the feeling of greater space as well as quality. The seats get optional leather trim and the full iDrive package of infotainment and services -- including live traffic alerts, parking reservation and email and calendar management is now available either as standard or an option depending on the model.
The 1 Series is unique in that it's the only compact premium hatchback on sale anywhere in the world that comes with driver-focused rear-wheel drive as standard. And as fun as that can be, if buyers want their 1 Series to really deliver in terms of exterior style and performance, they'll have to plump for the top specification M140i.
It pairs a 3-liter, straight-six turbocharged 340hp engine with some unique sleek exterior details including black contoured headlamps and kidney grille treatment, tinted rear light clusters, a black exhaust tailpipe and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Unlike its hatchback sibling, the 2 Series, whether in coupé or convertible guise, already looks sporty regardless of drivetrain option, and for the new model year, BMW is tweaking the car's nose for a more aggressive look achieved with a wider kidney grille, more angular headlamps and bigger front air intakes. There are new one-piece LED taillights too to complete the look.
Inside, the 2-Series gets the same instrument and trim upgrades found in the 1 Series, while in terms of performance, BMW has decided it's a good idea to offer XDrive intelligent four-wheel drive as an option for those considering either the 3-liter (M240i) variants for even greater control.
The new 1 Series and 2 Series will go on sale in July.