In Europe and perhaps just about every place else in the world, the 1 series can be had with a choice of 4-cylinder engines, two being gas and one being I believe a new turbodiesel. The fuel economy and the performance of these engines put them near or at the tops of their categories, and make the 1 series a sensible model line.
Of course here in the US market where the focus is on serving machismo and snob appeal with needlessy overpowered vehicles, the common sense of a sensibly priced car, with sensibly sized engines, still delivering well more than acceptable performance, is thrown out the window. BMW had a chance to move quite impressively into a new market segment; instead it embarrassed itself. Take a look at www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008-bmw-135i-review/