While the merits of BMW's new design direction have been hotly debated, experts at TheCarConnection.com find almost universal agreement that the 2010 1-Series looks like a BMW, it's just not proportioned especially elegantly.
Introduced two years ago in the U.S. market, the current 2010 BMW 1-Series is a carryover in terms of design from last year's model. ConsumerGuide says that the “BMW 1-Series ... lineup includes 128i and 135i models.” Both the 128i and 135i are available as either a two-door, four-seat coupe or a cloth-roofed convertible. Autoblog asserts that “the styling language of the new 1-Series coupe is more attractive in person than the press shots...would indicate.”
Sharing the long hood, short deck look of the 3-Series, the 1-Series is caled down. It rides ona 104.7-inch wheelbase that's about four inches behind the 3-Series two-door, but the 1's truncated shape is overall shy by its bigger sibling by about half a foot. Overall width comes in nearly 3 inches less. The effect is that the 1-Series is a little abbreviated, and some might not think that its proportions are quite as “right” as those of the 3-Series.
Road & Track reports that the 1-Series's “execution is more in tune with E36-based coupes [sold in the 1990s].”
Cars.com calls the new 2010 BMW 1-Series “awkward” and finds the “bulbous shape of the rear part of the passenger area” is very “out of tune with the rest of BMW's very sleek-looking lineup.” They add that the “1 Series isn't overtly striking in the visual department,” and it “seems hum-drum...even in sporty 135i duds.” While generally approving of the styling on the new 2010 BMW 1-Series, Road & Track notes that the “long-hood, tall-roofline, short-rear-deck profile projects an odd, almost ungainly proportion from some angles.” If nothing else, the exterior styling is divisive; for every person who loves the 1-Series' look, there is another who finds it a complete turnoff.
Traditional BMW looks can be found inside, which means that the 1-Series is clean and upmarket if a little light on flair. ConsumerGuide reports that while the “audio and climate controls are mounted somewhat low,” they are still “easy to reach and simple to decipher and adjust,” while Popular Mechanics says that the 1-Series is “nearly identical to the 3-Series,” a car that reviewers and customers alike have stamped with their approval.