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The third-generation BMW 1 Series sure is practical. Practical and dull. In the name of added trunk space and efficiency, the German automaker has sacrificed one of the things that made the 1 Series great, rear-wheel drive.

The new 1 Series will be slightly taller and wider, but won’t stray too far from the current design when it hits lots in 2019. Aside from that, the hatchback will have some slightly narrower headlights and softer body lines.

The real changes are going on under the skin. BMW is moving the 1 Series over to the UKL platform, shared by the X1 and Mini. This means more space in the trunk and more comfortable passengers but also more understeer.


Speed enthusiasts won’t even be able to get a thrill by throwing money at the new M models, since the UKL platform only supports four-cylinder engines. Say goodbye to the straight-six. On the bright side, M model owners will be able to ditch the front-wheel drive in favor of a four-wheel drive set up.

Good-ish news: Maybe this means American drivers won’t feel left out anymore for not having access to the 1 Series.

Related: BMW is bringing back the best M-car 

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