Want a hatchback? There’s plenty on the market to choose from, but your choice will almost invariably come down to front- or all-wheel drive. And that can be just fine in most cases. But if you want your hatchback in rear-drive form, the BMW 1 Series is just about the only game in town. Shame that town isn’t located here in the United States.
Though BMW offered the previous 1 Series in North America, it only came here as a coupe and convertible, whose place has since been taken by the 2 Series. And that’s all well and fine, but those of us enticed by the rare prospect of a rear-drive hatchback can only gaze longingly from our distant shore to markets where the Bavarian automaker still offers the 1 Series hatchback.
Like Australia, where it has just rolled out the new Shadow Edition. Available on both the 118i and 125i, the Shadow Edition comes standard with an M Sport package, 18-inch wheels, LED lighting, and blacked-out trim inside and out (along with sundry additional equipment). And to make it even more appealing, it’s available as a no-cost option.
But it’s not so much the availability (in another market) of this special edition – or the optional Style Plus Package announced alongside it – that entices us as much as the model on which it’s based. Because while there are plenty of front- and even all-wheel-drive hatchbacks available on the US market – even some tempting upscale offerings – there’s a part of us that really wants one driving just the rear wheels, with all the chuckable, tail-sliding dynamics that entails. And those of us in America have had to learn to live with the disappointment of not being able to get our hands on one, with or without the murdered-out appearance pack.