BMW 1-Series to start below $30k

A new entry-level car from a premium European brand will be washing up on our shores when the BMW 1-Series arrives carrying a price tag slightly under $30,000. Much the same way as Volvo's looking to its bobbed-tail C30 to recruit younger buyers into the fold while offering an appropriately flavored confection of a car, the 1-Series has the task of winning customers who would love a Roundel on the hood, but can't swing the 3-series. Having done the truncated poop deck on the E36 318ti, BMW decided to go with a traditional three-box profile this time around.

Where former entry-level efforts from premium European brands have not inspired drivers, the 1-Series has everyone buzzing. While the 135i gets the 335's delectable 300-HP drivetrain, good for a 5.1 second run to 60 mph, even the "entry level" 128i will have plenty of snort. The 128i will make do with 230 horses, giving up a second in the accelerative dash, yet taking it about $5,000 easier on your checkbook. We expect that BMW has learned from its 318ti experience, and the interior will not be a cheapened affair when compared to the 3-series, but will carry the same high quality materials, super comfortable seats, and impossibly tight fits. It's getting to be so you can't swing a cat without hitting a slightly-sub-30K vehicle with a spiffy emblem on the rump. We like that.

[Source: Auto News - sub req.]

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