Arun Parkin profile picture Arun Parkin 4 months ago 5
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The 2020 BMW 1 Series: The Ugliest BMW Ever Made?

"Snort! Snort!" Image source: Autocar.co.uk
"Snort! Snort!" Image source: Autocar.co.uk

So, this is the all-new BMW 1 Series, which came out last year and has slowly started appearing on UK roads. I’ve spotted I few of them myself, usually running into the same three or four cars. Now, the coronavirus pandemic means that there is much less traffic on the road. However, over the past few days I have noticed one particular example; a grey sports version with a big plastic-chrome grill and giant fake air intakes. What are my thoughts on the car? Well, it looks bad in the pictures and it looks even worse in person. In this article I will explain why I think the new 1 Series in so ugly, and it is much more than just the grille.

Look at all them ANGLES and them HUUUGE vents! Image source: carmagazine.co.uk
Look at all them ANGLES and them HUUUGE vents! Image source: carmagazine.co.uk

Okay, I think most people would agree that the big grille is the most controversial aspect of the car, but that is not the only thing making it ugly. No, what makes it truly ugly are all the sharp angles and creases dotted around the car, which makes it look like it’s had some kind of rollover accident, the tiny, crooked windows that don’t sit parallel with the rest of the car, and, in the sport model at least, the HUGE fake air intakes! At the rear it looks phenomenally bad; its almost as if someone in the BMW design studio came with a big machete screaming “WE NEED TO MAKE ZIS MORE SCHPORTY!!!” and crudely stabbed them into the clay model just before getting signed on for production.

Where the ugliness truly shines is when it’s parked on the road. The new 1 Series is a pretty large car, and parked next to a 1990s E36 (which is actually a class above), or any other older car, it looks laughably overdone, with the comically angry face and pig-like grille. It looks like it’s laughing like one of the pigs in Angry Birds: “GET OUTTA MY WAY! (Snort! Snort!), GET OUT OF MY WAY!” And compared to the 1966 BMW 02, in that bright, plastic blue, it just looks ridiculous.

The 1966 BMW 02 Series: classed as a "compact executive car" yet smaller than modern superminis. Image source: BMWblog.com
The 1966 BMW 02 Series: classed as a "compact executive car" yet smaller than modern superminis. Image source: BMWblog.com

Now, the old 1 Series was a good-looking thing; nice, straight windows, a flat bonnet and a tastefully proportioned grille. I’d even go so far to say that it was one of the best-looking cars in its segment. The new one, however, is probably the worst.

Generally, the BMW 1 Series has so far been a very popular car, and the old 1 Series’ are everywhere in the UK, but will this be the end of the 1 Series? Well, if they’re going to look like this then I secretly hope they become sales flops and, riddled with electronics, it’ll be tough to keep one going for more than ten years as the repair bills outweigh the value of the car.

Thats more like it! The 2015 BMW 1 Series: a well-proportioned, RWD hatchback. Image source: Thecarexpert.co.uk
Thats more like it! The 2015 BMW 1 Series: a well-proportioned, RWD hatchback. Image source: Thecarexpert.co.uk

So, is it The Ugliest BMW Ever Made? Well, no. It isn’t. I’m afraid that award goes to the X6: It’s got all the ugliness of the 1 Series, with fake vents and an oversized grille, but it’s the size of a truck and more obnoxious. There’s also the fat-looking X5 the X6 is based on, but even that’s better looking than the 1 Series. The only competitor to the 1 Series is the 2 Series Gran Coupé (which has four doors), which is like the 1 Series’ ugly brother. All I can say is that the BMW 1 Series is, in my eyes, a truly ugly car; ugly enough for my to write a rant about it. Which one do you think is the most ugly?