2007 BMW 1-Series Hatchback: Our Rental Car from Thrifty Car Rental in Munich

Scroll Down for Pictures of the BMW 1-Series!

Sweet Upgrade to the 2007 1-Series Hatchback Turbo Diesel Hatchback

We were originally supposed to get a Ford Mondeo. But unfortunately (ha!), we got an upgrade to a BMW 1-Series Hatchback . This thing was sweet. Turbo Diesel (Diesel is much cheaper than gas in Europe and available at every station, plus they get better mileage), 6-speed, rear-wheel drive, and, hey, its a freakin BMW!!!

Thrifty Car Rental Munich Germany

Everyone at Thrifty Car Rental in Munich was great. My only complaint is that they don't actually have a counter at the airport, you call them and then they pick you up (the place is nearby). But I guess that's what we get for going with the cheaper rental company. Everything else was great.

Some Details on the BMW Car

Now, it is an "entry-level" car, so no leather seats and the usual "Business Class" BMW Stereo System. But still, the thing is sweet. So many times, we'd make a tight turn in some random stari grad in Croatia, and say to ourselves "We made that turn because we're in a BMW". The thing drove pretty well on the Autobahn (kinda funny when you cut off a Ferrari because you were going ONLY 170km/h). Funny when the driver feels weird because it seems to only top out at 150km/h, only to find a 6th gear! The wide-angle headlights are pretty damn useful on 1-lane wide back country roads (but probably loathed by everyone else).

The car sounds very nice. Very little of the diesel idle rumble, and an awesome turbo sound when you're driving at high speed next to a barrier (to bounce back the high-speed high-RPM whirl).

Of course, the owner's manual was in 100% German. One thing I've noticed about Germany (or, to not generalize as much, Bavaria), is that nothing is ever written in English, but absolutely everyone speaks nearly fluent English.

Prepare to cry if you're from North America (USA+Canada)

The bad news is that BMW will NOT be bringing the hatch back to North America. Sure, they're going to bring the coupe, but the coupe looks like crap. I want my hatchback, preferably turbodiesel. Also, unfortunately, the 1-Series is NOT on Transport Canada's import list, so you can't even freight one over the Atlantic (which I hear doesn't cost that much). Also, it does share many components (especially drivetrain, where it is important) with some other BMWs, so it wouldn't be impossible to maintain (but I'm sure problems would arise).

Sure if you could import one, you'd be driving the cheapest BMW in North America, but no one would know it, they'd think you have some kind of exotic BMW. You'd feel special, and have something that cost less than everyone elses. But I guess it just wasn't meant to be, BMW probably doesn't want to "dilute" their brand in the USA with the 1-series.

If you live in Mexico, you're in luck

The BMW 1 Series is actually listed on the BMW Mexico website as being available for purchase. As well, the car has been spotted in California, but it was with special manufacturer license plates.

Yay for new features!

I really love how we took maximal advantage of its dashboard features. One such feature is that it tells you how many kilometres you can drive with the amount of gas you have left in the tank. Well, we prepaid for a full tank of diesel on our return. So, unless you arrive with a near-empty tank, you're losing money. We managed to make it there with SEVEN kilometres of diesel left. They actually had to fill up before our complimentary ride back to the airport. The turn signalling mechanism is a bit weird, don't ask me about it though, I only rode in the car. As well, the car has a push-button start, which is great when you stall the thing (my brother with many years of standard experience didn't have too much luck with uphill standing starts).

Finally, the car has what is known as "mild hybrid" technology. All this means that it has an oversized starter motor. So, when the car is coasting (hello German, Austrian and Croatian mountains!), it actually turns off the engine. We've independently observed this by checking the "L/100km" dashboard gauge option. It will say 0.00 L/100km when you are coasting down a hill or to a stop. However, we never really noticed the engine being actually "off" when at a stop. Supposedly, the car also does some level of regenerative braking, which is a feature I like, since it will help to reduce brake wear, as well as spare the alternator some work later on with "free" energy. I don't think it provides any acceleration assist.


Pictures and Photos of 2007 BMW 1-Series Hatchback

BMW 1 Series in Croatia against 1800s Building

2007 Technology Against 1800s Architecture

2007 BMW 1 Series Against 2007 BMW Convertible

BMWs against 1800s Architecture (we'll see how the BMWs hold up over the next 150 years). The close car is my cousin's "Volkswagen Cabriolet", yes, they got a free upgrade too!

1-Series Hatch Back with Buzet region mountainy backdrop

Picture outside a refueling pump station near Buzet Croatia, just over the border from Slovenia.

Shot from front of BMW 1-Series

And finally, a shot from the front.


nice little article and great pics

wtf are you smoking

diesel is cheaper in europe than in north america? what the hell are you talking about... http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/eupetrolprices/

Thanks for catching that lack of clarity

Oops... Here's my original statement:

 "Diesel is much cheaper and more available in Europe than North America, plus they get better mileage"

What I meant was that European diesel is cheaper than European gasoline, and diesel in Europe is more available than diesel in North America. 

I've fixed it in the article, thanks for the notice. 


Do you know if Thrifty has

Do you know if Thrifty has all cars available in diesel. I am looking in to renting compact car but their web site doesn't explain if gasoline or diesel. Any help much appreciated. Thanks

Been to Buzet and Istra , very nice part of Croatia

I think it depends on where

I think it depends on where you're renting from. In Germany, a good percentage of cars are in diesel, and therefore rentable in diesel. We actually got a free upgrade to this diesel, so we're not really sure of how they're selected. I would say go for diesel if you plan on doing a lot of driving, the fuel is cheaper and the mileage way better.

Also, it seems like the Thrifty name is just licensed to independent or semi-independent car hire companies, so you might have to dig up whoever they've licensed their name to.

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