The 2012 BMW 1-Series was introduced to the U.S. four years ago, and continues to wear its compact sporty styling well after a mild update in 2010. With a long hood and short deck like the slightly larger 3-Series, the smallest of the American BMWs looks like it belongs.
It's perhaps too stubby and compact to wear the BMW family curves with real elegance, however, though many will find its slightly pug-like look endearing. The coupe is somewhat more balanced than the convertible, which looks best with the top down; the soft top isn't precisely ill-fitting when up, but it doesn't flow with the otherwise smooth lines.
In the case of the ActiveE electric version of the 1-Series, the look is largely the same as the gasoline burning models, though a slightly more aerodynamic front end, wheel design, and unique ActiveE graphics package mark it out as the electron-sipper.
Inside, the 1-Series is very much like the entry-level members of the 3-Series family, with soft-touch plastic and rubber, metallic trim accents, available leather seating, and a generally purposeful, if somewhat plain, motif.