The Great BMW 1 Series Debate: U.S. Bound in 2009?

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There have been wide reports of the BMW 1 Series coming to the U.S. in the next few years. Reports from AutoWeek cite an anonymous source, while Automobile Magazine simply states that it’s coming in 2009. No one from BMW has gone on the record nor told us directly that the 1 Series will come to the U.S.

Last week, BMW did announce the new 2008 1 Series, including two- and four-door hatchback body styles for sale in Europe. The new 1 Series also comes with new engines, including two four-cylinder  versions and an inline six-cylinder V-6.

The 1 Series slates under the popular 3 Series in Europe and would compete against the Audi A3 here in the States. There’s only one problem: The Audi A3 hasn’t been a bang-up success for Audi on this side of the pond, and that’s one reason BMW hasn’t brought the 1 Series to our shores before.

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Supposedly, the hatchbacks you see here won’t see U.S. soil either; BMW would send a sedan and convertible instead. We’d like to see a coupe and convertible ourselves, as that would at least differentiate it from the 3 Series. Prices would have to remain below $30,000 so as not to steal sales from the bigger sibling.

We’ll go on the record and say these rumors have flown around before and nothing has come of them, and we wouldn’t be surprised to be 1 Series-less forever. What do you think? Would you buy a 1 Series if the price were right?

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David

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